The white privilege concept is being promoted by local councils around the country, an analysis by The Telegraph has found.
Several councils have published resources, advice and training materials for teachers, parents and children, leading a senior Tory MP to accuse them of pursuing an “entirely wrong headed” strategy.
It comes after an education select committee report recommended that schools should cease to use the term "white privilege."
The report, published earlier this week, said that the phrase may be “alienating” to disadvantaged white communities and may have contributed towards a “systemic neglect of white people facing hardship”.
Last summer, Brighton and Hove Council committed to “building understanding of the impact on pupil and staff of bias, discrimination, white privilege and institutional racism” into teacher training.
The council’s Racial Literacy Training 101 for staff in primary and secondary schools says it provides an “understanding of structural/institutional racism, white privilege, and a critical race theory approach”.
Meanwhile, a list of resources published by Lincolnshire County Council for children as part of its racist bullying and hate crime awareness campaign includes a video about white privilege.
In the video, a group of children are told to take part in a running race but are asked to take a step backwards if they have been the only person in the room of their race, and if their parents have ever warned them about racism.
Before starting the race, youngsters are also asked to step forward if they have never been asked where they come from and never been worried about being stopped and searched.
The video, titled “Heartbreaking Moment When Kids Learn About White Privilege”, explains that people often confuse white privilege with being wealthy or being rich and it “isn’t about that”, adding: “What it’s about is the absence of having to live with the consequences of racism.”
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Coventry Council has published a series of resources for parents and teachers which includes a guide on “How to be an anti-racist family”.
The guide advises parents and teachers to listen, watch and read about “the lived experiences of everyday racism to make you aware of White Privilege”.
The guide explained: “If you can travel without your bags being searched, or can run for a bus without worrying people think you’ve stolen something, or exit a shop without panicking where your receipt is, then you’re probably in a bubble of white privilege.”
Robert Halfon, the Tory chair of the education select committee, told The Telegraph that it is “entirely wrong headed” for councils to be promoting the concept.
“It is basically saying that everyone is collectively guilty, when individuals should be responsible for acts of racism,” he said.
“Secondly it is a poke in the eye for disadvantaged white communities. All it does is lead to further disengagement from curriculum and pits one group against the other. It is also factually wrong, given the underperformance of white pupils.”
Robert Halfon has previously called for a radical overhaul of the UK's education system, with GCSEs scrapped and young people developing skills alongside subject knowledge
Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
He said that the promotion of the concept by councils has “got to stop”, adding that the Government should publish guidance for local authorities on the issue.
“It’s divisive and it undermines harmony rather than promotes it,” Mr Halfon added.
Brighton and Hove’s resources have sparked a backlash from parents, who have accused the council of breaching its duties to impartiality under the Equality Act 2010 and claim it means "non-white children will be taught that they are victims of their white classmates".
More than 700 people have signed a petition demanding the council “stop teaching our kids that they are racists”, saying they are “shocked” at the allegedly racially divisive nature of the critical race theory being included.
The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities defines white privilege as the “idea that there is societal privilege that benefits white people over other ethnic groups in some societies, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances”.