Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South, states that terms such as “white privilege” are holding back white working-class pupils and have “no place in the classroom”.
MPs on the Education Select Committee have said that the use of terms including “white privilege” may have contributed to the “neglect” of white working-class pupils in the education system.
The report by the committee went further by saying that schools must consider the implication of “politically controversial terminology” and agreed with the report issued by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities that the term “white privilege” can be “divisive”.
In 2019, just 17.7% of white British pupils who were eligible for free school meals achieved at least a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths at GCSE, compared with 22.5% of all pupils eligible for free school meals.
Currently, the ethnic group least likely to get into university in the UK are whites with only 13% of white working-class boys going on to higher education – less than any black or Asian group.
Mr Vickers said:
“Whilst far more does need to be done to support British working-class pupils, I welcome the findings of this report.
“The statistics are as clear as day. White working-class males are falling behind. This section of society is the most disadvantaged minority in Britain and has been for some time.
“We must stop tarnishing white male students with politically charged rhetoric such as ‘white privilege’ and work towards a colour blind education system that is based on merit rather than skin colour. For the vast majority of white working-class boys, ‘privilege’ is light-years away from their real life experiences.
“The normalisation of such claptrap simply prevents their cause being championed in mainstream debate.
“This is not helped by a recent job advertisement from the BBC that specifically bans white candidates from even applying for the role. How are we supposed to motivate the disadvantaged segments of British society when the odds are increasingly being stacked against them?
“Political rhetoric has absolutely no place in the classroom. This sort of race-baiting dogma only serves to discourage students from working-class backgrounds pursuing excellence in education.”