10-point guide to teaching about political issues

Following recent events regarding a primary school class who wrote letters to the prime minister, asking him to resign, the government have reminded schools about their legal duties in relation to impartiality when teaching political issues. Whatever your views about this particular incident, duties about being impartial when teaching political issues remain a requirement for all teachers. Here is a quick 10-point summary guide based on the DfE guide which you can read in full here. 

  1. Prepare your teaching plan beforehand so you understand what political issues are covered
  2. Be aware of your own opinions regarding the political curriculum so you can avoid imparting them by accident
  3. Ensure that you give any political issues a balanced account
  4. Ensure your teaching plan is age-appropriate
  5. Ensure the political issue described is not too complex for pupil ability
  6. Be mindful of bias and imbalance in resources, check them carefully (who produced them?)
  7. Think carefully about which organisations you work with, understand what they represent
  8. Ensure, external agencies do not promote their political views to pupils if they are involved in school activities
  9. Take steps to offer pupils a balanced account of political issues external organisations may cover with them
  10. Never work with organisations that adopt extreme political positions and who for example, are violent, are engaged in criminal activity or want to end democracy.