No, the government has not banned anti-capitalism from schools

Sep 29, 2020 by

By Joanna Williams, Spiked:

[…] Banning Animal Farm from English lessons and the Russian Revolution from history classes would indeed be truly alarming. But this is not what is happening. John McDonnell is simply wrong and the fearmongers on Twitter are spreading fake news. The new curriculum guidance says nothing about English or history – it refers specifically to ‘relationships, sex and health education’.

It is in this context that the DfE warns against the use of resources produced by organisations that: desire to abolish or overthrow democracy or capitalism, or to end free and fair elections; that are opposed to free speech; that use racist language; and that endorse illegal activity. More specifically, the guidance warns that children should not be led to believe that their preference for particular clothes or toys means they may have a different gender identity. It all comes with a reminder that teachers should note their duty to impartiality and the need for a balanced treatment of political issues in the classroom.

The DfE’s new guidance fires a warning shot to schools that uncritically endorse groups like transgender children’s charity Mermaids or Black Lives Matter. And, sadly, this is needed. For too long the DfE itself has forged links with certain organisations and allowed them to influence directly what children are taught in relationships and sex education classes.

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