Today's lesson children: White privilege and why there hasn't been a black Bond

·2 min read
Some lessons will look at why James Bond had always been portrayed as a white man
Some lessons will look at why James Bond had always been portrayed as a white man

A private school in London will teach students why James Bond is always a white man in new "white privilege" lessons.

St Dunstan's, where fees are £18,000 a year and alumni include the former MP Chuka Umunna, has introduced the course following increasing awareness of racial disparities highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The school’s pupils will also be taught about consent, why they do not have to hug their grandparents and topics such as how Meghan Markle may have faced more adversity than Kate Middleton when joining the Royal family.

The classes are taken by pupils from year nine, aged 13, and are thought to be among the first of their kind at a private school.

Children are taught the Royal family bolsters expectations about "inherited white privilege". In a television interview with the American talk show host Oprah Winfrey in March, the Duchess of Sussex said there had been concern in the Royal family about their son Archie's skin tone.

The teachers will "explore with students the difficulties faced by both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton when they joined the Royal family but [learn] that Meghan Markle faced additional challenges based on social speculations associated with her race". - Getty Images
The teachers will "explore with students the difficulties faced by both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton when they joined the Royal family but [learn] that Meghan Markle faced additional challenges based on social speculations associated with her race". - Getty Images

Nicholas Hewlett, the headmaster at St Dunstan's, which is in Catford, south-east London, told The Sunday Times: "We do not teach white privilege in order to engender a sense of guilt amongst our white community [but] to help all our young people, of whatever racial origin, to unpick and better understand the complexities and sensitivities of a real and live issue that matters to them and to so much of the society they occupy."

Mr Hewlett, who announced in an assembly this year that he was married to a man, said teachers would "explore with students the difficulties faced by both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton when they joined the Royal family but [learn] that Meghan Markle faced additional challenges based on social speculations associated with her race".

He said the lessons would also look at why James Bond had always been portrayed as a white man, why all UK prime ministers had been white and added that his school was "proud of teaching white privilege as part of its new bespoke curriculum".

The school will also teach children about why the National Trust should look at how it portrays the colonial past of its country houses and their links to the slave trade, and statistics about stop-and-search rates by police of black people will be examined.