Report: Critical Race Theory is endemic in British schools
New data shows that UK education is almost as captured as America
As many as 59% of British schoolchildren are encountering Critical Race Theory (CRT)-derived terms ‘white privilege’, ‘unconscious bias’ or ‘systemic racism’ at school. Add in two critical gender concepts, ‘patriarchy’ and the idea that there are innumerable genders, and the share of schoolchildren exposed to Critical Social Justice (CSJ)-linked ideas rises to 73%.
‘There is scant evidence [CRT’s] associated concepts are widespread in British schools,’ claimed Daniel Trilling in the Guardian. ‘A handful of Right-wing commentators have been trying to import the moral panic into the UK, mainly via the pages of the Telegraph and Spectator.’ But my findings demolish this trope that CRT is only being taught in a few isolated radical outposts, like the American School in London. Indeed, it reinforces the findings of Don’t Divide Us, which found that among the minority of local councils which responded to their information requests, many instructed schools to adopt CRT-based teaching materials.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
Findings stem from a representative April 2022 YouGov survey of over 1,500 18-20 year-olds I commissioned for my new report, ‘The Political Culture of Young Britain’, just released by Policy Exchange. The data shows that exposure is rising over time, with 68% of 20-year-olds having encountered CSJ in school, rising to 74% of 19-year-olds and 78% of 18-year-olds (still in school at the time of the survey). Comparative data indicates that UK schoolchildren are being taught between two-thirds and three-quarters as much CSJ as their American counterparts. CRT is nearly as common in Britain as it is in America.
Worse, these CRT and radical gender theory-derived concepts are being taught largely as fact, rather than as one perspective among others: 68% of those taught these ideas said that they were either not taught competing perspectives, or that they were told that the alternative views on offer were not ‘respectable’.
Young people who were taught more CSJ concepts are significantly more likely to endorse political correctness than those who were not. But the bigger impact is on fear and inter-group relations: young people taught the largest number of CSJ concepts are twice as likely as those taught no CSJ to say they feared being expelled, punished or shamed for their views when at school. Those most exposed are also significantly more likely to say they were uncomfortable criticising a black classmate compared to those taught no CSJ.
These findings coincide with alarming data on the scale of progressive illiberalism among young Britons revealed in a linked YouGov survey of 1,800 adults (May 2022) and Policy Exchange report, ‘The Politics of the Culture Wars in Contemporary Britain’. When asked, after a brief description of the case, whether Sussex University’s Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell was right to defend the academic freedom of Kathleen Stock, more young people aged 18-25 said ‘no’ (39%) than ‘yes’ (35%). By contrast, those over 50 backed Stock by a 75-19 margin. When asked whether J.K. Rowling should be dropped by her publisher, young people split evenly while the over-50s plumped 82-3 for Rowling. The biggest age gap is within the Left, between illiberal young Leftists and their liberal older counterparts.
Young people are, as the Rowling and Stock cases show, distinctly illiberal. They are also far more anti-national. For instance, 18-25s are evenly divided over whether Churchill’s statue should be removed from Parliament Square whereas those over 50 oppose it 83-6. Just 9% of 18-20 year-old women report a positive opinion of the wartime leader. When asked whether Britain is a racist country, the 18-25 group responded in the affirmative by a 61-39 margin compared to 35-65 against among the over-50s. Indeed, nearly 6 in 10 of these young people thought Britain was as or more racist than most countries.
Yet the wider British public is not woke. Across 25 questions on my adult survey, people opposed this position by more than two to one. Issues around cancel culture split the far Left from the moderate Left; CRT questions fragment the Left while mobilising the Right. For example, 73% of Tory, Brexit Party or Unionist voters ‘strongly disagree’ with moving Churchill from Parliament Square while only 5% of Labour, Lib Dem or other left-of-centre voters ‘strongly agree’ he should be moved.
CSJ is widely unpopular, yet seems to be running largely unopposed through all manner of public sector organisations, from schools to the civil service to the NHS. Given the obvious electoral potential to divide the Left and unite the Right that might be gained from campaigning on these issues, why have the Conservatives shied away from them? According to Matt Goodwin, the Tories have failed to lean into these realignment issues the way Republican counterparts like Glenn Youngkin or Ron DeSantis have because they are largely composed of status-obsessed business liberals: ‘Instead of driving the salience of these debates…[as with Brexit], the Tories steer clear of them..[as a] distraction from their primary interest, which is managing the economy.’
In allowing Labour and its media allies to reframe these questions as divisive side issues, the Conservatives have largely capitulated on questions of liberty and patriotism that are foundational to Western civilisation and Britain’s national cohesion. The full political impact of this neglect will become apparent in a generation, when new generations reared in a culture of anti-Toryism become the median voter and render the Conservatives the natural party of opposition.
Eric Kaufmann is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange.
The cancerous spread of far left identitarian ideolgy must be cut out of our institutions, or else the whole of western civilization will soon be bulldozed by those waiting in the wings for our culture to be so absorbed in self loathing it will have neither the capability of inclination to defend itself.
Theres a very good reason why Chinese owned interests are parroting and projecting back at us self-flagelating and cripplingly divisive leftist propadanda.
The weak, stupid, or actively malevolent fools at the Guardian and in our universities and educational collages are by my reckoning far more dangerous than any hostile army. They need to be rooted out and thrown into obscurity and not allowed to pollute the minds of the next generation with their Neo-Marxist drivel.
There was a more innocent time when I vowed to myself I wouldn’t make any attempt to politically influence my daughter. I thought that she should be permitted to draw her own conclusions. However, in the world we live in now she will almost certainly be seen in school and university as a blank slate to parasitised by utterly destructive ideas and in the process alienated from me and her wider family.
I honestly don’t know what to do or how to stop this march of insanity.
“ And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
As you recognise, if you don’t seek to influence your child’s values, then there is an entire educational establishment just waiting to fill her head with destructive and divisive leftist nonsense
. For the sake of the future, it’s a necessity for conservative parents to instil their values in to their children as early as possible, and to actively try to keep them away from educational establishment preaching woke dogma.
Not much can be done I fear. It’s generational as this article and all my experience indicates. My kids (all bright 20s) all share the sentiments of CT even if they don’t use the language – unless they’re winding their father up. They work in the public sector/NGOs and every single assumption there is ‘woke’. They swim in it and can’t see it for what it is.
Maybe they see perfectly well and choose not to follow the bigotry of their parents?
Ha! Quite. But why *assume* I am bigoted?
What a peculiar remark from someone who obviously originates from the ‘Bogside’ or worse.
What is peculiar about it? Only bigots could possibly get so exercised about the slightest suggestion of progressive theories.
Not sure where this Bogside place is or why you think I originate from there. Sounds charming though…
Only a bigot could get worked up that a majority of children believe things like “Britain is as or more racist than most countries” ? Have you ever left your living room? Do you know anything about the largest countries in the world, China and India, say nothing of Japan, Russia, Phillipines, the entire Middle East, and even the caste systems widespread throughout Africa? You know – everywhere in the world outside your sheltered western hubble? You might as well call somebody a sucker for opposing the teaching that Earth is flat – they do that too. Check out that wingnut theory, be right up your alley. Who needs reality?
The seeds were planted decades ago when the revolutionary aims of the Frankfurt School were given philosophical top-cover by post-structuralism. This allowed them to take possession of a confused post-war academic establishment.
Stir and bake for a very long time. Here are the fruits.
Yes, they have been patient and carried out their Long March through the institutions. Now look who have ranged against you if you hold a wayward opinion on some aspect of diversity or whatever – academia, big business (including sports), central government, the civil service, most of the media, even the official views of the armed forces.
It is like the Alamo, and heading for the same result.
Don’t despair, there will be a fight back and it will then look like ‘ZULU’!
Now there was a film clearly made before the days of BLM….
Oh for the days before blm, the world seemed to be semi sane. Now it has been turned upside down because of the demise of a-would be murderous, drug addled thug.
And a thoroughly decent policeman’s life ruined.
Whilst in DC another policeman, one Michael Byrd, in a fit of panic or ‘funk’ as used to call it, at point blank range, shoots and kills an unarmed woman and is ‘commended’ for his bravery and thus escapes prosecution.
Are you so lost that you are driven to defend a racially motivated murder because of the mere possibility that students may learn something other than your approved right wing agenda?
Are you referring to black Michael Byrd deliberately killing white Ashli Babbit or white Derek Chauvin inadvertently killing black George Floyd?
Chauvin obviously. And there was nothing inadvertent about his murder of George Floyd.
Babbit died while attempting to break into the US Congress and likely attempt to murder members of congress if she had been successful.
Foolish comparison, but a good way to tell me you’ve never worked in any federal, military, or likely even any state government building in your life. Don’t want to get shot? Don’t drive through the checkpoint at an air force base or run through the metal detector at a courtroom. Babbitt was deep into a restricted area with a violent mob that was actively beating their way through the doors and windows with sticks, as she climbed through the broken glass to go even deeper into a restricted area. Who cares if she personally was unarmed? She should’ve been shot 3 steps inside the first doorway, along with anyone else dumb enough to follow her, and only fools and traitors think otherwise. The only sad thing is that she was the only one who was killed, missed opportunity for some natural selection.
All of the institutions have been hijacked and left free to indoctrinate children. The Tories support this. This point should not be lost. We must remember that the leftward shift of the education system, and other institutions, has continued inexorably. The Conservative Party must die. If it does not, then Britain will not survive this existential crisis.
I’m afraid that until the Tories get a new generation of traditionalist leaders or get replaced by some other party, this woke-ward drift will only accelerate.
You are right, Matt, about the need for a new generation of traditionalists. The current bunch allow Labour (and worse) to set the agenda and just kind of go along with it, much like what were called Cuckservatives in the US.
A much tougher line is needed against the whole anti-white, anti-traditionalist agenda.
What we desperately need is a checklist of terms used at school or other signs in children that we can check for.
For instance, I decided reading this that i probably should check periodically if my brown skinned, Indian origin daughter is being fed terms like “white supremacy” etc. I thought unlikely as she is young and couldn’t comprehend, but that’s the issue, the Woke left that’s captured education try to get their indoctrination in early before the kids can think.
This one is from the USA.
This is a substack mostly written by Black people who don’t want to be saved by Liberal White Democrats, however good their intentions may be. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about the USA by reading the articles there.
just look at Detroit to see what could happen… Africa takes over America.. and its Mali, Congo, Burundi, etc….
I looked at the link you provided – that is so horribly depressing, misguided and truly awful.
Just discussed it with a friend who said it seemed as if there is a sneaky conspiracy underway – at first glance it seems to aim to remove advantage from white people but it really aims to ensure people of colour spend all their time feeling victimised and helpless and miss out on the learning/education which is vital for anyone, of any colour, religion etc to make their way in a technological, scientific world.
Well, read this one and get cheered up. 🙂
Great substack! Regular reader. Highly recommend.
What is going on in the minds of Tory MPs and ministers? What is the point of them?
They hear about children being taught this leftist rot; to hate their country, its culture and history; anti-scientific post modernist nonsense about biology. They hear it and sit on their hands and let it spread like a mind virus through all our institutions.
One can only conclude that those who now constitute the parliamentary Conservative Party are so far left, that they actually believe in and approve the teaching of this divisive, destructive nonsense.
The level of hate I have for the Tory Party far exceeds my traditional loathing of Labour. For twelve years the Tories have shamelessly betrayed fiscal and social conservatives. Every year it has become worse as the Tories drift further left. With the economically destructive Autumn Statement, the Tories finally pushed past Labour on the left of the political spectrum.
I’ll vote Reform if they put up a candidate in my constituency. If not, I am on the verge of voting Labour just ro do something to help destroy the irredeemable Tory Party in hope that it will be replaced by a real party of the Right.
Is the NBP still going
Anyone who teaches an ideology is actually indoctrinating ( including feminism and Kathleen Stock – she is caught up in ideological warfare). To indoctrinate is to prejudice. I just watched a YouTube video in which two mixed race people (man and a woman) watch a musical video and comment on it. The chosen video was to sir with love. They interpreted the film, whilst acknowledging they had not seen it, as a story about white prejudiced school children losing their racial prejudice. I saw the film when I was a child. I knew when I was watching the film that it was about racial prejudice and the class system. Sydney Poitier, the star, is black and his pupils are predominantly white working class – the dregs of society. He believes in them and through teaching them helps them believe in themselves. It is uplifting because it is humanising. The commentators were so schooled in racism any possibility of a more nuanced theme escaped them. They were blinded by prejudice. Mixed race children may have been taught to be ashamed of their non white component in the past but now they are being taught to be ashamed of their white component. Racial prejudice is just as powerful but is now in the opposite direction. I guess Hegel (I think) was right: thesis then antithesis followed by synthesis – racism then anti racism which hopefully will be followed by no racism.
I agree entirely about Kathleen Stock. She may have switched sides on one issue but she was a fellow traveller for many years.
Apparently she switched from being heterosexual to homosexual as well which suggests she needs group support and is not an independent thinker which at one time was a prerequisite for being a philosopher.
This is further evidence that the long march has reached destination, and that GB is on the way to being Maoized. This ideology has to be criminalised.
Why don’t you explain to us why, exactly, this “ideology” has to be criminalised? What are you criminalising?
Are you going to lock up teachers who may suggest, for instance, that cricket and trains weren’t a good trade for the mass murder, rape and theft committed in the name of the British Empire?
CRT is nothing more than Nazi-ideology repackaged in an Anti-racist skin. Unfortunately, I hold out little hope for the UK. Unlike their American counterparts, British parents appear to be totally apathetic to what their children are being taught in schools.
I fear you have misunderstood either CRT or Nazi ideology to a very significant degree. Or, as seems more likely, both…
No, the Judeo-Marxist origins of Critical Theory are the complete antithesis to NSDAP ideology.
Different races should excel and different things.. but they dont… some are more able than most, if not all others : that is fact. Why people wish to deny this empirical and clearly available evidential fact is quite beyond my understanding.
Why don’t you tell us which races are better than others, Nicky? If the empirical and clearly available evidence is there why not point it out to those of us whose racial shortcomings make us less able than you to find it?
Surely you know the answer to that?
For example Churchill stated that “the Jews are the aristocracy of the human race”. Was he incorrect Mr Mc Neil?
It’s just dumb politics from the right. The electorate, and not just white voters are primed to get behind anti woke policies.
It’s all I hear when talking to the average punter, especially the working class.
So are they watching “The Nightingale” movie ?
What has gone wrong with the comments system…..eg Graeme Mc Neil’s comments, 15 down, one word per line? And NO reply possible?
A little bit “rinky-dink” as they say!
ps. What has happened to ALL of Graeme Mc Neil’s comments?
I wanted my children educated, not indoctrinated, graduating with sensitive bullshit detectors and capable of discerning fact and opinion. Cannot be done by presenting only one side of a sociological/political argument.
I think they turned out pretty well, despite attending parochial schools. Still have to monitor them, even in their middle ages.
Are right wingers so afraid that their ideas will be rejected that even the merest mention of progressive theories send you into apoplexy?
CRT is an obscure academic theory taught at US law schools. Trust me, the kids at your local comp are not being taught CRT. Its a wedge issue that thugs like DeSantis use to alarm low information voters into voting against their own best interests.
I do not trust you because the evidence provided in this article and my interactions with my grandchildren (at my local comp) tell me that what have said is untrue.
Why don’t you tell us exactly what your “interactions” with your grandchildren have shown you?
I’ve asked them, some quotes/anecdotes.
We have an assembly every day. It is always about gay/trans rights or racism. One teacher held a special assembly to celebrate her 15year old daughter’s coming out.
My grandson was lectured on sexism in front of his form for having a cricket ball in his shorts pocket and waving it at two (male) friends. The teacher apparently had been utterly shocked by such a blatant display. She’d seen nothing like it in all her years of teaching.
The British Empire was a pretty bad thing.
Women are always discriminated against
The percentage of gay people must be about 50%
You can’t be angry with a black person.
I could go on. Fortunately both daughters are sensible people and don’t let it go.
I think your grandson may be having you on. Either that or you have a very active imagination. The story about the cricket ball in the shorts sounds like something you read in a Biggles book 60 years ago – not much like a contemporary school.
The rest of it sounds like you are simply reciting a list of things that you don’t like and attributing them to some mythical educators. You’ll have to do better than this, old chap.
As for the British Empire, I think those who were colonized, stolen from, raped and murdered by it were not all that thrilled about it…
The grandson story came from my daughter who was outraged, went to see the head about it and managed to force an apology from the teacher. Boys making genital jokes will never go out of fashion.
All the rest are genuine quotes from conversations I have deliberately initiated.
If you want to discuss any topic you’ll have to do better than just dismissing the other side’s arguments as lies.
As for the British Empire, many who have a national infrastructure, some vestige of a democratic system and the rule of law may be happy about it.
It was good and bad, like most human endeavour. Teaching only the bad side is indoctrination.
So far you have provided zero evidence for your belief that this is all a myth. So over to you.
Providing us with some hokey quotes that just so happen to word for word align with your CRT fantasies is hardly convincing. Even the author of the article doesn’t make those claims.
Why would the teacher apologise to anyone? That doesn’t make any sense. She goes from being “utterly shocked” one minute to apologising the next? I’m sure your daughter is very persuasive but that is quite the volte face!
Your views on the empire are why teaching history has changed. 50 years ago the likes of you would never have admitted there was anything bad at all about the empire.
Still no evidence then?
Maybe stop being told what to think by Wapo and NYT and go and ask around?
Evidence? Like some cockamamie stories about your grandkids? Give me peace, gramps.
Oh dear, Twitter no longer suiting you, struggling to operate Mastadon?
Well now you’ve found an outlet for your tantrum, go have a cookie.
I’ll take this as meaning that you are giving up with the grandkids stories. Good – they were pretty weak, especially the bit about your daughter forcing an apology from the teacher. I suggest you work a bit harder on your scenarios, try to make them at least slightly realistic.
If I may reply here to your comments about Babbitt & Floyd, as the comments‘system’ seems to have broken down above?
Had Babbitt been armed with an M16 and a .45 Magnum I may have agreed with you. As it was she WASN’T, she was UNARMED. Do you really think she was going to strangle Pelosi & Co with her bare hands? Dream on sunshine!
As for Floyd, a more worthless human being would be hard to imagine. A violent, habitual criminal of King King dimensions, and so riddled with drugs as to be a toxic nightmare. If the US Justice system had “been worth its salt “ he would have been electrocuted years ago.
There were thousands of rabid lunatics trying to storm the capitol. They had erected gallows outside and were chanting “hang Mike Pence”. What do you think was going to happen, Charles? Were they going to sit down and have a nice chat with Pelosi and AOC about potential voting irregularities?!?! Grow up, sunshine.
Any normal person who watched Chauvin abuse his powers to such an extent that he thought he could get away with murdering a man in slow motion in public was sickened. I don’t think many agree with you that executing people you don’t like is the role of the US justice system, however much the police would like it to be.
Sorry Graeme you are obviously a ‘male hysteric’ as we used to say.
Sadly there is NO known cure.
How old are you?!?!?
You, on the other hand, are a garden variety racist. Far less interesting than your Victorian era quackery but sadly much more accurate.
I’m sorry but you are far too vulgar and ill informed for me to continue this sterile discussion.
All the best.
Toodle pip. old boy – better luck next time!
Why don’t you go watch Zulu again and dream of happier times for you…
Did you actually look at those so- called gallows, drama queen McNeil? They were purely performative, scaled down to half size and wouldn’t hold the weight of an adult. Stop repeating left wing hyperbole.
You are a buffoon Graeme. A troll, a sophist. An attention seeker.
Trust you? Either you live under a rock or you’re an unreliable witness. I work in a STEM department at a New Zealand university. The entire university has embarked on a “decolonization and indigenization” process after a bogus review concluded that the institution was “systemically racist”. No proper evidence was put forward to support this CRT-inspired claim, just “lived experience” anecdotes. In my department we are being encouraged to enroll in critical theory courses being taught by activists.
Did you wander out of 2011?
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe