Prince Charles 'black spider' memos: Future King lobbied successive Education Secretaries with his 'old-fashioned views'

The Prince expressed his mistrust on 'fashionable' teaching techniques

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Prince Charles confessed to holding “old-fashioned views” on schooling as he lobbied successive Education Secretaries to change teaching methods in Britain’s schools.

The secret letters show that the heir to the throne mused about the creation of a teacher training college to further the aims of an education summer school run by one of his charities.

Writing in November 2004 to then Education Secretary Charles Clarke makes clear his belief that teachers of English and history were in danger of losing their passion for the subjects because of “fashionable” teaching techniques.

He wrote: “My Summer Schools are also challenging the fashionable view that teachers should not impart bodies of knowledge, but should instead act as ‘facilitators’ or ‘coaches’, a notion which I find difficult to understand, I must admit.”

In a further letter three months later, he added: “I remain convinced that the current approaches to teaching and learning need to be challenged.”

Aides to the prince said he was responding to concerns from within the teaching profession as well as voicing his own belief that young people should have “inspiring” teachers.

A Clarence House spokesman said: “By creating the Education Summer Schools… he was helping to answer a need, which was expressed by head teachers and heads of departments in schools across England.”