Teachers call for lessons in republicanism

Queen Elizabeth II Anti-monarchy campaigners claim schools are promoting "uncritical celebration" of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Members of a leading teaching union have called for children to be taught about an alternative to the monarchy.

It follows claims by anti-monarchy campaigners that schools are promoting "uncritical celebration" of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Members of Republic say they are considering mounting legal challenges to some activities, arguing they breach the Education Act's requirement to provide balance on political issues.

Activists have raised particular concern about a school cookery competition devised by the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Cook for the Queen competition aims to encourage children to create a new dish to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Teacher Sam Gardner, who represents Republic in Yorkshire, said: "We don't think that the Jubilee is something to celebrate.

"If you ask yourself what the Queen has done to achieve her position and how she has managed to stay in that position. There is no way of removing her, it's not a democratic process."

History lessons

Mr Gardner's views are echoed by Celia Foote, who is a national executive committee member of the NASUWT.

Start Quote

Crown jewels

It's not done in an informed way - you don't find out what is monarchy. Why do we have a monarchy?”

End Quote Celia Foote NASUWT

Ms Foote told the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire: "It's not done in an informed way. You don't find out what is monarchy. Why do we have a monarchy? What's the history?

"Why don't some places, like America, why don't they have a monarchy? So it's just left in isolation."

"Why don't some places, like America, why don't they have a monarchy? So it's just left in isolation."

A Department for Education spokesman said: "The law is designed to stop children being indoctrinated by biased and unbalanced political views, not from joining in a national celebration with millions of others.

"It's down to individual schools to decide how to mark the event.

"It is impossible to see how a cooking competition could possibly be construed as inherently unbalanced.

"The National Curriculum expressly sets out that classes should teach about all aspects of our political system."

However, despite opposition from some, there appears to be no shortage of people in Yorkshire ready to dig out the bunting to celebrate the Queen's 60 years on the throne.

Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Political beliefs should be formulated not learned. I see this as the parents role, not the teachers. They are only having a say as part of a poorly formulated strategy by the pressure group Republic, their primary aim is to remove the monarchy not to educate republicanism. Google Stephen Frys thoughts of republicanism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Of course there is "...no shortage of people in Yorkshire ready to dig out the bunting to celebrate the Queen's 60 years on the throne." Arguably this is because for generations schools have promoted "uncritical celebration" of the monarchy!

    This undemocratic institution needs to change in favour of ONE (not 30 or so) lean-managed, accountable, tenured, removable, elected head of state.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Of course the children must be educated that monarchy is not celebrated by everyone and has in fact been a contentious issue for hundreds of years-that is the truth after all, despite the mindless celebration palace PR tells us is the appropriate response to 60 years of an unelected, unaccountable, unremovable head of state at the apogee of a secretive, elitist institution perpetuating inequality.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Royalty is not deducted through democracy, but inherited. It never has been and never will be. The Queen, although our Head of State and the Commonwealth has no real political power, this has been the case since 1708 and the Scottish Militia Bill, vetoed by Queen Anne.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    What a surprise, republicans wanting to brainwash kids with their ideology as always. Can we just clear something up? What happens in the USA? Do they in their early years of school learn about different types of republics and monarchy? NO. They pledge allegiance to their republic every day in school.

    If we became a republic, would monarchy be treated equally? NO.

    God save the Queen


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