Backing for bid to ban BNP school governors
PUBLISHED: 17:18 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:21 12 August 2010
MEMBERS of the British National Party (BNP) could be banned from joining school governing bodies after a teachers union vowed to fight for a change in the law.
MEMBERS of the British National Party (BNP) could be banned from joining school governing bodies after a teachers' union vowed to fight for a change in the law.
Last Wednesday, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Woman Teachers (NASUWT) announced it will seek a judicial review to stop BNP councillors being allowed onto school governing boards.
The decision follows news that an unnamed primary school is holding an election this term which could see a BNP councillor become vice-chair of its governing body.
The union, which represents nearly 250,000 teachers nationwide, has long campaigned for BNP members to be prohibited from working as teachers and is now extending that to include governors.
Kathy Duggan, NASUWT representative for Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, said: "It's morally reprehensible, politically insane and educationally foolhardy to allow members of the BNP on school governing boards.
"The BNP openly say that they don't want black people or people who are not indigenous to this country - basically anyone who is not white - to have any part at all in public life. They are despicable.
"Governors are supposed to represent the whole community. How a BNP member could do that with those sorts of views, I do not know."
John Oakes, head of Dartford Grammar School for Boys, in West Hill, said he agreed entirely with NASUWT's position.
He said: "The school would not support, and would be reluctant to tolerate, any member of the school community, including the governing body, who displays bigotry or prejudice. The ethos of the school, fully endorsed by the whole school community, is one of internationalism and respect, attaching great value to diversity and differences."
In a statement, NASUWT say that the appointment of a BNP councillor to a governing board would conflict with Section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976.
John Stuart, of The Glen in Bromley, said: "The BNP is a democratic party like any other and we are supposed to have freedom of speech in this country so I think this is outrageous.