Balls to investigate BNP presence in schools

By Ian Dunt

There will be an investigation into the extent of BNP involvement in schools, children’s secretary Ed Balls told the Labour conference this afternoon.

“I am today asking the former chief inspector of schools, Maurice Smith, to examine the evidence and make recommendations,” he told delegates in Brighton.

“I want us to be confident that we have all the powers we need to keep racism and BNP activity out of our schools.”

The comments open the door to a ban on BNP members working in teaching or sitting on educational boards.

That’s a policy which teachers’ union NASUWT has been recommending for some time now, but with little effect.

Activists have been pointing out that BNP members should be under the same regulations as the police – who ban BNP members from serving – because of the because of the power they have over children.

Talking to later Mr Balls said he expected the report to be in by the end of the year.

“I’m not going to jump to conclusions,” he said. “But I will do whatever it takes.”