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

Elected mayors would prevent 'brain drain' from north

There are calls for the government to look again at the prospect of introducing directly elected mayors to more English cities.

Read full article

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 10.

    "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."

    Evidenced by...? The BBC is wishing to portray republican's concerns as hysterical. The bombardment of unsubstantiated claims demonstrates otherwise. We are not Daily Mail "EUSSR"-type critics; we merely ask for neutrality.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 28.

    Its interesting that once again the BBC is representing Republic as 'anti-monarchy' when the whole point of Republic is that it is pro-democracy - Republic's position on the monarchy is that it is an unaccountable institution, wasteful of public finances and that mature democracies vote for their head of state (and remove them if they don't do a good job), hardly an extreme position.

  • rate this
    +4

    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
    +4

    Comment number 6.

    Simon Wright, supra-monarchist, this is NOT America. Having expelled us in the late 18thC they are happy with their system. The concept of monarchy, which is feudal, socially divisive and unrepresentative is taught as HISTORY. The monarchic brainwashing has endured for centuries and cannot be viewed uncritically. We cannot have multi-milliionaires claiming entitlement through 'birthright'.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 23.

    Teaching critical thought is fundamental to education, and therefore it is wrong to not teach children about the history of the monarchy and republicanism. After all, if one cannot think critically, one cannot examine oneself for prejudiced thought.

 

Comments 5 of 44

 

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.