Children as young as seven are to be told they are not 'racially innocent'

Children as young as seven are to be told they are not 'racially innocent'

Children as young as seven are to be told they are not 'racially innocent' under plans at an English local authority, it has been revealed.

Brighton and Hove council sparked uproar after unveiling its anti-racist education plans — with some parents pulling their children from classrooms.

Leaked slides shown to staff, and reported in the Sunday Telegraph, tell staff that children learn to attach value to skin colour when they are just five years old — with 'white at the top of the hierarcy and black at the bottom'.

Another says there is 'ample evidence' that youngsters are not 'racially innocent', despite this being the widespread view in society.

Staff were also told that Christianity had influenced the slave trade, portrayed its heroes as white and that science 'upholds the status quo'.

And that society is obsessed over the muscle size of black sportspeople, rather than their white rivals. 

Brighton council is the first in the country to launch an anti-racism plan for schools, and said it was needed because of 'inequalities' in society.

In guidance issued to schools, the council reportedly says the training is required for all teachers.

It adds that key stages two, three and four pupils — aged 8 to 16 — will 'need specific racial literacy-focussed lessons'.

One slide shown to teachers during training says: 'Between the ages of three and five, children learn to attach value to skin colour; white at the top of the hierarchy and black at the bottom.'

A separate one shows a pyramid diagram containing acts that constitute 'white supremacy', such as the denial of white privilege, and saying 'it was just a joke' when a person of colour becomes offended.

During the training, teachers were also told pupils must not be taught that race 'does not mean anything'.

This was because, trainers warned, 'we leave them [pupils] vulnerable to concluding that white people must just be better'. 

Brighton council launched its plans in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, when protests swept across the US, UK and many other Western countries. 

Its chair of children, young people and skills, Hannah Clare, said training has been 'co-developed with people affected by racism, and addresses the urgent need to tackle issues that have historically led to inequalities for people of colour'.

She added: 'Education settings have confirmed that there is a need for this strategy and commitment to the work. It includes behaviour management, recruitment and retention of staff and helping young people understand the complex issues of race.'