Call for BNP ban from schools

By Ian Dunt

A leading teaching union is taking legal advice on how to ban BNP members from serving as school governors.

NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, is poised to seek a judicial review under the provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976 regarding the role of any BNP councillor serving on a governing body.

The move puts the far-right party in something of a pincer movement, with similar moves to establish the legality of its whites-only membership criteria underway by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The NASUWT’s general secretary, Chris Keates, has written to all lead members for local authority children’s services reminding them of their duties under the Race Relations Act, urging them to ensure that they are compliant with its provisions and to take steps to protect children, young people and staff from exposure to the BNP’s political agenda.

Letters have also been written to the Local Government Association, the National Governors’ Association and to the schools’ minister Vernon Coaker, requesting them to issue appropriate advice to their constituent bodies.

Mr Keates said: “The BNP is cynically using and abusing the local and national democratic process in an attempt to promote and legitimise its vile agenda.

“The veil of respectability the BNP seeks by fielding candidates in national and local elections should not be allowed to distract people from the danger this organisation poses.

“Wherever the BNP has a presence, it breeds and promotes intolerance, violence, and community fragmentation. No right-minded person wants children, young people and staff in schools exposed to their pernicious agenda of hatred and discrimination.”

Party leader Nick Griffin recently admitted the BNP would be forced to vote on changing its membership criteria in the face of the legal challenge against it, and that a debate would now take place as to how to establish the change.