Diane Abbott labels 'white privilege' question 'nonsense'
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Labour’s Diane Abbott has slapped down the notion that white working-class pupils are being held back due to “woke” notions of “privilege”. It comes as a report by MPs on the Education Select Committee found that working-class children from a white ethnic background suffered among the worst disadvantages when it came to education. Speaking on Sky News, Ms Abbott dismissed the notion that concerns over “white privilege” were preventing white working-class children from achieving in life.
“The concept of white privilege has led the education authorities to systemically neglect this large cohort,” said Mr Murnaghan referencing the Education Committee’s report.
Ms Abbott snapped: “That is complete nonsense.
“There have been problems with working-class children in areas, coastal towns, run-down areas, and so on.
“But what you have to remember is that is a group of wholly Tory MPs.”
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The former Shadow Education Secretary continued: “Not a single Labour member of the Committee would sign this report because it cherry-picked the data.
“And it is just playing culture wars with education.
“Not a single Labour member would sign it.
“It is a group of Tory MPs and they are playing politics with education.”
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She added: “Instead of looking at things like funding, how we get more teachers, more male teachers in the classroom and so.
“They are talking nonsense about white privilege.
“I have never heard an educational specialist talk about white privilege as a serious concept.
“In relation to why white working-class children fail.”
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It comes as the Conservative chair of the committee, Robert Halfon, accused the Department of Education of being “reluctant” to recognise the specific challenges faced by white working-class kids.
He said: “We also desperately need to move away from dealing with racial disparity by using divisive concepts like white privilege that pits one group against another.
“Disadvantaged white children feel anything but privileged when it comes to education.
“Privilege is the very opposite to what disadvantaged white children enjoy or benefit from in an education system which is now leaving far too many behind.”
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