A leaked document exposes the shameful propaganda being handed out in English schools

classroom in school
Tracy Keeling

A history professor has posted on Twitter a leaked worksheet used in a secondary school. It reveals the shameful propaganda some English schools may be exposing students to on the issue of immigration. Furthermore, the professor says a teacher used the worksheet, which targets Polish immigration, in a class with a Polish student in it.

The student is reportedly “extremely upset” by the situation. That’s not surprising. Because it shows the UK’s ‘hostile environment’ in all its horrible glory.

Blame game

Prof Tanja Bueltmann is a migration and diaspora historian. On 5 February, she posted a detailed and uncomfortable thread on Twitter that tore the worksheet apart:

The worksheet featured a case study, looking at the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ impacts of immigration. In particular, it highlighted immigration from Poland to Peterborough in the UK. As Bueltmann explained, however, the top point under negative impacts on the UK of Polish immigration was that it has “caused some racial tension” in the country. The professor noted the obvious flaw with that reasoning:

migration does not cause racial tensions; racists do

Coming over here

But that wasn’t the worst of it. In a section titled “Impacts on Peterborough”, the worksheet goes into some detail about what immigration has supposedly brought to the area. It’s a list that Donald Trump would be more than willing to reel off. Social unrest, drug dealing, muggings, assault, and dangerous diseases. According to the case study, these are all the delightful things Peterborough got once Polish people moved in.

The “baseless” anti-immigration propaganda left Bueltmann “speechless”:

Meanwhile, the professor says this isn’t the first time worksheets have pushed anti-Polish rhetoric on their students:

Sign of the times

Bueltmann’s exposing of the worksheet led to the discovery of its origin. It was user-generated content that someone uploaded onto the Tes Resources website. Thankfully, it’s not there anymore. Tes, a global digital education company, took it down after the furore:

But the fact that any teacher in the UK thought this was an appropriate resource to hand out to students, including one who is Polish, beggars belief. As Bueltmann says, it raises important questions about England:

But this is a country where the government has no qualms about stoking anti-immigrant tensions. It’s also a nation whose tabloid media is about as racist as it gets. So if we want to get to the ‘root cause’ of why some teachers are indoctrinating our kids with anti-immigrant materials, the Conservative government and our right-wing media might be a good place to start.

Featured image via Vincent Li/Flickr

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us