A pro-SNP teacher has been accused of forcing her political views on her class of 10-year-olds after the youngsters went on an "end austerity" march and questioned politicians on the costs of Trident.


Karen Lorimer, a primary six teacher at St George's Primary School in Glasgow, is said to have "spoon fed" pupils ahead of visits by Labour politicians Ian Davidson and Johann Lamont, SNP minister Humza Yousaf and disgraced former Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan.

No other parties were invited to visit the school.

A row broke out on the social media site Twitter after media reports showed the children marching to raise money for food banks carrying "end austerity" banners.

A number of complaints have now been made to the council, who say they are looking into the situation and re-issuing advice on the need for political balance.

Ian Davidson, MP for Glasgow South West, explained that he had concerns over the questions he was asked.

He said: "I thought that children were very bright and obviously interested in the topic of austerity and poverty, but it was perfectly clear that they had been spoon fed a political line before I went to see them."

It is understood the politicians were asked: "We were scared when our teacher showed us a film about nuclear weapons, she told us not to be scared because they are a deterrent so they will not be used. Why has the British Government decided to spend £100 billion on something that they don't plan to use?"

They were also asked: "Who can help Glasgow's poor more MPs or MSPs?"

Another question also raised the issue of job creation not being a devolved matter.

A council spokeswoman said both the teacher and the headteacher of the school had given assurances that the Ms Lorimer - whose social media profiles showed her as an SNP supporter and Yes voter - had not forced her own views on the children.

However, Scottish Conservative young people spokeswoman Liz Smith claimed it was clear that she had crossed a line.

Ms Smith said: "There is consensus across the political parties that schools should be encouraged to debate politics, but in a manner that is entirely non-partisan and which allows pupils to hear the views of all parties.

"Teachers have a very specific responsibility - agreed by all headteachers and local authorities - not to make party political comments.

"This teacher has clearly crossed that boundary and that is something that parents, pupils and colleagues alike will find unacceptable."

A Scottish Labour party spokesman added: "Children should be made aware of life around them and what causes issues such as poverty and austerity but they should also be able to decide for themselves based on the facts and all different points of view not just one."

Ms Lorimer refuted any suggestion that she had unduly influenced the children.

She also claimed that the word austerity, which was used on their posters, was one they had picked up from reading newspapers in the classroom.

She said: "The children were asking 'why are there foodbanks?' and I couldn't give them all the answers so we invited people to come and speak to them. It was people who were local and have links with the school.

"All four people who came really praised the children and what they were doing."

A council spokeswoman said: "There is nothing wrong with schoolchildren raising awareness and funds for food banks.

"However, we should have taken greater care to ensure that this did not appear to be an anti-austerity rally.

"We will be explaining the rules surrounding this to the class teacher and the school.

"We will also be communicating to all our schools to ensure that this situation does not arise again."

Reacting to criticism over Mr Sheridan visiting the school, the council added that there are guidelines in place on who should be allowed into schools and it is up to individual headteachers to decide.

Is it understood the parents were aware of the march and the visit and gave their permission for both.