Minister hits out at schools, says presenting white privilege as fact is illegal

Teachers who present the idea of white privilege as a fact are breaking the law, the women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has said.

Addressing MPs during a Commons debate on Black History Month,Ms Badenoch said the government does not want children being taught about “white privilege and their inherited racial guilt”.

She added that the government was against “the teaching of contested political ideas as if they are accepted fact”.

Shed added: “And let me be clear, any school which teaches these elements of critical race theory as fact, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views is breaking the law."

The minister went on to hit out at schools who had expressed support for the “anti-capitalist” Black Lives Matter movement, arguing they had neglected their duty to political impartiality by embracing the group.

Badenoch was speaking in response to Labour MP Dawn Butler, who had told the Commons that black children are made to feel inferior by what they are taught in school and history “needs to be decolonised”.

“History needs to be decolonised. You can go through [the] whole of the GCSE and not have reference to any black authors at all. You could go through history and not understand the richness of Africa and the Caribbean, you can go through history and not understand all the leaders in the black community," added Butler.

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also backed the calls for decolonisation, while Labour frontbencher Abena Oppong-Asare pressed for a taskforce to look at diversifying the content taught in school.

Badenoch rejected the claims, insisting that history in schools “is not colonised”.

She said that no apologies were required for the fact that British children primarily study the history of these islands.

"It goes without saying that the recent fad to decolonise maths, decolonise engineering, decolonise the sciences that we’ve seen across our universities to make race the defining principle of what is studied is not just misguided but actively opposed to the fundamental purpose of education,” she said.

Ms Badenoch also went on to call on Labour MPs to condemn actions of Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer, when thousands marched against systemic racial inequality across the country and the world.

“Some schools have decided to openly support the 'anti-capitalist' Black Lives Matter group — often fully aware that they have the statutory duty to be politically impartial.” she said.

“Black lives do matter, of course they do, but we know that the Black Lives Matter movement — capital B, L, M — is political.

“I know this, because at the height of the protest, I’ve been told of white Black Lives Matter protesters calling — and I apologise for saying this word — calling a black armed police officer guarding Downing Street a ‘pet n*****’."