'Championing the rights of children'

Nicky Morgan: toddlers must learn 'British values'

Garry Fri 08 Aug 2014 11:14

Education secretary allows local authorities to cut off funding to nurseries promoting 'extremist views' – including creationism.

Children still in nappies will be taught "fundamental British values," according to a policy announcement to be made by the new education secretary, Nicky Morgan.

In her first pronouncement since taking over following the demotion of Michael Gove, Morgan is to say she will allow local authorities to cut off state funding to nurseries that "promote extremist views" – including the teaching of creationism – and add the promotion of British values to the early years curriculum in England, covering pre-school education.

"One of the most important roles of the education system is that it should prepare young people for life in modern Britain. I am clear that public money should not be used to support any school or early years provider that does not support this aim because it seeks to promote ideas and teachings than run counter to fundamental British values," Morgan will say.

The announcement is to come as a response to a consultation on early years education, published on Friday morning.

The news follows on from the actions taken by Morgan's predecessor in the wake of the "Trojan horse" affair involving a group of schools in Birmingham.

The move is likely to raise alarm among early years educators at the politicising of nursery and daycare provision, as well as questions of practicality given the diverse range of childcare provision that receives state funding, including nannies.

Labour was quick to attack the move as a distraction, pointing out that "there is no concrete intelligence about individual nurseries that demands immediate action," according to the report.

Read more... (The Guardian - 8 August)