Best Practice

Political impartiality: Ten ways to sit on a fence

The government’s new political impartiality guidance has caused some consternation in schools, with fears of a potential ‘chilling’ effect on teaching. Andrew Jones considers 10 strategies for tackling ‘political’ issues impartially

Earlier this year, my local MP Oliver Dowden gave a somewhat intriguing speech to the Heritage Foundation in the United States.

He claimed that the West is going through a “painful woke psychodrama” as we spend our time “obsessing over pronouns or indeed seeking to decolonise mathematics”.

Mr Dowden said that this particular form of “decadence” is “in our universities, but also in our schools” (Dowden, 2022).
“We have made it clear to schools,” he later continued, “...that it is illegal to teach the concept of ‘white privilege’ as though it were undisputed fact.”

The new DfE guidance on teaching political issues

By pure coincidence, I am sure, the following day education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, issued guidance to schools on political impartiality (DfE, 2022).

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