London’s $40k-a-Year American School Defies Parents, Doubles Down on Woke Curriculum

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT - SEPTEMBER 16: Teacher Elizabeth DeSantis, wearing a mask and face
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

To parents’ dismay, the once prestigious American School in London is resisting calls from Ofsted regulators to change its curriculum and is sticking to teaching its “diversity, equity and inclusion” programme.

The American School (ASL), which charges parents £32,650 ($42,570) a year in fees, was downgraded by Britain’s education watchdog the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, more colloquially known as Ofsted, from a rating of “outstanding” to “requires improvement” due to their teaching focusing more on woke social justice causes than subject knowledge, as well as creating an environment where “alternative opinions are not felt welcome”.

The inspectors also highlighted in their report from the December inspection that in the American School’s lower school, pupils “spend much time repeatedly considering identity (including analysing their own characteristics) rather than learning, for example, geographical knowledge”. One parent even accused the school of teaching children in a health class that there are 64 genders, which the school has since denied.

Ofsted investigated the school after a “significant minority” of parents complained the pupils were being “indoctrinated”, with one letter suggesting the school had even introduced racially segregated after-school clubs — supposedly in an effort to empower non-white pupils — which would be illegal under Britain’s Equality Act.

Interim headteacher Sacha McVean informed parents via email of the Ofsted report but seemingly failed to acknowledge the seriousness of Ofsted’s decision, telling parents that they “do not feel it [the Ofsted report] reflects the quality or depth of our programs [sic]” and that they had complained to Ofsted about the “unusual” inspection and reaffirmed that the school’s management team backed their woke curriculum.

Ofsted’s findings of several “failures” at the school resulted in over 100 parents of the 1,350 pupils writing in and demanding changes to the teaching at the school, as well as describing the “unprecedented” Ofsted finding and downgrade a “devastating rebuke”, The Times reports.

Since the parents complained the school claims to have U-turned on their earlier stance and claimed they would be changing its “diversity, equity and inclusion” educational programmes and “ensure that ASL meets all UK school inspection standards”.

They did not, however, commit to removing the programme, nor reveal what the changes are — so it is impossible at this stage to determine whether they will be meaningful.

The school — dubbed Britain’s wokest — reportedly changed its curriculum following the death of George Floyd in 2020, informing parents they would be having a more “diverse” focus going forwards.

Parents also accused the school of teaching Critical Race Theory and “white fragility”. Teaching such concepts as fact was declared to be illegal by the British government in October 2020, with former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities Kemi Badenoch describing “the promotion of Critical Race Theory” as a “dangerous trend in race relations”.

Alongside allegedly teaching children there are 64 genders, a parent also claimed an American School sports teacher informed pupils that transgender athletes should be able to compete against biologically female athletes, and defended transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s decision to compete in the Olympics against women.

ASL has denied all such accusations, despite the former headteacher Robin Appleby, 56, quitting the school in January due to the parents’ criticism of the school.

Some of the school’s parents have included Hollywood actresses Gal Gadot and Salma Hayek, Premier League striker Thierry Henry, and the Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

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