Ethnic minority pupils should be taught the national anthem, says Katharine Birbalsingh
Katharine Birbalsingh AKA the 'Strictest Headmistress in Britain' says some students 'lose out' when white teachers 'feel uncomfortable' teaching the hymn
White teachers should teach schoolchildren from ethnic minority backgrounds to sing 'God Save the King', according to Social Mobility Commission chair Katharine Birbalsingh.
She said that children are at risk of feeling like they don't 'belong' in Britain if they don't sing the national anthem.
In a lecture at Oxford University, Birbalsingh, said that ethnic minority children can suffer poor teaching of 'basic cultural knowledge' because teachers believe they 'cannot identify with so-called "white" things.'
'White teachers feel uncomfortable having ethnic minority children sing the National Anthem.
'But who loses out? The child who is taught over and over by his school, by the media, by us all, that he does not belong to his own country. How is any child meant to succeed in a country that he does not view as his own?'
Pupils at her school sing the national anthem, and teachers wore black and flew the Union Flag at half-mast in the wake of the Queen's death.
Ms Birbalsingh, who co-founded the Michaela Community School in Wembley, added that a child who is 'taught over and over by his school, by the media' that he does not belong in a country, loses out, as no child could succeed in a country they do not see as home.
Also in her lecture, Ms Birbalsingh said 'the march is on in our schools to "decolonise" as much as possible'.
'Preventing poor kids from accessing British cultural knowledge, like knowledge of Britain’s history, of our great works of literature, of knowledge of our habits and customs is to shut them in a cage.'
Mrs Birbalsingh added that the tragedies and controversies of British history should always be taught and that it is 'wrong to whitewash ethnic minorities out of British history', it is 'equally wrong to talk about "black history" as if it is some kind of add-on.'
She warned that denying children from ethnic minorities their birthright to identify as 'British' risks leaving them 'ripe for radicalisation', asking: 'How can we call ourselves British when so many of us have our origins from somewhere else?
'Because we are as British as any white person, that’s why.'
She said the 'determination of the progressives to deny ethnic minorities their birthright to identify as British, is outrageous.'