Brighton and Hove City Council – Racial Literacy 101 Training

DDU supporter, parent and Brighton resident Adrian Hart first raised the alarm about Brighton and Hove City Council’s (BHCC) new ‘anti-racist schools’ plan in June 2020. Racial Literacy 101 (RL101) training for teachers, informed by a highly partisan and controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT) ‘lens’ imported from America, was scheduled to be rolled out across Brighton schools. Adrian alerted DDU to the stunningly underhand and anti-democratic way the policy had come to be adopted. Green Councillor Hannah Clare seemingly arranged that ‘public consultation’ on the policy should take place only with privately hired ‘diversity consultants’ and hastily formed local lobby groups who already shared her personal support for CRT. BHCC policy documents described local residents who disagreed with concepts like white privilege, unconscious bias and systemic racism as ‘potential barriers to implementation’, rather than concerned citizens opposed to the racialization of children.

DDU’s petition against the anti-racist schools strategy was signed by 5,000 people and although BHCC tried to block Brighton parents from viewing the Racial Literacy 101 training that was informing their children’s education it was finally exposed in the mainstream media. The training had advised teachers not to treat children as though they were ‘racially innocent’ and informed them that colourblind anti-racism was a ‘pillar of white supremacy’, views wildly at odds with those held by most British families.

As a result of DDU’s lobbying, BHCC’s actions were raised by Sir John Hayes in the Houses of Parliament and an inquiry was announced by Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi. The Department for Education felt it necessary to issue guidance to educators about their responsibility to keep political partisanship out of the classroom. While DDU broadly welcomed this reminder, the guidance had serious weaknesses, including the imprecise definition of racism and the failure to provide a clear process of accountability for those schools choosing activism over impartiality.

In March 2022 DDU published a case study of events in BHCC, exposing the council’s casual disregard of the democratic policy making process and calling on local authorities to uphold the colourblind views of the majority. We continue to support Brighton parents and teachers pushing back against Critical Race Theory in the classroom.

DDU Petition to BHCC – Stop Teaching our Kids that they are Racists or Victims!

July 2022

Click here to view the DDU Petition against Racial Literacy 101 Training in Brighton, signed by over 5,000 people.

DDU CEO Dr Alka Sehgal-Cuthbert criticises ‘Anti-Racist Schools’ on Andrew Doyle’s Free Speech Nation

July 2021

Telegraph journalist Ewan Somerville exposes divisive ‘Racial Literacy 101’ teacher training in Brighton

‘Children as young as seven are to be told they are not “racially innocent” because they view “white at the top of the hierarchy” as part of diversity training for teachers.’ Ewan Somerville, Telegraph. Click here to read the full article.

Sir John Hayes slams Racial Literacy 101 training
at Education Questions

January 2022

‘Will the minister investigate how much local authorities are spending on so called anti-racist education, which is based on deceit, spreads dismay and causes division?’

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi calls for inquiry into BHCC’s ‘Anti-Racist Schools Strategy’

February 2022

‘The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has sent officials to investigate Brighton and Hove Council over reports that ‘concerning’ race theories are being taught in schools run by the Green-led local authority’. Mark Tovy, Daily Mail. Click here to read the full article.

‘Nadhim Zahawi intervenes over council’s “concerning” race lessons for children as young as seven’. Ewan Somerville, Telegraph. Click here to read the full article.

DDU supporter and Brighton resident Adrian Hart discussing BHCC’s Racial Literacy 101 Training with Mike Graham of TalkRadio.

BHCC Forced to Roll Back on Racial Literacy 101 Training

March 2022

‘The new strategy, published this week, has also removed the entire section endorsing Critical Race Theory (CRT), a radical ideology which deploys the concept of white privilege and rejects a “colour-blind” approach.’ Ewan Somerville, Telegraph. Click here to read the full article.

‘If only schools could shelve the “emotional literacy” classes and the “racial literacy” sessions and maybe focus on teaching kids how to read and write. That way, when they’re old enough, they can formulate their own arguments and defences, and not be at the mercy of agenda-ridden adults caught in a torturous tangle.’ Celia Walden, Telegraph. Click here to read the full article.

DDU Case Study Exposes Brighton’s Racial Literacy 101 Training

March 2022

Click here to read the DDU Case Study on BHCC’s Racial Literacy 101 Training.