Schools in England given guidance to avoid biased teaching

Education: Secondary / Thu 17th Feb 2022 at 07:19am

SCHOOLS in England are being reminded to teach sensitive issues in a non-biased way, under new guidance reports the BBC.

It aims to help teachers cover complex topics, such as the history of the British Empire or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, without pushing one political view over another.

There is also a warning against teachers expressing their own views.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi says no subject should be off limits, but teaching must be impartial.

The promotion of partisan political views in class is unlawful under the 1996 Education Act.

This means that where teachers present controversial political views in a lesson, they must offer a balanced overview of opposing views.

The Political Impartiality in Schools guidance, published by the Department for Education on Thursday, asks schools to think carefully when planning lessons and choosing class materials.

It draws a distinction between subject areas which may be part of teaching, such as racism or colonialism, and promoting support for campaigning groups, such as Black Lives Matter. 

It urges teachers not to offer their own political views in class.

Schools are also being asked to listen and try to resolve any concerns raised by parents who feel their children have been exposed to an uncontested political view.

National Education Union joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted says there is already sufficient guidance under the Education Act.

The new guidance adds “new layers of mystification and complexity” and could increase uncertainty and put schools off engaging with political issues, she says.

Association of School and College Leaders general secretary Geoff Barton welcomed the guidance, saying it comes at a time when “young people are exposed to a swirl of misinformation online, and an increasingly toxic discourse on social media”.

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4 Comments for Schools in England given guidance to avoid biased teaching:

2022-02-17 08:34:30

Need to end all this woke nonsense and stick to teaching facts. The literary and mathematical standards have fallen. Numeracy is vital as is the ability to write grammatically and use punctuation correctly. We need more emphasis on hard sciences such as physics and chemistry as well as foreign languages. Too much time is spent on woke indoctrination, which does not teach children to think and acquire knowledge.

2022-02-17 12:55:44

Can we get rid of the myth that science, 'steam' subjects and languages are "hard". It's the way the uk teaches them that makes them hard not the subject materials themselves. Take languages for instance there's countries in Europe where children are bi or even tri lingual, it's not regarded as special or difficult. After 5 more than decades of teaching myself I tend to agree with Billy Connolly's assessment of teaching algebra. Worth a look. https://youtu.be/lizYlThBxag Algebra is useful but we simply don't teach it right!

2022-02-17 13:57:03

Are the teachers capable I wonder.

2022-02-19 12:52:16

You should be asking were the "gove" rnments capable! UK OFSTED, National curriculum, terminal examination system and forced changes that have, by OFSTED'S own assessment, meant most schools are failing, clearly signing what should be it's own certificate of failure. More children are suffering mental health issues and we've lost about 40 years of what could have been progress. UK education went off the tracks in the late 1970s: result low skilled low paid workforce, our best inventions and manufacturing gone abroad and a 40 million jobs shortage in the STEM sector industries. Don't blame teachers, "every lesson shapes a life" pity the government shapes the lessons and fundamentally we have a factory model education system not fit for the 21st Century nor teachers nor students and learning. We have the ed tec to create an individualised interdisciplinary project based learning system, well proven to be highly successful in the world but still have an outdated approach, it's one of the reasons the already failing system collapsed when COVID hit. From Nesta Foundation Award Winner 2020 for Innovation in Education (after 5 decades of teaching ).

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