A LONDON school that hit the headlines this week after becoming embroiled in protests from its students over what they classed to be a ‘racist’ uniform policy, has buckled to numerous demands.
The headmaster has now confirmed that not only will the nation’s flag no longer be flown with pride at the academy, but that the school uniform policy would be reviewed and additional changes to the curriculum considered.
Pimlico Academy made changes after Mr Smith’s arrival last September included banning hairstyles that ‘block people’s view’ and hijabs that are ‘too colourful’, however these will now be overturned.
Despite none of the policies being racist, the offence taken by students added with escalating tension and unrest at the school, has also led to further potential concessions to be made, including changing the history curriculum so that it is no longer chronological. Many of the children protestors had claimed that studying by chronology favours ‘white British monarchs’ over BAME figures of history).
The move could see pupils no longer learning about Winston Churchill, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, and many other historically important white British monarchs, politicians, inventors, heroes and heroines.
In a previous incident, the British flag was removed by students and set on fire. This too, will now no longer be allowed at the school.
The development is an example of the growing influence and power left-wing student unions are gaining over their superiors, with the school’s union being behind the protest and having recently passed a vote of no confidence in the Academy’s headmaster.
Responding to the headmaster’s surrender, Conservative MP Bob Blackman said that the situation at the school is ‘bizarre’ and that taking down the union flag is ‘ridiculous’.
He said: “There are things where there could be room for manoeuvre if they have got recalcitrant children… but to back down over flying the union flag is totally unacceptable. It is totally unacceptable to have a position whereby the flag of our country is not allowed to fly above public buildings.”
The school’s headmaster oddly even praised protesters, saying in a statement: ‘The right to protest is a civil liberty which, in the United Kingdom, we all enjoy, one that was hard fought-for and which not everyone in the world is fortunate to have.
‘Our students are bright, courageous, intelligent young people, passionate about the things that matter to them and acutely attuned to injustice. I admire them hugely for this though I regret that it came to this.’
He added: ‘The issue of the flying of the Union flag was discussed at length. We acknowledge that this symbol is a powerful one which evokes often intense reactions. We have listened to the concerns of students, parents and the wider community about it.
‘After Easter, we will conduct a review of this and, as part of that, consult with all the academy’s stakeholders to elicit their feedback. In the meantime, and until that review is concluded, the Union flag will not be flown at the academy.’