Council changes race training so teachers say toddlers are ‘race unaware’ and not ‘innocent’

A council has changed its race training for teachers to say toddlers are ‘race oblivious’ rather than ‘racially innocent’ in a public rundown after outrage from parents.

Brighton and Hove City Council sparked an uproar in January after the Sunday Telegraph reported that its ‘racial literacy’ sessions for hundreds of school staff would see seven-year-olds say they were seeing ‘the white at the top of the hierarchy”.

It prompted the intervention of Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, who sent officials to investigate the ‘worrying’ conferences amid accusations from MPs that they had potentially defied education and education laws. ‘equality.

Now the Green-led council has released a new version of its five-year ‘anti-racism education strategy’. He says “there is plenty of evidence” that three-year-olds are learning markers of racial hierarchy and adds: “Yet the widespread view that children, especially young children, are not racially aware persist.”

This section previously said, “Yet the widespread view that children, especially young children, are racially ‘innocent,’ persists.”

The new strategy, released this week, also removed the entire section endorsing Critical Race Theory (CRT), a radical ideology that deploys the concept of white privilege and rejects a “colorblind” approach.

Since the five-year project launched in 2020, the first of its kind in Britain, the council had proudly said how its lessons were ‘underpinned by a CRT analytical lens’ with a focus on viewing individual racist incidents as a problem systemic.

The raid to remove explicit mention of the CRT comes after 5,000 parents petitioned council officials objecting to it “teaching our children that they are racist or victimized by their classmates”.

But the council’s new approach, which will be approved tomorrow, extends its ‘racial literacy curriculum framework’ to nurseries, with basic settings for year one and key pupils in stage one – from birth to seven. – now covered. Previously, it applied to children aged seven and over.

The board plans to ‘integrate racially specific literacy classes’ into the curriculum throughout the summer and fall terms this year and says it will ‘extend the philosophy to children and adults. ‘other pedagogies that support meaningful racial literacy’.

Adrian Hart, whose son is in sixth grade in the city and led the petition with campaign group Don’t Divide Us, said ‘this is just a removal of the label from the box, the contents remain the same”.

“Politics remains fully informed and based on race-dividing ideas and beliefs that continue to be presented as undisputed facts,” he added.

Hannah Clare, the deputy leader of the council who last week criticized ‘vanitarian’ Tory councilors for wanting a £200,000 statue in the south coast town to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, is spending £500,000 on the running lessons.

She denied that the council was breaking the law and said the amendments were driven by community engagement, not government comments or legal advice.

“We simply want our educational environments to be places where every child can learn and thrive, where everyone feels safe and equal, and where we all have a strong sense of identity and belonging,” he said. she declared.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Boards and schools should be aware of their legal obligation to teach certain issues in a balanced way.

“Given the particular sensitivity and range of viewpoints around some theories that go beyond the shared principle that racism is unacceptable, teachers must ensure that children are informed in an unbiased way and appropriate for their age and do not present the contested ideas as fact.”

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