Schools in England told not to use material from anti-capitalist groups
The government has ordered schools in England not to use resources from organisations which have expressed a desire to end capitalism.
Department for Education (DfE) guidance issued on Thursday for school leaders and teachers involved in setting the relationship, sex and health curriculum categorised anti-capitalism as an “extreme political stance” and equated it with opposition to freedom of speech, antisemitism and endorsement of illegal activity.
The guidance, part of lengthy guidelines for implementing the statutory curriculum, said: “Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. This is the case even if the material itself is not extreme, as the use of it could imply endorsement or support of the organisation.”
It listed examples of what were described as “extreme political stances”, such as “a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, or to end free and fair elections”; opposition to freedom of speech; the use of racist, including antisemitic, language; the endorsement of illegal activity; and a failure to condemn illegal activities done in support of their cause.
The DfE is clear that schools should not work with agencies that take extreme positions, including promoting non-democratic political systems, and that teachers should be politically impartial.
It comes after counter-terrorism police earlier this year placed the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities running the Prevent programme. However, the south-east division of Counter Terrorism Policing later recalled the document.