Teachers Urged to ignore “British Values” as Discriminatory PREVENT Manifests Racist Implementation

DL supporters from South Yorkshire at a demo in Rotherham, near Barnsley, 2014, by Chris/Flickr

For close to year, I have argued Michael Gove, an anti-Muslim neocon was pursuing his neocon agenda (see also here, and here), and successfully managed to do so by blustering “British values” without debate or discussion down the throats of, primarily, Muslims. I had also argued that the “British values” were so loosely defined that personal interpretations would result in miscarriages of justice and children being effectively sanctioned for being Muslim. I also strongly asserted that it lay down the foundations for an authoritarian state (see here and here for example).

According to the Guardian, Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) have urged teachers to ignore Michael Gove’s pretext-operation-based drive to promote fundamental British “values” amid claims that it is “ill-considered, ill-defined and counterproductive”.

Robin Bevan, a head teacher who put forward motion at ATL on “British values” said,

“There is the well-publicised issue of the radicalisation of a very small number of students. But the solution being proposed is totally out of proportion. It’s the wrong approach, at the wrong scale, with the wrong model of learning and the wrong method of assessing its effectiveness.”

“When it comes to the new requirement of promoting fundamental British values, including the role of law, here is one law that I would actively encourage you to disengage from.”

A motion passed by the conference said the government’s drive on British values was a “knee-jerk national policy ‘solution’ to localised governance issues” which risked “becoming the source of wider conflict rather than a means of resolving it”. Bevan also raised concerns about the changing nature of “British values” and how these ideas may be interpreted by a “future right-wing government, or a partner in that government”.

This latter part is the concern I have discussed in detail in my posts (here and here) on Theresa May’s recently announced measures, where the “extremism” discourse a taken a far more sinister, closed-society turn.

PREVENT Manifesting Racism

In previous articles I had also brought to attention that the PREVENT Strategy, through which the British values programme has been pushed, was discriminatory in its language. This was established with evidence when it was shown that PREVENT money was being rolled out in Muslim areas. Thus, though PREVENT tokenistically spoke of far-right extremism, when it came to the “inoculation” of far-right extremism, mainly Muslims, as opposed white people, were the target.

An intriguing report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has proven these fears of discrimination. Disturbingly, the manifestation of discrimination is not only on the grounds of religion, but race and familial professions.

Schools in areas described as the “EDL and BNP heartland”, and which are hotbeds of white, far-right extremism have implemented the PREVENT Strategy in a manner which targets BME students, whilst seemingly exonerating white pupils, because they are white.

According to the report, one section of the policy document asks, “Is the school particularly prone to radicalisation and extremism.” The three schools replied: “No. Cohort of pupils are white British majority.”

In a section evaluating the risk of radicalisation for pupils, the schools stated “None” and “low risk”, adding: “Several pupils are connected to the local armed force cadet clubs and take a keen interest in British military work.”

And in completing that section, the schools then add: “Staff continue to monitor BME [black and ethnic minority] cohort.”

Yet more evidence against the failed PREVENT Strategy emerges. And yet still the government and their neocon-groomed quangos/”think”-tanks in the form of the Quilliam Foundation, Inspire and Henry Jackson Society continue to parade the discriminatory, and now manifestly racist policy.

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