Labour thwarts BNP bid to join governing body but issues warning

29th May 2009 at 01:00

Stoke council's Labour group last week prevented the British National Party from placing three of its councillors on the governing body of an 80 per cent Asian school.

As revealed by The TES last week, the extreme right-wing group had hoped to gain a greater presence in schools nationwide as it looks to win further seats in the local elections next month.

The party had put forward three candidates to sit on the governing body of Edensor Technology College, due to be closed in the next three to four years to make way for the new Park Hall Academy.

Labour thwarted the BNP move by putting up three candidates of its own.

The new academy would see Edensor, which caters for a largely Asian population, merge with two predominantly white schools.

The party is opposed to schools of this type, which it deems a method of "mixing" children of different ethnicities and promoting "multi-culturalist propaganda".

It is understood that if the BNP had secured its place on the school's governing body, it would have used its position to influence the proposed academy or even continued its fight against it.

Speaking to The TES, Councillor Michael Barnes, leader of the Labour group, said he was pleased with the result of the vote, which he said was "very clear cut".

But he warned that the BNP would be looking to place its councillors in other vacant positions on school governing bodies.

Mr Barnes said: "There are a number of vacancies on school governing bodies in Stoke, as I'm sure there are across the country.

"We are calling for people to put their names forward if they have an interest in doing what's best for their local schools.

"I know people are legitimately concerned that the BNP do not have the best interests of every child at heart when it comes to schools."

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