Teacher are pushing left-wing views in classrooms and putting working-class pupils off school with ideas at odds with their “family’s beliefs”, a former Conservative cabinet minister has claimed.
She said: “I would say for a long period of time, I would never have known what my teacher thought, politically or in any other way. They wouldn’t have tried to indoctrinate me.
“I am now hearing that people aren’t teaching you what they need to – they’re overly indoctrinating you. It’s gone political, people are saying it has gone to the left, they’re forcing ideas on you.”
Ms McVey told the Blue Collar Conservatism conference in Mansfield: “I think [it] needs to be removed from the whole educational system – a left-learning bias or an educational bias in the whole of the education platform.”
The Tory MP for Tatton also suggested “white working-class lads” were particularly turned off by ideas at odds with their “family’s beliefs” on Brexit.
“The reason I bring that up, when we talk again about white working-class lads maybe being disengaged, I’m thinking about what was the vote in Mansfield? What was the vote in Ashfield? It was a very big Brexit vote,” Ms McVey told the audience.
“And I’m thinking to myself, are people thinking, ‘Why do I want to be engaged in a classroom if somebody doesn’t think like me, doesn’t vote like me, and you know what, they’re now telling me what is it and questioning my belief or my family’s beliefs.”
She added: “And that’s why I think you need to remove all of that from the classroom.”
In a later question and answer session at the conference, education secretary Gavin Williamson said “political impartiality” needed to be respected in the classroom.
Mr Williamson, who was not asked about the current Covid-19 cases spike at UK universities in a pre-recorded interview with Ms McVey, said: “We’ve got to ensure there is political impartiality right across the spectrum.
“Educational organisations are state funded and you’ve got to ensure that you do have that impartiality and that you've got to make sure there is a broad spectrum of views.
“I’m sure you’ve spoken about it, I’ve spoken about it, of the importance of freedom of speech, of making sure people aren’t ‘no platformed’.”
The cabinet minister said the idea of “no platforming” mainstream politicians “shouldn’t be tolerated” in higher education – calling the decision by an Oxford University society in March to cancel a talk by former home secretary Amber Rudd as “crazy”.