Dear Sir or Madam,
By letter of 30 September 2009, The Secretary of State Ed Balls appointed Maurice Smith to enquire into the "promotion of racism in schools". Part of the review is aimed at determining whether members of the British National Party (BNP) should be allowed to work as teachers or in the wider school workforce.
At present there are a number of measures and safeguards in place in place to protect children and young people in schools from racially motivated discrimination and the promotion of political doctrines that advocate discrimination and promote racist views. These are:
• The requirement on schools to have equal opportunity policies
• The duty upon schools to promote racial equality
• Their duty to promote community cohesion
• The duty on governing bodies, headteachers and local authorities to forbid the teaching of partisan political activities in schools
• The powers of the GTC (England) regarding suitability of registration and where teacher conduct could bring the profession into disrepute
I would like you to provide me with evidence of how effective these measures are including whether they are sufficient to maintain trust in the profession and protect children and young people.
Please provide the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
1) What evidence is there that schools’ equal opportunity policies are effective in combating racism?
2) What are schools in your area doing to promote racial equality and promote community cohesion? Examples of measures deemed to be good practice and recognised as being successful would be useful.
3) Can you provide me with any evidence that the measures listed above have been effective (if this has not already been done)?
4) Are further measures required to either maintain trust in the teaching profession or protect children and young people?
Solidarity Trade Union
Dear Mr Walker
Schools and Racial Equality / Community Cohension
Thank you for your request for information about the above. Taking your
questions in turn:
1. What evidence is there that schools' EO policies are effective in
q Local Authority's Racist Incident Database (RaID) shows consistent
reporting of racist incidents 2005-9.
q Percentage of nil returns has reduced.
q Increased requests for training from schools on responding to
q School Ofsted reports.
2. What are schools in your area doing to promote racial equality and
promote community cohesion?
Examples of measures deemed to be good practice and recognized as
successful would be useful.
q Cambridgeshire's primary PSHE framework and secondary Personal
Development Framework address racial equality and include a number of
units of work which schools use on a regular basis.
q Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service (CREDS) works
in partnership with the PSHE Service to develop a range of curriculum
based initiatives for and with schools, including secondary school
conference days which focus on equality, diversity and community cohesion.
Schools' take up is regular and positive.
q 8 secondary schools are participating in a Community Cohesion
curriculum development project, 2008-11.
q A number of Cambridgeshire schools (primary and secondary) have
worked with CREDS' Traveller Team and Richard O'Neill on storytelling
q Use of persona dolls by schools (see recently published National
Strategies GRTAP DVD)
q `Atch Poggering Mande' CD, published through DCSF project funding
q Schools' participation in national initiatives, e.g. Show Racism
the Red Card
q Suffolk and Cambridgeshire secondary schools participated in the
STACS project on Abolition of Slavery - DVD produced in 2008.
q The Irish Traveller Movement in GB worked with a Cambridge primary
school on community memoirs.
3. Can you provide me with any evidence that the measures listed above
have been effective
If this has not already been done)?
q See above, and examples of community cohesion initiatives from
specific schools are included in the Autumn Term 2009 issue of the
Cambridgeshire magazine for schools and governors `Learning Together'.
q A community cohesion conference for schools and settings in
November 2009 was over subscribed and included workshops of good practice
presented by schools and settings.
q Feedback from an Ofsted thematic survey of social responsibility
and community cohesion November 2008 was very positive.
4. Are further measures required to either maintain trust in the
teaching profession or protect children and young people?
Not specifically in Cambridgeshire, but nationally, suggestions
q CRB check could look for membership of proscribed organisations.
q Anti-racism should be included in Safeguarding training.
q Warner interviews should include exploration of attitudes for
q Raise awareness of parents & community.
q Initial Teacher Training should include raising student awareness
of issues around racism
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Information Governance Team, Box RES 1405, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP
within 40 days of the date of this letter.
If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
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ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
Enquiries (Mediated) - Ref. 546770
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