Political bias in the classroom

The Scottish Conservatives fully support unbiased political education in our schools. Our pupils are the future of our country, so it is critical that they gain a solid understanding of a wide range of political beliefs and current issues.

Teachers have an obligation to be objective and professional when distributing information, with the purpose of stimulating discussion and independent thought.  Pupils must be exposed to all sides of an argument in order to have a well-formed opinion and to further develop their own ideas, but at no time should that cross over into the expression of politically partisan opinions where they are held by any individual teacher.

Unfortunately, pro-SNP material seeping into our classrooms is not a new trend. Recently, an S1 Modern Studies class was given a 34-page booklet and urged to come to their own conclusions about issues including independence. This contained 16 pictures of the First Minister and other SNP politicians and shows two completed ballot papers with the boxes ticked for pro-independence parties. There was only one picture of a Labour MSP and logo, and no mention of the Scottish Conservatives. On another occasion, an S3 Modern Studies class, were asked to compile a list of Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘important policies.’ Pupils were given ‘useful’ links, one of which goes to the SNP’s website. After listing the achievements, it concludes: ‘If you haven’t yet, join the SNP today to help secure independence…’ However, the SNP Government seem unconcerned about addressing the problem.

Parents should have the opportunity to raise with the headteacher any concerns they have over perceived bias.