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For the third time in less than a year I am sharing a worksheet on migration handed out in a school in England. This was given to Year 9 Geography students. The exercise looks at the impacts of migration, singling out Polish EU citizens. Let's have a closer look. 1/
The worksheet was presented as a case study for consideration of the effects of migration. While the worksheet does not just focus on negative impacts, they are a key concern. The top point made is the most shocking: migration does not cause racial tensions; racists do. 2/
I have never seen anything as bad as this before. Baseless references to social unrest; to a negative impact on the elderly who, according to the worksheet, live in 'fear of being mugged/assaulted'; to rubbish building up; and to children being at risk of catching diseases. 5/
It happens rarely, but I truly am speechless about all of this. This is completely unacceptable. The best bits are misleading, the worst bits are lies employing a shameful rhetoric - one that could potentially serve to directly stir hate against the Polish community. 6/
The worst part of the worksheet is, however, the section entitled 'Impacts on Peterborough', which sets out the impact of Polish migration (NB: the grammatical errors in this section made me double-check on where this came from, but parents have confirmed origin etc to me). 4/
To single out one community of EU citizens is, of course, problematic in any case. But what worries me the most is that this is the third time that the Polish community has been singled out on a school worksheet in this way. Look at this previous case: https://twitter.com/cliodiaspora/status/975444935976607744 7/
The worksheet is not fit for purpose and must be withdrawn. I am also very concerned because there is a Polish student in the class where this worksheet was used. The student, I am given to understand, is 'extremely upset' - and who wouldn't be if this was about us. 9/
Three worksheets in less than a year that are entirely inappropriate for teaching. How many more are there? This cannot continue. I am sure I speak for many of my colleagues who work in migration history/studies when I say that we are happy to help improve teaching migration. 10/
More generally, however, there is a wider question here: we do need to ask where this society is heading at this juncture. Migration is, demonstrably, a good thing for this country. There can be some impacts in local contexts, but migration is not normally the root cause. 11/
apply for settled status ... and then one day their child comes home and shows them the worksheet. We urgently need schools to improve how they teach migration, but also to show greater awareness of what a difficult time this is for EU citizens and their children. 13/
So, ultimately, this isn't just a question of poor teaching, but also a question of poor duty of care. This needs to stop. 14/14
Moreover, while none of the above is, per se, about Brexit, the Brexit context does make the use of the worksheet even more questionable. Why did nobody think of the welfare of the Polish student in the class? The student's parents are probably faced with having to 12/
PS 2/2 I would also like to ask about your quality control. I am sure you agree that incorrect statements and material that can serve to stir hate against a particular community should not be used for teaching in schools.
PPS1/1: To add this here directly too (as per earlier replies): as screenshots show, the above worksheet was user-generated; it was then uploaded by that user to @TesResources. Sharing materials can be great, but clearly platforms have a responsibility for some quality control.
RESPONSE: pleased to see @TesResources have now deleted the worksheet that had been submitted to their resources site by a user. I look forward to the more detailed response to this so we can make sure something like this never happens again.
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