Toddler ‘extremism’ to be tackled by new education secretary

Plans to tackle "extremism" among toddlers are to be announced by the government in new rules for nursery education.

Nurseries will be stripped of funding if they "promote extremist views" to children as young as two, under proposals to be announced by the new education secretary Nicky Morgan.

"There can be no place for extremist views anywhere in the education system," she will say.

"The changes we are making today will ensure that all early years providers and schools are aligned with the need to protect children from views that are considered extreme," 

Toddlers will be taught "fundamental British values" such as  "sharing", taking turns and "challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes."

"One of the most important roles of the education system is that it should prepare young people for life in modern Britain," Morgan will say.

"I am clear that public money should not be used to support any school or early years provider that does not support this aim because it seeks to promote ideas and teachings than run counter to fundamental British values."

The lessons will be taught in an "age-appropriate way" according to the education secretary.

Labour attacked Morgan's first policy announcement as yet more "headline-chasing" by the government.

"Morgan's first intervention is more headline chasing from a Tory government failing to focus on the most important thing in education: delivering a world-class teacher in every classroom," a Labour source said.

"There is no concrete intelligence about individual nurseries that demands immediate action," they added.

Government sources admit they have no reason to believe toddlers are being indoctrinated in extremism, but are taking precautionary action, following revelations about radicalisation in Birmingham schools.

The teaching of creationism in nurseries will also be outlawed by the new rules. However, the government insist that nurseries will still be able to teach bible stories to children.