This week, the Scottish Union for Education was formed under the banner ‘Education not Indoctrination’. Made up of parents, teachers and lecturers, the Union is for everyone in Scotland who recognises that the Scottish education is in serious trouble. The aim is to promote education – real education. They’ve launched a Substack to allow experts and campaigners to have a voice, and to develop the ideas and activities that will allow ordinary Scots to challenge the indoctrination that is replacing education in their schools and universities.
Scotland’s schools are cascading down the international league tables for educational achievement. One of the reasons appears to be a shift in schools from a focus on education and knowledge to an obsession with the re-education of values.
Describing what you need to be a teacher and headteacher in Scotland, the Standard for Headship document says practically nothing about education as a thing in itself, nothing about the importance of knowledge as most people understand it, and an awful lot about the values you must have to work in a Scottish school today.
In essence, the document describes teaching as a form of social justice warriorship.
Teaching is no longer about the passion for subject knowledge and the ability to pass on this knowledge to the next generation. Rather, it is about ensuring political and emotionally correct values are engineered through our schools.
Teaching is not about developing excellence in education, in historical knowledge, maths, English and so on. It is now about “sustainability”, “inclusion”, “diversity”, understanding “trauma” and “committing to social justice”. Indeed, while the term ‘sustainable’ or ‘sustainability’, including “learning for sustainability” (whatever that means) is mentioned dozens of times, the term ‘excellence’ doesn’t get a single mention.
Teachers now sound like hippy environmentalists who must prioritise “valuing (the) environment”, respecting ecological diversity and “having a deep connection to the natural world”. Indeed, following the line of the anti-enlightened Thomas Malthus who was condemned as an arch reactionary by Karl Marx in the 19th Century, teachers must now have “respect for our natural world and its limited resources”.
Teachers must be therapists, “promoting health and wellbeing” as part of the responsibility of being a “corporate parent” while developing their own “emotional intelligence”. They must ensure a “safe”, “caring” ethos, “enabling” and “empowering” while relating to “protected characteristics” and “intersectionality” and “the influence of gender”.
As one commentator noted, “When it comes to the politicisation of the curriculum, Scotland stands at the forefront of turning education into a form of mass social engineering.” Despite the convoluted language, he notes, these curriculum engineers are essentially promoting a “counter cultural agenda”.
Today, the ideal of a politically neutral education system is being openly trashed based on the fantastical notion that “Scotland’s place in the world, our history, our differences and diversity… and culture (are) based on social justice”.
What is essentially a manifesto for woke warriors is now the basis of our education system. Re-educating the masses in correct social justice values is the new purpose of schooling. Did you vote for this? I know I didn’t.
The teaching document is full of talk about “diversity”, about “challenging discrimination”, about “respect” and “challenging assumptions (and) biases”. But like our censorious cancel culture, there is no respect for different opinions or outlooks within the teaching profession, no recognition of the incredible discrimination and biases of the new elites who now dictate the nature of schooling. They promote the need to be ‘critical’ about all things except themselves and the doctrine they are forcing upon parents and their children.
So what does all this mean for anyone who is not a woke warrior who wants to become a teacher?
Talking to an educational expert, she noted that, if student teachers “don’t subscribe to the particular interpretation of ‘social justice’ that is currently in vogue, then they won’t achieve registration with the GTC (the General Teaching Council)”. This, she added, “is very disturbing”.
Educational standards in Scotland will continue to collapse because the people who run our schools and who are allowed to teach our children are not educators, but social engineers. For the sake of the country and our children, this needs to be challenged.
Stuart Waiton is chairperson of the Scottish Union for Education that was launched on February 2nd 2023. If you’re a concerned Scottish parent, you can contact him at email@example.com.