Schools: Racial Discrimination

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to (a) include anti-racism teaching in the national curriculum and (b) introduce anti-racism training for Ofsted school inspectors.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The department condemns and strives to tackle all forms of racial discrimination, prejudice, and harassment. Under the Equality Act 2010, schools have a duty to take steps to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations across all protected characteristics, including between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils should be taught about different societies. This includes learning how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain, and can include experiences and voices of people from all backgrounds. The curriculum offers many opportunities for schools to do this, notably through citizenship education and relationships education. The history curriculum also gives teachers the flexibility to include the contribution of black and minority ethnic history into lessons. This aligns with the school’s duty to promote and foster good relations across all characteristics, including race.

Relationships education is now compulsory in all schools. The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum has a strong focus on equality, respect, the harmful impact of stereotyping, as well as on the importance of valuing difference. Guidance on the implementation and teaching of RSHE curriculum can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. The national curriculum content for citizenship can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-citizenship-programmes-of-study.

Part B of the parliamentary question is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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