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National Trust backlash: Staff quit after being forced to take anti-racism training

THE NATIONAL TRUST has come under fire after the organisation began to implement diversity training after lockdown, causing some volunteers to leave.

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Such is the extent of the training, that staff who do not even come into contact with the public must now undergo the course. Under the training which also includes courses on fire safety, volunteers are given modules to raise their awareness of their unintended bias. The training modules require staff to retake certain questions if they fail and within the course, one section is labelled “Unconscious bias: Self-awareness” training.

In one bizarre example, if the participant fails one of the questions, the modules tell them they “must leave her true identity at the door to appeal”, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Within that section staff are told ahead of questions: “It is almost impossible to avoid unconscious bias when making initial judgements about people.

“Greater awareness of our own biases can help us review our behaviours.”

Commenting on the news of the unconscious bias training, social media users took to Twitter to vent their fury at the National Trust.

National Trust

The National Trust has come under fire for the training (Image: GETTY/Twitter )

National Trust

The National Trust has introduced bias training (Image: GETTY)

Not only did they vent their fury, but Twitter users also revealed they would or had cancelled their membership to the Trust.

One person said: “Cancelled my subscription over the National trust attitudes. Shameful.”

A second said: “I personally have always hated the national trust.

“They have all these nice estates gifted to them and they have the cheek to ask for gift aid & they don’t even pay the volunteers anything.”

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National Trust

The National Trust stated the training is used elsewhere too (Image: GETTY)

A third said: “The woke must always be challenged.

“The Government must act to tackle these far-left woke institutions.”

Due to the new modules, one former volunteer has claimed they and several other staff members have now left.

The staff member claimed they did so as they did not agree with the Trust’s new agenda post-lockdown.

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National Trust: Robert Jenrick has moved to protect certain British landmarks across the country (Image: GETTY)

National Trust

National Trust: Some staff have left due to the training (Image: GETTY)

Despite the criticism levelled at the Trust over the new modules, volunteers have been reminded of their obligations to the organisation as part of their return to work.

The volunteer who left the National Trust added: “One is left to wonder how many potential volunteers will be put off by this policy, and how many existing volunteers who will call it a day rather than subject themselves to examinations.”

In a further example of one of the sections of the module, staff are shown a cartoon of three people watching a baseball game over the fence with the shortest being unable to see accompanying with the tagline which states “equity”.

However, with some employees not coming into contact with visitors, the volunteer questioned the relevance of the module.

National Trust

National Trust: The dates of the UK’s exit strategy (Image: Express)

A National Trust spokesman claimed it has been policy for staff and volunteers to undertake the training modules.

They also insisted the only training modules staff must complete before returning to work post-lockdown are on fire safety.

National Trust

National Trust: Many have cancelled their subscription (Image: GETTY)

A spokesman told Express.co.uk: “We are not forcing our volunteers to undergo everyday inclusion training as soon as they return.

“The only training they are expected to undertake before they return is reopening safely so they are fully aware of the changes we’ve made to how we open our properties following the Covid pandemic.

“As part of their ongoing development with the Trust, volunteers are given time to undertake a number of mandatory training courses including fire safety, data protection, safeguarding, and everyday inclusion.

“We have been offering inclusion training for several years, and is similar training to that offered by thousands of other organisations across the country.

“Our everyday inclusion training, which is delivered in-house, covers a broad range of diversity and inclusion issues including age, disability, sexual orientation and religious beliefs, and we’re pleased that nine out of 10 volunteers rated the training as good or excellent.”

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