Parents are furious at the £32,650-a-year American School in London for reportedly teaching their children that there are “64 genders” and sticking to its “woke agenda” despite an Ofsted inspection that found it lacking.
The school watchdog demoted the private day school from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’, citing ‘failures’ in education and leadership, including a preference for teaching ‘social justice’ above learning ‘subject-specific knowledge and skills.’
Interim head of ASL Sacha McVean defended the school to parents, claiming that its programs were backed by school authorities and that the inspection by the watchdog was ‘unique.’
According to the Times, over 100 parents signed a letter to Ms McVean, expressing their surprise that the private school is sticking to its ‘woke’ goal despite the ‘devastating rebuff.’
Meanwhile, other students informed Ofsted that their opinions were’suppressed’ in the classroom.
As a result, the school failed to meet a number of Independent School Standards, which prohibit the “promotion of partisan political viewpoints” and require “respect for individuals who hold different opinions.”
One parent told the Times: ‘The tone of the school’s email was not well received at all. It came across as defiant and unapologetic.
‘Parents were shocked to see that the school was standing by its programmes.’
Parents have also claimed that students were told in PE lessons that Olympic transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard should compete in female events and that health classes have 64 genders.
A parents said: ‘We have seen controversial views — about which public debate is still raging in society — being taught as truth to these children.’
Before the Ofsted inspection, a letter claimed that a recent decision to form racially segregated after-school groups, in which students only interact with classmates of their own race, was illegal because it violated the Equality Act.
The allegations shook the elite institution near Regent’s Park, whose graduates include Kathleen Turner of Hollywood and Stewart Copeland of the Police.
Parents claimed that their children were being ‘indoctrinated’, prompting inspectors to visit the previously outstanding school in December.
Non-white students were allegedly recruited into ‘racist’ affinity groups for after-school activities, and youngsters were lectured about ‘white fragility,’ according to parents.
Former CEO Robin Appleby, who pioneered the agenda, left in November, citing a desire to ‘focus on her own wellbeing’.
Ofsted’s report said: ‘Teaching places much more weight on the school’s approach to social justice than on learning subject-specific knowledge and skills.’
It added: ‘Not everyone felt that they are able to express their views freely in class.’
According to Ofsted, students’spend considerable time continuously contemplating identification (including assessing their own traits) rather than gaining, for example, geographical information’ in the lower school social studies curriculum.
Pupils in middle school were required to concentrate on’social concerns’ rather than’skills’ in subjects like English.
The report concluded: ‘While recognising the importance of promoting equalities, a significant minority of parents and pupils told inspectors that a culture has developed where alternative opinions are not felt welcome.’
A current parent said: ‘As the report shows, teachers have been indoctrinating students with extreme, partisan views, academic teaching has been shoved out of the way by excessive teaching about ‘social justice’, and most students are afraid to express their views in class.’
ASL has said that it does not educate students about the 62 genders or critical racial theory, and that it is currently examining its curriculum.
A spokesman said on Ofsted’s decision: ‘ASL has been rated outstanding in all of our previous inspections.
‘This review, however, was unusual in scope and substance, with a narrow focus on some aspects of our programme.
‘Despite meeting 96 per cent of the Independent School standards, our rating was downgraded two levels. We do not think this rating reflects the quality of our school or excellence of our teaching.’
This month, Coreen Hester will succeed Ms McVean as the next head.