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Kindergarten trainer complains of racist abuse after Tory MP called work “brainless” | Early education

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The coach said from an early age that she received a barrage of racist letters after a conservative politician called her work “brainless nonsense” and called for her “deprivation.”

Liz Pemberton, who runs a racist training and advisory campaign called Black Nursery Manager, said her mailbox was overflowing with abuse since comments by former Education Minister Sir John Hayes were reported this month.

Her classes include teaching staff how to address race issues from young children and how to “confidently satisfy the natural curiosity that all children have regarding skin color, hair texture and religious and / or cultural customs”.

She also conducts training courses on how to ensure racial and cultural inclusion in role-playing games and dress.

“Talking about race does not cause division. This is necessary if we are going to think about cooperation, where we have open and honest, sincere conversations, ”Pemberton said.

Sir John Hayes.
Sir John Hayes. Photo: Victoria Jones / PA

Hayes, who founded the Tory Group of Common Sense MPs, told the Sunday Telegraph that he would write to Education Secretary Nadhima Zahavi urging him to investigate her business, which includes consultations with local authorities.

Hayes said he would ask the government “to investigate why these local authorities are spending such money with the deep social divide they are exerting on young children.”

Pemberton, who has nearly two decades of experience in the education sector, said: “It is a sad attempt to intimidate a black professional woman, increase misunderstandings of critical racial theory and link me to political extremism in an attempt to undermine my experience. and potentially harm my business.

“But there were also a lot of people gathering around me; the people who did my work know the sector and know the importance of what I do, so it was nice to see that level of solidarity.

“Children especially know, ‘Oh, my friend has beads and I have straight hair’ or ‘I have brown skin and pink skin.’ That’s what the kids are talking about. “

She added: “We need to make sure we support the talks so that they are healthy and positive and that they do not lead to the development of sexist, misogynistic, racist or discriminatory views. This is our job as educators. ”

Pemberton, c Birminghamis also a qualified high school teacher and previously worked as the head of the nursery at the family network of kindergartens founded by her mother in 1987.

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Through her advisory activities, she has worked with hundreds of kindergartens and local authorities, including with Early Years Wales and councils in Bristol, Buckinghamshire and Nottingham.

Pemberton said: “Those who know me and my mission and the future I am trying to shape for our children know that I lead with love.

“I want to teach people how to incorporate anti-racist and inclusive practices into their work, and why it’s vital to do so in the early sector when children are at such an impressive age.”

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