BNP Teachers

Mark Walker made this Freedom of Information request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

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?

Yours sincerely

Mark Walker
Solidarity Trade Union
www.solidaritytradeunion.org

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Walker

Thank you for your request for information, relating to schools equal
opportunities policy.

In accordance with provisions within the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
the council will respond to your request within 20 working days saying

whether we have the information that you want, and if there will be any
charges.

If for any reason we cannot provide you with the information we will tell
you why. If we need to clarify your request, we will contact you again.

In the meantime, if you need to contact me about your enquiry please do so
quoting the above reference number using the contact details below.

(On behalf of ) Nailah Ukaidi

Principal Performance Officer ( Information & Records )

Customer Focus & Intelligence (FoI, DPA & EIR)

Business Change

Resources Directorate

Walsall Council

The Civic Centre

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922 653585

Fax: 01922 614210

"The information in this message must be regarded as confidential and is
intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have
received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified.
The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those
of Walsall Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails
sent to or received from Walsall Council may be intercepted and read by
the council to ensure compliance with council policies or regulatory
obligations, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of
the email system. You should also be aware that any email may be subject
of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of Information or
Environmental Information legislation and therefore could be disclosed to
third parties".

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

3 Attachments

Dear Mark Walker,

Further to your request for information, I can tell you the following in
answer to your questions.

What evidence is there that schools' equal opportunity policies are
effective in combating racism?

The council does not collate evidence on the effectiveness of schools'
equal opportunities policies. Ofsted inspectors will inspect
the effectiveness with which the

school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination. (See
notes for Guidance to Inspectors on the Ofsted website.)

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.

These are 2 separate statutory duties on schools. The council does not
monitor the work of schools in relation to these duties and therefore
cannot comment on the effectiveness. However, training is offered
centrally to all primary and secondary schools on their duties. Some
schools request whole school training or for specific groups, e.g. NQT's.
Support is occasionally given to schools to develop race equality
policies. Ofsted inspects the school's provision for community cohesion
and publishes guidance to inspectors on what is expected. As with all good
practice identified through inspection, by SIPs or by other means, this
will be disseminated widely across the Borough.

Can you provide me with any evidence that the measures listed above have
been effective (if this has not already been done)?

There are examples of work on equalities and cohesion, but this is driven
by Walsall Children's Services - Serco.

Attached are 2 school news articles as evidence of work on both the duties
which schools have undertaken supported by WCS. The titles of the article
in Dec 09 edition is `Equalities, Difference & Cohesion and in Dec 08
`Community Cohesion in action - School Linking'

No mechanisms are currently in place to evaluate effectiveness other than
the published outcomes of Ofsted inspections under the new Framework..

Are further measures required to either maintain trust in the teaching
profession or protect children and young people?

The council is clear that there is always more that can be done to address
both areas. The GTC's role is to promote and maintain the professional
standing of teachers. The Ofsted expectation is that the ECM outcomes are
inspected over time across all schools and settings. Explicit expectations
on safeguarding are in place. The council has been proactive in bringing
these to the attention of head teachers, governors and our LA staff to
ensure that all children and young people are safeguarded and that any
risk is minimised. (Again see Ofsted Guidance to Inspectors for
Safeguarding).

Most of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004
requests will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases the
copyright will be owned by Walsall Council. The copyright in respect of
other information may be owned by another person or organisation, as
indicated.

You are free to use any information supplied to you in response to this
request for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes.
The information may also be used for any other purpose allowed by a
limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting.
However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the
information in analogue or digital form, including on the internet, will
require the permission of the copyright owner.

I hope that the information provided is useful to you. However, if you are
dissatisfied, you should set out in writing your grounds for complaint and
send to: Complaints Section, Corporate Performance Management (FOI), Civic
Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall WS1 1TP.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a decision.
Please remember that, generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you
have first 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.

Nailah Ukaidi

Principal Performance Officer ( Information & Records )

Customer Focus & Intelligence (FoI, DPA & EIR)

Business Change

Resources Directorate

Walsall Council

The Civic Centre

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922 653585

Fax: 01922 614210

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"The information in this message must be regarded as confidential and is
intended for the addressee only unless explicitly stated. If you have
received this message in error it must be deleted and the sender notified.
The views expressed in this message are personal and not necessarily those
of Walsall Council unless explicitly stated. Please be aware that emails
sent to or received from Walsall Council may be intercepted and read by
the council to ensure compliance with council policies or regulatory
obligations, or for the purposes of essential maintenance or support of
the email system. You should also be aware that any email may be subject
of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of Information or
Environmental Information legislation and therefore could be disclosed to
third parties".

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