Schools: Racial Harassment

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the survey conducted by The Diana Award, published in September, which found that 32 per cent of the children surveyed had overheard racist comments at school.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are clear that there is no place for racism in schools and our wider education system. All children and young people deserve the opportunity to progress and fulfil their potential in an environment free from fear, prejudice or hate.

Departmental officials are aware of the findings you refer to from The Diana Award’s recent survey, and these are being considered as part of our ongoing work to tackle racism in schools. We are providing an additional £750,000 funding in the 2020-21 financial year to three anti-bullying organisations, including The Diana Award, to help schools continue to tackle bullying, such as through programmes that tackle prejudice and discrimination.

More broadly, schools play an important role in preparing pupils for life in modern Britain. This involves supporting pupils to understand the society in which they grow up and teaching about respect for other people and for difference. Schools and further education providers are also required to actively promote fundamental British values, including individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. The department has published advice for schools on promoting these values and has made resources available through the Educate Against Hate website. This website provides teachers, school leaders and parents with the information, guidance and support they need to challenge radical views, including racist and discriminatory beliefs. The website is available here: https://educateagainsthate.com/.

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