The classroom is racist, according to the largest teaching union in the UK.
The National Education Union has put together a report, seen by The Telegraph, on racism in schools and even nurseries. The report claims that schools have been “shaped by colonisation”. They claim that the system does not contain a “broad and balanced” education because there is a silence around imperialism and racism in the classroom.
They also suggest that the solution lies in critiquing “the ideas and knowledge we perpetuate” and “creating tools for critical self-reflection.”
The report, which was put together following a conference which discussed decolonising education, stated: “From curriculum to routines to classroom layout, our education system has been shaped by colonisation and neoliberalism.”
They also say, with regards to the education system, that “the silence around British imperialism and racism in the British education system, as well as lack of histories from around the world, does not constitute a broad and balanced education”.
Among the other issues discussed in the conference, they concluded that society at large has a racism issue. They allege that “British culture is saturated with a longing for return to Empire without any understanding into what Empire is/was”.
The “strategies for decolonising education in our nurseries, schools and colleges” included training “teachers and schools on whiteness, anti-racism, creating tools for critical self-reflection and understanding the system”.
The aim, according to the NEU, is to “move beyond diversification of literature to look at critiquing the ideas and knowledge we perpetuate and transforming pedagogical methods”.
The conference and the resulting report were necessary, says the union, following the Black Lives Matter protests and the Covid- 19 pandemic.