England & Wales

No ban for BNP teachers

A government-commissioned review has concluded that teachers should not be banned from joining the BNP. The author of the report has argued that the problem of BNP membership is so small at the moment that a ban would be the equivalent of “taking a very large sledgehammer to crack a minuscule nut”. The report found that only six incidences of BNP membership were brought to the attention of the DCSF. The rights and wrongs of this decision are being vigorously debated. Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT has argued that “one incident is one too many”. I’m sure many people – including colleagues here – will agree with this view. However, I think it’s encouraging to see a government-commissioned review argues that it’s not always proportionate to legislate. This requires bravery in a media age that equates government inaction with weakness. It’s worth reflecting that – if this kind of level-headed approach had been taken to other decisions – the teaching profession wouldn’t be saddled with the unnecessary rules and regulations it is at present.