Thursday, 7 April 2011

Mark Walker tries to get a straight answer out of the Department for Education. They want to ban 'extremism' from schools, but they can't define what extremism is; then they say it's 'unnecessary' to define it. I guess they're just too scared to say 'anyone who disagrees with us':

2 November 2010 – Mark Walker to Michael Gove, Education Secretary:

Dear Mr. Gove,

I am furious at your stance on BNP teachers. I am a proud member of the British National Party and was a teacher until fascists like you interfered and ruined my excellent career. I never ever preached my politics at school, had the best GCSE results in the county and Ofsted found me to be an ‘excellent’ teacher. YOU need more teachers like me, not fewer. I can assure you that I will take this blatant breach of the Human Rights Act to the highest level.

You know for an absolute fact that we are not fascists and Nazis and if you honestly believe that we are then it simply goes to prove how out of touch you are. I am watching this great country being destroyed before my very eyes. I hope that you are proud of your attempted contribution to this process.

Mark Walker,Gulf War Veteran and former teacher

15 December 2010 – Department of Education to Mark Walker:

Dear Mr Walker

Thank you for your email of 2 November addressed to the Secretary of State about extremism. Due to the large amount of letters and emails the Secretary of State receives, I have been asked to reply on his behalf.

The Coalition Government have made it clear that preventing extremism is a priority. They believe that behaviour that is of an extremist tenor is not compatible with being a teacher. It is vitally important that the Government ensures that necessary and appropriate powers are in place to deal with teachers who promote inappropriate views, behaviour or discrimination, including those who are affiliated to organisations which promote extremism.

The Department are therefore looking into whether the right measures are in place to prevent extremism in our schools. They want to make sure that head teachers and governors are able to deal with issues and behaviour associated with extremism where it occurs amongst the teaching profession, and that they have the right levels of support and confidence to take action when appropriate.

The intention is to introduce new measures to ensure that these matters are addressed within new arrangements to regulate those teachers whose professional behaviour or capability falls significantly below acceptable professional standards. You may wish to note that proposals on these new arrangements are referred to in The 2010 White Paper – The Importance of Teaching which can be accessed at the following linkhttp://www.education.gov.uk/b0068570/the-importance-of-teaching/.

I hope that this helps to set out clearly the Government’s position on this matter.

Yours sincerely
Jenny Ross
Public Communications Unit
www.education.gov.uk

23 December 2010 – Mark Walker to Department of Education:

Can you therefore define 'extremist' and 'extremism' please?

Regards,
Mark Walker

15 January 2011 – Department of Education to Mark Walker:

Dear Mr Walker,

Thank you for your further email of 23 December about extremism.
I can confirm that what Ministers have signalled in the White Paper – The Importance of Teaching is their intention to look at how best to regulate the profession, particularly where capability, professionalism and behaviour fall short of the standards expected. As a consequence of this work Ministers want to be sure that employers are able to deal effectively with issues and behaviour associated with extremism where this occurs in schools. That is why they are looking at the effectiveness of existing measures, whether these need to be revised and the appropriateness of any new measur es. The intention is to ensure that our school leaders are well placed to make judgements and decisions where they consider that behaviour associated with extremism has occurred amongst the teaching profession.

Yours sincerely
Pat Murison
Public Communications Unit
www.education.gov.uk

15 January 2011 – Mark Walker to Department of Education:

Can you define 'extremism' please?

Regards,
Mark Walker

13 February 2011 – Department of Education to Mark Walker:

Dear Mr Walker

Thank you for your further email of 15 January. I apologise for the delay in sending you a response.
My earlier reply explained the Government’s intentions for regulating the teaching profession and addressing extremism, as well as details of some of the measures that are currently in place in schools.
We have now introduced a new Education Bill which sets out in more detail our plans to regulate the profession. Our intention is to simplify arrangements associated with the conduct and professionalism of teachers and ensure that heads and governors have the right measures to deal effectively with issues and behaviour, including those associated with extremism where it occurs in schools.
In doing so our aim is to avoid the introduction of prescriptive measures and avoid unnecessary definitions by introducing simple measures that rely on the professional judgement of school leaders. Further details will be announced once we are in a position to do so.

Yours sincerely

Pat Murison
Public Communications Unit
www.education.gov.uk

13 February 2011 – Mark Walker to Department of Education:

Dear Mr. Murison,

I asked you to define 'extremism'. You seem to have a problem in doing so. Are you suggesting that I am an extremist, whatever one of them is?

Regards,
Mark Walker

7 April 2011 – Department of Education to Mark Walker:

Dear Mr Walker

Thank you for your further email of 13 February asking about the definItion of extremism. I apologise for the delay in sending you a response.

I appreciate that you are seeking a Departmental definition, however as explained previously we believe this approach to be unnecessary and confirm that the Department has no intention to do so. There is nothing further that we can now add and as such do not intend to respond further on this issue

Yours sincerely
Pat Murison
Public Communications Unit
www.education.gov.uk


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