Head of top private school says we need to teach pupils to be rebels so they will grow up to be Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst or James Dyson
- Nigel Lashbrook from Oakham School ran ‘rules and rebellion’ week
- Head of £30,000-a-year school says students must break rules and rebel
- ‘We must all prepare students to be able to stand up for what they believe’
Message: Leading head teacher Nigel Lashbrook has said that students must learn to break the rules
Schoolchildren must become rebels to ensure Britain produces independent thinkers, the head teacher of a leading private school has said.
Nigel Lashbrook from the £30,000-a-year Oakham School in Rutland said that students must learn to break the rules like activists Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst.
He also described the work of inventor James Dyson, Steve Jobs and Sir Richard Branson as examples of how people successfully challenged the rules of business.
His school has run a ‘rules and rebellion’ week where students were encouraged to do the same.
Oxford-educated Mr Lashbrook described how the Suffragette movement in Britain and the civil rights movement in the Unites States are proof of how people can change history by breaking rules.
He said: ‘There are well-cited examples of acts of social rebellion, including Rosa Parks breaking the rules of segregation to start the Montgomery Bus Boycott, becoming an icon of resistance to racial segregation.
‘Or Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst, who rebelled against the legal and social norms of their day to fight for voting rights for women
‘Our schools rightly teach pupils about these momentous acts of rebellion. But do we do enough to teach those same students how they can, and should, stand up for what they believe?’
His speech was part of a week of events at his school, which included a number of speakers.
Philosopher Roger Scruton, fashion academic professor Amy de la Haye and Jon Thompson, the Permanent Under Secretary responsible for the Ministry of Defence, spoke to students.
Boarders also watched a selection of ‘disruptive’ films including The Breakfast Club and The Hunger Games.
Prestigious: The £30,000-a-year Oakham School in Rutland has held a ‘rules and rebellion’ week
Inspiration: Mr Lashbrook told students Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and American civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks carried out great acts of rebellion and changed history as a result
Mr Lashbrook said: ‘It is a fundamental part of any education to encourage pupils to have a strong moral compass, and to teach them to understand and abide by laws and regulations.
‘But it is also our responsibility to give pupils the skills and the confidence to know when and how they should question the rules, the established conventions or social norms, and in some instances, the authority.
‘We must all prepare students to be able to stand up for what they believe. If they cannot learn to do this now, in the safety of their school years, how will they fare later on in life?’