British schools must “explain the harm caused by ‘cancel culture’” and avoid promoting “victim narratives”, new government guidance has said.

Mandatory relationships and sex education (RSE) comes into force in British schools this month. Teacher training materials published by the Department of Education for teaching “respectful relationships” asserts that educators should teach pupils the “importance of freedom of speech” and “freedom of association to a tolerant and free society”.

“Teach that censorship and ‘no-platforming’ are harmful and damaging,” the guidance says. It adds that teachers should “explain that seeking to get people’ cancelled’ (e.g. having them removed from their position of authority or job) simply because you disagree with them, is a form of bullying and is not acceptable”.

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The new legal teaching requirements also mandate that lessons are ‘LGBT-inclusive’, requiring schools to embed “LGBT content”, including “LGBT-relevant knowledge and examples”, throughout the curriculum, rather than confining it to a one-off lesson.

“Primary schools are enabled and encouraged to cover LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) content if they consider it age appropriate to do so,” the presentation also notes. Primary school children are aged between four and 11 years old.

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