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B1237 - Education Impartiality Bill 2017 Watch

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    Educational Impartiality Bill 2017, TSR Conservative & Unionist Party


    A

    BILL

    TO

    reinforce the underlying impartiality of educational institutions and those employed in them.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    1 - Definitions
    (1) Where referenced in this Act, the following words are to be defined as follows:-
    (a) as defined by the Education Act 1996:
    (i) ‘School’ shall refer to any educational institution which is simultaneously outside of the further education and higher education sector, yet remains a institution with provisions to provide any combination of primary, and/or secondary education.
    (ii) ‘Pupil’ shall refer to any person and/or entity to whom provisions for education are made;
    (b) for the sole purpose of this Act:-
    (i) ‘Educational institution’ shall refer to an institution or establishment at which active provisions are made for education, regardless of the age of those to whom said education provisions have been made.
    (ii) ‘Educational staff’ shall refer to those employed, through any mechanism, by schools or educational institutions; this includes but is not limited to: teachers; volunteers; entities/persons on the governing body; representatives of the local education authority; inspectors; management staff; receptionists; first aids; and, those in ‘temporary employment’, id est, those requested, or by their own accord desire, to attend school for the purpose of education, whether or not as an external speaker, teacher or observer.
    (iii) ‘Indoctrination’ shall, at bare minimum, refer to the imbuement and inculcation of, usually partisan or sectarian, principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies.

    2 - Repeal
    (1) Sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act of 1996 are hereby repealed - ceasing to have effect - on the date on which this Act becomes effective.
    (2) External or internal links to the aforementioned sections are to be terminated, or where appropriate, redirected to the new Act.

    3 - Indoctrination
    (1) The local education authority, governing body, head teacher and all members of staff in their individual capacity, are duly obliged to:-
    (a) forbid the pursuit of partisan principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies by educational staff;
    (b) forbid the promotion of partisan principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies in the teaching of any subject in the school;
    (c) forbid the excessive and unwarranted suppression of partisan principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies displayed by pupils;
    (d) advocate the balanced representation of opposing principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies in all circumstances;

    4 - Duty to preserve impartiality and freedom of speech
    (1) The local education authority, governing body, head teacher and all members of staff are duly obliged to facilitate, to the best capability of the educational establishment and staff, the impartial discussion of political, socioeconomic or religious issues, on the basis that:-
    (a) pupils are presented with ‘factual information’ that can be correlated by a variety of news establishments across the political spectrum, and, wherever possible, independent organisations or investigations;
    (b) discussion and debate remains among the pupils, with ‘educational staff’ interjecting only when:-
    (i) a topic brought up is not deemed appropriate in an educational context;
    (ii) overly opinionated statements made by pupils are treated as fact;
    (c) educational staff may, if desired, introduce questions or ask pupils to justify certain statements or beliefs on the basis that:-
    (i) introduced questions do not favour one side of the debate or another;
    (ii) an equal amount of pupils are requested to justify certain statements, on a variety of topics, with the same vigour and intensity;

    5 - Responses and necessitating action to indoctrination
    (1) Where any member of education staff is made aware, through any mechanism, of another member of education staff facilitating ‘indoctrination’, they must inform simultaneously the line manager/head of department of the member of education staff undertaking ‘indoctrination’, the head teacher, and, at least one other member of the governing body.
    (2) Where any member of education staff fails to perform the delineated tasks and/or follow established protocol, and where it can be proven that he/she had explicit knowledge of the actions of fellow members of education staff, he/she is to be disciplined as seen fit by the local education authority.
    (3) Once one member of the governing body has been made aware of any instance of indoctrination, he/she is duly obliged to inform all other members of the governing body under the premise of confidentiality pro tempore at the next meeting or within 28 days - whichever is earliest.
    (a) During the time between the governing body is made aware and the instance of indoctrination reported, the affected member of educational staff may continue to work with ‘retrenched responsibility, role and status’.
    (4) Where this is the first instance of indoctrination, and/or the vigour of indoctrination is deemed negligible by a member of educational staff, the governing body is delegated to impose a temporary mark on the internal record of the named member of educational staff.
    (a) The educational institution is not obliged to disclose details apropos of the first instance of indoctrination, unless explicitly requested by fellow educational institutions.
    (5) Where this is not the first instance of indoctrination, and/or the vigour of indoctrination is deemed to be ‘extreme’ and ‘harmful’ to the impartial and free development of principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies by the pupils, the governing body is delegated to perform or initiate any combination of the following courses of remediation:-
    (a) the application of a permanent mark on their internal record, which must be declared;
    (b) the application of a permanent mark through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS);
    (c) the temporary suspension of members of educational staff partaking in indoctrination;
    (d) the enforcement of a ‘cease and desist’ notice whereby teachers are duly obliged to retract statements made;
    (e) the removal of extended/additional roles and responsibilities on a temporary basis;
    (f) the removal of extended/additional roles and responsibilities on a permanent basis;
    (g) the referral of the member of educational staff to the Secretary of State who will escalate matters further;
    (h) any other reasonable course of action not covered in subsection (5)(a) through subsection (5)(g)


    6 - Proscribed groups or organisations
    (1) Where the act of indoctrination has tangible links to ‘extremism’ and/or organisations proscribed by the Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department under section 3 of the Terrorism Act of 2000, section (5) of the Educational Impartiality Act 2017 no longer applies.
    (2) The member of education staff is to be held, using reasonable force, on the educational institution’s premises, where the safety of pupils and fellow members of education staff are not at risk, until the member of education staff is under the control/possession of the Police.
    (3) The head teacher must, after subsection (2) has been concluded, convene an emergency meeting of the governing body with compulsory attendance.
    (4) The governing body must discuss the position of the member of education staff under the sole premise of total confidentiality, and must immediately surrender all files, information and known assets of the member of education staff to the relevant authority.
    (5) The governing body must also immediately inform the Secretary of State for Education, the Department for Education, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, and the Home Office.
    (6) When appropriate, all parents of pupils at the educational institution must be informed unless the parties detailed in subsection (5) raise concerns in doing so.

    7 - Records
    (1) The local education authority, governing body and the school must keep dedicated records of recorded instances of ‘indoctrination’.
    (2) Records of ‘indoctrination’ must include, at the bare minimum:-
    (a) the name of the member of educational staff;
    (b) the date and approximate time of the instance of indoctrination;
    (c) the pupil(s) affected by indoctrination;
    (d) the type of indoctrination;
    (e) the exact actions and/or words;
    (f) at least two ‘independent’ witnesses - this may be replaced with closed circuit television footage obtained by the educational institution or unaltered multimedia sources exterior to the educational institution where the legitimacy of said source can be verified to a probability that exceeds 80%.
    (3) These records must be available on demand, in full, to the Secretary of State, and provided to the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills at regular intervals.
    (4) These records may also be provided through the application of external legislation:
    (a) Where a request for the aforementioned records has been made to the educational institution under the entitlements as detailed under section 7 of Data Protection Act 1998, the educational institution must, in accordance with section 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998, provide the full entry with the following redacted:-
    (i) personal details, other than his/her name, relating to the member of educational staff;
    (ii) explicit details relating to the member of educational staff’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, membership of trade unions, physical or mental health or condition, sexual life, the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings;
    (iii) identifying information in regards to the ‘independent’ witnesses;
    (b) Where a request for the aforementioned records has been made to the educational institution under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the educational institution must, in accordance with section 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998, provide the full entry requested with the following redacted:-
    (i) personal details, other than his/her name, relating to the member of educational staff;
    (ii) explicit details relating to the member of educational staff’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, membership of trade unions, physical or mental health or condition, sexual life, the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings;
    (iii) personal details or identifying information relating to the pupil(s) involved;
    (iv) identifying information in regards to the ‘independent’ witnesses;
    (c) With application to subsection (4)(b) and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations of 2004 and section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, an educational institution may refuse compliance with a request on the basis that:-
    (i) the request, in terms of resources, is projected to exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £600;
    (ii) the request is deemed as ‘vexatious’;
    (iii) the request is one to which the educational institution on a prior occasion complied with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 within a reasonable time interval;

    8 - Educational establishments with registered faith denominations
    (1) Where the educational institution is defined as a ‘faith school’, references to the pursuit of partisan principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies shall not apply to that which parallels directly the registered faith of the educational institution, as long as:
    (a) parents are aware of the registered faith of the educational institution;
    (b) other religions are not portrayed in a ‘negative light’;
    (c) there are no evident conflicts of interest in the pursuit of partisan principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies.

    9 - Short title and extent
    (1) This Act may be cited as the Educational Impartiality Act 2017.
    (2) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    (3) This Act is to come into effect on the 1st of September 2017.
    Notes
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    Currently, the Education Act of 1996 makes weak provision for the punishment of establishments undertaking, participating or even advocating ‘indoctrination', simply stating that "the local education authority, governing body and head teacher shall forbid the pursuit of partisan political activities...or the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school."
    The act also makes reference to a duty to secure the balanced treatment of political issues - "The local education authority, governing body and head teacher shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils while they are in attendance at a maintained school, or taking part in extracurricular activities... they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views".
    The act makes no reference to the discipline of those partaking in 'indoctrination' so much so that is occurring on a regular basis. The issue is so prominent in schools nowadays that, as the Telegraph succinctly puts, "teacher who became face of Government recruitment drive warns that children are subjected to 'left-wing brainwashing' in classroom".
    "The head of computer science at St Mary’s and St John’s School in Hendon, north London, said pupils are being “indoctrinated to a left wing mentality” and encouraged to see the Conservative party as “evil”."
    Teachers should not dictate political belief - yes, people have different opinions (yes, in some people's eyes these are wrong), however, crucially, people should be free to develop these opinions without unwarranted influence.

    Sources: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/contents; http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/contents;http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents;http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents;http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...contents/made;

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    What? A teacher lets slip a political opinion and they're negatively impacted for life with a permanent mark on their DBS and internal record that must be declared? How is that fair?
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    (Original post by Conceited)
    What? A teacher lets slip a political opinion and they're negatively impacted for life with a permanent mark on their DBS and internal record that must be declared? How is that fair?
    'Letting slip' is different from the active 'pursuit' and 'promotion' of ideologies - including religious, political and socioeconomical.

    In all cases, punishments will be decided on a case-by-case basis, whereby the intentions are considered among past educational records.

    A teacher simply saying that they 'prefer' something is different from a teacher actively teaching that their belief is the only belief.

    This bill is not simply designed to punish those who have an opinion; rather it hopes to 'reinforce the inherent and necessary impartiality of educational institutions'.
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    (Original post by ns_2)
    'Letting slip' is different from the active 'pursuit' and 'promotion' of ideologies - including religious, political and socioeconomical.

    In all cases, punishments will be decided on a case-by-case basis, whereby the intentions are considered among past educational records.

    A teacher simply saying that they 'prefer' something is different from a teacher actively teaching that their belief is the only belief.

    This bill is not simply designed to punish those who have an opinion; rather it hopes to 'reinforce the inherent and necessary impartiality of educational institutions'.
    Isn't it hypocritical to claim reinforcement of impartiality but allow teachers to express an opinion?
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    How on earth can we stop a teacher from expressing a view? Even a witty joke could be seen as expressive of views. Sounds too controlling from me, will we next be claiming that the British Empire still exists and wiping it from the books?

    Too dangerous a bill
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    (Original post by Conceited)
    Isn't it hypocritical to claim reinforcement of impartiality but allow teachers to express an opinion?
    Everyone has the right to hold, and express (in certain situations), their opinions - teachers must, in their professional capacity, subdue said opinion to such an extent that a de facto state of impartiality is achieved.

    True impartiality can never be achieved; once again, the purpose of this bill is not to create 'thought-crime', rather it is to allow pupils to develop opinions through fact.

    The very face of the Government's 'Get Into Teaching' scheme has warned that pupils are being indoctrinated to a 'left wing mentality'.

    Whilst we may have varying political beliefs, I hope that we have developed them through the interpretation of fact - I respect this - pupils should too be able to do so without having constant and unwarranted influence from teaching professionals.
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    Debating with teachers at school about politics was an enjoyable part of lessons, to stop teachers from presenting their opinions to pupils, engaging in debates, and making cases for views is not something I support. I agree with parts of the bill to deal with extremism, however, that does not counter my dislike of the rest.
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    Abstain

    I understand the intentions behind it but I think the approach is too extreme for me.
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    (Original post by TitanCream)
    How on earth can we stop a teacher from expressing a view? Even a witty joke could be seen as expressive of views. Sounds too controlling from me, will we next be claiming that the British Empire still exists and wiping it from the books?

    Too dangerous a bill
    Expressing a view in itself is not an issue; it is the imbuement and inculcation of, usually partisan or sectarian, principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies that this bill wishes to tackle...

    i.e. extremism of both sides of the political spectrum.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    Debating with teachers at school about politics was an enjoyable part of lessons, to stop teachers from presenting their opinions to pupils, engaging in debates, and making cases for views is not something I support. I agree with parts of the bill to deal with extremism, however, that does not counter my dislike of the rest.
    If this view is shared, I will happily amend the bill to focus more on extremism and 'true indoctrination' (through amending/removing elements of chapter 4 and 5)
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    Creationists rejoice as under this they will not only be able to present intelligent design as an alternative, but in faith schools even the only truth.

    Flat earth enthusiasts are waiting in the wings.

    In order to not promote opinions that are partisan, teachers will also need to tell children gay marriage might have caused flooding and Jane Austen might not have died.
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    (Original post by ns_2)
    Expressing a view in itself is not an issue; it is the imbuement and inculcation of, usually partisan or sectarian, principles, opinions, points of view, ideals, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies that this bill wishes to tackle...

    i.e. extremism of both sides of the political spectrum.
    I find it very hard to restrict this.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    Creationists rejoice as under this they will not only be able to present intelligent design as an alternative, but in faith schools even the only truth.

    Flat earth enthusiasts are waiting in the wings.

    In order to not promote opinions that are partisan, teachers will also need to tell children gay marriage might have caused flooding and Jane Austen might not have died.
    Indoctrination does not engulf the teaching of what is considered to be the 'norm'.

    Teaching pupils that money is required to live in the modern world shall not be deemed indoctrination; teaching pupils that money is the root of all evil shall be.
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    This seems overly extreme to write into hard legislation and might be better as a set of guidelines or something.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    Debating with teachers at school about politics was an enjoyable part of lessons, to stop teachers from presenting their opinions to pupils, engaging in debates, and making cases for views is not something I support. I agree with parts of the bill to deal with extremism, however, that does not counter my dislike of the rest.
    Never did I expect to agree with you!
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    I can see the merits of this Bill but I feel it would be very difficult to enforce. What's to say teacher B becomes aware of teacher A showing clear bias - teacher B also shares that biased opinion and agrees with teacher A. Is teacher B really going to "grass up" their colleague?
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    I believe it's a positive and realistic step in achieving impartiality in educational institutions.

    Aye.
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    Aye.
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    Teachers have been disrespected enough without the increased pressure of being hyper-sensitive of the sanctions they may be faced with from expressing their own opinions.

    We should be giving teachers more freedom rather than increasing stress.

    (Original post by TitanCream)
    Too dangerous a bill
    Put more succinctly than I could.
    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    In order to not promote opinions that are partisan, teachers will also need to tell children gay marriage might have caused flooding and Jane Austen might not have died.
    :rofl:
    (Original post by ns_2)
    Teaching pupils that money is required to live in the modern world shall not be deemed indoctrination; teaching pupils that money is the root of all evil shall be.
    And that, is where politics interferes too much in education.

    You describe teaching here as though teachers have absolute power over children's minds. The one thing I can observe from 14 years in the education system, a child's mind has no controller.
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    (Original post by ns_2)
    Indoctrination does not engulf the teaching of what is considered to be the 'norm'.

    Teaching pupils that money is required to live in the modern world shall not be deemed indoctrination; teaching pupils that money is the root of all evil shall be.
    Actually under this bill you can't do that because you'd be indoctrinating a capitalist agenda and partisan against the communist party.
 
 
 
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