June 22, 2009

Ed Balls considers ban on BNP teachers

The government is investigating a possible ban on British National party members working as teachers in schools in a move that could challenge the legitimacy of the far-right party.

A source close to the schools secretary, Ed Balls, said there had been several meetings on the issue with teaching unions which are lobbying for a change in teachers' contracts to prevent them from working if they are members of far-right groups including the BNP. The issue was being "actively looked at", the source said.

It comes after it emerged that the General Teaching Council for England (GTC), which registers teachers to work in state schools, had rejected appeals to ban BNP members. Lawyers warned the council it could be accused of discriminating against members of the far-right party if it refused to register them.

Five members of the council's own governing body wrote to the Guardian on Saturday to appeal for a national debate on the issue. They claimed the GTC was "hiding" behind legal advice to avoid banning the BNP from registering as teachers.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, confirmed she had held several discussions with Balls about the possibility of a ban and had called for a change to teachers' contracts to prevent BNP members from teaching.

The source close to Balls said the issue was being re-examined in the light of the election to the European parliament of two BNP members, including party leader Nick Griffin, who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred.

The GTC was advised by lawyers that it would be discriminatory to ban members of a lawful political party. It was also told that if it declared any views on the BNP, it could be accused of lacking impartiality in any subsequent disciplinary hearings involving teachers in the far-right party.

A BNP membership list leaked last year included the names of 15 teachers, four nurses and one prison officer as well as 17 former police officers and 16 members of the armed forces. Members of the BNP, National Front and Combat 18 are banned from joining the police or becoming prison officers.

In the letter to the Guardian, the five GTC members argued that legislation required everyone working in schools to "promote good race relations and community cohesion", which would be incompatible with some views held by the BNP. The party supports voluntary repatriation of non-white citizens.



Anonymous said...

Without becoming emotional about the matter one really needs to consider the impact which these views have on children and the long term implications for them.

It is horrific that these people are allowed to bring up their own children in these racist and twisted environments but to condone them being allowed to influence other children is simply unacceptable.

Do not for one moment underestimate the effect that these views have on children and the long term implications. Remember that the BNP will also waste no time in identifying vulnerable children to whom their ideas will be appealing. They will then work very hard to use these children to build a base from which to spread their poison.

They have no shame and no ethics so using children will just be seen as another tool for the advancement of their cause without any consideration for the individuals involved.

Someone need to undertake a serious and well reserached study into the affects of an extreme right wing influence on children and the long term consequences. I am sure that being subjected to this sort of influence is as damaging as other forms of child abuse which we readily acknowledge and accept.

You only have to look at Stephan Kemp to see what his father managed to do to him as a child - he is not the only one and this site has seen the off spring of these people also view their negative impression of a right wing upbringing and the long term effects.

The teacher's association needs to look at this from a well researched and academic perspective and remove the emotions from it.

Anonymous said...

Not only members of the BNP, but everyone who votes for them ought to be banned from working with children.

BNP-voting parents should have their kids taken into care. I know that voting is supposed to be anonymous, but there are ways of tracing them, and the interests of the child must come first.

Anonymous said...

who is stephen kemp lol

Anonymous said...

I can well imagine anyone brought up in an 'ideological' home may suffer from brainwashing and isloation potentially skewering their social development and interaction.

This of course is nothing to do with 'political' teachers who are not allowed to preach to pupils/students. Laws already exist to prevent that occuring. I do not know of any cases (there must be some!) where such teachers have been officially disciplined for such bevahiour even in the Thatcherite era?

Antifascist said...

'who is stephen kemp'

Arthur Kemp's son.

Barbara Suzuki said...

Conscientious teachers work hard for equality of opportunity for all of the children in their classes. It is a fundamental principle of modern teaching.
This is in direct conflict with BNP views, which are not only racist and homophobic, but also rudely scornful of those less able.
I think there is a real conflict of interest between membership of the awful BNP and sound good practices in teaching.

Anonymous said...

If bnp teachers are of the same calibre as the Walker brothers why ban them - they are well capable of destroying their careers without help from anyone else!