Schools: Racial Discrimination

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment has his Department made of the effect of racism in English secondary schools on the attainment gap between BAME and white children.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department believes that racism in all its forms is abhorrent and has no place in our society. Schools play a significant role in supporting pupils to understand the society in which they grow up and preparing them for life in modern Britain.

All children and young people must be treated fairly. Under the Equality Act 2010, schools must not discriminate against a pupil in a number of respects because of a characteristic protected by the Act, including race. The Public Sector Equality Duty also requires public bodies, including maintained schools and academies, to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and other conduct prohibited by the Act; advance equality of opportunity for people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and foster good relations across all characteristics.

On Black, Asian and minority ethnic children’s attainment, in 2015 the Department published the following research report: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/439861/RR439A-Ethnic_minorities_and_attainment_the_effects_of_poverty.pdf.

Our research report on understanding Key Stage 4 attainment and progress (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/748514/Understanding_KS4_LSYPE2_research-report.pdf), published in October 2018, also includes content on the relationship between ethnicity and attainment, noting that this is complex and highly varied. There is also further information on education, skills and training on the Government’s ethnicity facts and figures website: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/education-skills-and-training.

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