Anorak News | Back To Basics

Back To Basics

by | 31st, August 2004

‘OF course, if you believe the papers, most British teenagers wouldn’t have any idea who Winston Churchill was. Or Adolf Hitler, for that matter.

‘Up yours, Mr Chips’

They are too busy learning about women’s issues in mediaeval Europe or the role of homosexuality in the textile industries to worry about World War II.

But, says the Guardian, right-wing think-tank Civitas is determined to put that right.

It is appealing for shareholders to back the New Model School it is planning to open in London in a fortnight.

As well as teaching maths, phonics-based reading and French, the Queen’s Park primary school (with fees of some £3,000 a year) will teach children “social skills and good character”.

Robert Whelan, the organisation’s deputy director, urges supporters to help fund the school, arguing that “our culture is in serious decline – one might almost say meltdown”.

But what Civitas means by “our culture” is a vexed question – it promotes pamphlets opposing immigration and lambasting asylum.

“Are schools going to be established that will attack our multiracial, multicultural society?” asks former Home Office minister Barbara Roche.

“Will the contributions of, for example, black and multiethnic servicemen and women during the Second World War be excluded from history teaching?”

Will children no longer have to draw a picture of their favourite pet and write about the Industrial Revolution from the point of view of a canary?’

Posted: 31st, August 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink