View the DDU Statement on ‘The Black Nursery Manager’ as a PDF here: DDU Satement
Last week The Telegraph carried an article about third-party organisations in Early Years education, including ‘The Black Nursery Manager’, Liz Pemberton. In the piece, a quote attributed to me, described the material in question as ‘Maoist.’ To clarify, the quote was clipped from the following longer statement:
“There is something very Maoist about the attempt to reach children as early as possible and to inculcate in them the foundations of radical racial-thinking, often without the issue of parental consent even entering into the equation at all.”
I have not intimated that Ms Pemberton, or anyone connected to her consultancy, is a ‘Maoist’, nor do I believe this to be the case. The statement above was explicitly in reference to approaches being employed to inculcate a divisive and contested ideology into the minds of children at Early Years stage, something I compared to the indoctrination of children adopted in China under the leadership of Chairman Mao.
Speaking in defence of her work, Ms Pemberton made the following statement –
“I want to educate people on how to embed anti-racist and inclusive practices in their work, and why it’s vital to do so in the early years sector when children are at such an impressionable age.”
I believe that the desire to reach children at an ‘impressionable age’ is not an aspect of these approaches that is contested either by advocates or by their critics. What is contested however is the ideological and intellectual basis of these approaches themselves.
Ms Pemberton operates one of many third-party education providers in the UK that provide teacher training and education services informed by and based on Critical Race Theory and intersectional approaches to identity, race relations, anti-racism and integration.
Critical Race Theory is a series of beliefs about society, not facts.
- Don’t Divide Us believe parents and educators must be made aware of the contested nature of these ideological approaches to race.
- Don’t Divide Us believes that such approaches must not be presented to parents, educators or ‘impressionable’ children as objective fact.
- Don’t Divide Us believes that where public money is being spent in the promotion of contested ideology to children or their educators, the public should be fully aware, fully informed and consulted through democratic processes.
- Don’t Divide Us opposes the belief that nurseries need to be decolonised and that infants need race awareness training.
- Don’t Divide Us opposes the belief that the UK is systemically and institutionally racist.
- Don’t Divide Us opposes the idea that colourblind approaches are ‘proven’ to have failed to combat racism, promote integration or improve social cohesion.
- Don’t Divide Us opposes the belief that children ‘attach value to skin colour’ or naturally form and observe ‘racial hierarchies’ without the intervention of activist educators.
- Don’t Divide Us is committed to opposing racially divisive ideology and policy in the UK education sector and beyond.
Alka Sehgal Cuthbert – Head of Education Strategy
Don’t Divide Us