Commercialisation Curriculum politics

Promotion or presentation?

Singleton LakeI have written in two posts (here and here) about the serious questions arising from who publishes curriculum material and learning activities, and why.

Republic have recently  raised questions about the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in schools and the Secretary of State for Education found himself in a pickle over wanting to send a copy of the King James Bible to every school in England.

Education Act 1996 sections 406 and 406

There has been one case brought under this law, according to a letter in The TES:

”In 2007, a parent challenged the Labour administration’s decision to distribute a copy of Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth to schools. The judge distinguished between the promotion of partisan political views, which is illegal, and the presentation of partisan political views, which is not.”

John Fowler, policy manager, Local Government Information Unit

It should be noted that the cost of distributing An Inconvenient Truth was met by the Foundation. Michael Gove is said to have been told to look for private sponsorship to fund his bibles.
It’s an interesting comparison.

Promotion or presentation: two quite different activities.

What do you actually do?
What language do you use?

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Added: 16 April 2013
‘Hey advertisers, leave our defenceless kids alone’
George Monbiot, The Guardian, 15 April 20
“In-school marketing, promoting junk food online: how can we tolerate this corporate capture of young minds?”

Added: 20 December 2013
It is almost unbelievable that a political organisation can get something so blatantly wrong (also known as ‘illegal’) as to send electioneering material into schools written in this partisan way. It’s called a ‘citizenship and democracy pack’ which can only mean they wanted it used in the school curriculum.  The message signed by the Prime Minister is reasonable enough.

However, the content from the other named MPs is low down and dirty such as a statement from the Conservative Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, in which she says: “What is the most important thing the Conservative Party has accomplished whilst in government? Dealing with the legacy of immense financial mess from the previous government is our most important task.”

‘Tory Propaganda Book Tells Children: You’re Thatcher’s Children’

Political Scrapbook is following up The Independent‘s story:
‘School Citizenship pack ‘spreads Tory propaganda”