THE Education Secretary has sent officials to investigate the council over reports race theories are being taught in schools.

Nadhim Zahawi says he is “concerned” about the lessons being taught in schools run by Brighton and Hove City Council.

It comes after 4,700 people signed a petition criticising the council for allegedly teaching primary school children they are “racists” or “victims of their classmates”.

Leaked slides from race training given to teachers in Brighton and Hove schools illustrate "covert" and "overt white supremacy" .

Mr Zahawi said: “Every day in schools across the country, brilliant teachers are teaching sensitive issues in a balanced and inclusive way - which is why reports like this one are so concerning.

“These issues can be divisive if covered the wrong way, and I am clear - as is the law in the country - that any contested theories and opinions must not be presented to young people as facts.'

“My officials are in contact with Brighton and Hove to understand the exact nature of these materials.

“I know as well as anyone that race can be a tricky issue to cover, but we should strive to show young people that those things that we have in common are much greater than anything that might separate us.”

Around 300 school staff in the city have completed the Racial Literacy 101 course.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the Racial Literacy 101 course materials informed teachers that “between the ages of three and five, children learn to attach value to skin colour: white at the top of the hierarchy and black at the bottom”.

More 4,700 people have signed a petition in Brighton and Hove entitled, “Stop the council teaching our kids that they are racists or victims of their classmates”.

A council spokesman said: “We are proud of our pledge and work to be an anti-racist city and to support school staff to make education settings fairer in line with both government guidance and the law.

“The anti-racist training we offer is for staff – not pupils. It is up to individual schools what weight they choose to give different theories and how they translate them into their teaching and policies.”

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.