Schools minister Ed Balls insulted all teachers when he agreed that it is OK for Nazi BNP members to teach in our schools.
This goes along with the recommendations of a new report by his adviser Maurice Smith. But it ignores the fact that every child does not matter for the BNP – only those of the “right” ethnic origin.
Smith claims that a ban would make it unclear “where to draw the line”. But what could be easier than stating unequivocally that BNP membership is incompatible with registration by the General Teaching Council, as the NUT believes?
The claim that a ban could cause problems for members of other parties is a complete red herring. Only racists and Nazis fundamentally believe that certain humans are less worthy than others.
And what about Smith’s claim that banning BNP members would be “a very large sledgehammer to crack a miniscule nut”? The government doesn’t take the same view over its Vetting and Barring registration system. This presupposes that anyone who works with children – up to 11 million people – is guilty until proved innocent.
The fact that there are so few BNP teachers at the moment is of no relevance either. The principles are clear. Being in the BNP is totally incompatible with fulfilling any teaching or civil service contract of employment – which is to serve all members of the public equally.
Everyone concerned about the growth of fascist and Nazi political groups should let Ed Balls know that he is wrong on this.
Nick Grant is on the NEC of the NUT union. He writes in a personal capacity.
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