Racist incidents to be logged by schools

By Leon Symons, March 19, 2009

Schools are to be consulted by the Government later this year about recording antisemitic and other racist incidents.

Schools Minister Sarah McCarthy-Fry said in a reply to a parliamentary question on the intimidation of Jewish children in schools that such a requirement may be brought in as part of a new legal duty for schools to record every incident of bullying. An informal consultation is due to start in May, with the new anti-bullying measures to be introduced by the end of this year.

“We do not collect data on bullying or incidents of intimidation centrally, although we are aware that Jewish pupils can be particularly vulnerable to bullying,” said Ms McCarthy-Fry. “We intend to introduce a new statutory duty for schools to record all incidents of bullying between pupils later this year and will specifically consult on whether schools should be obliged to record racist incidents.”

Schools are already under a legal duty to promote race equality and have measures in place to tackle all forms of bullying.

Tory MP David Amess, who tabled the original question, said this week: “I have spoken to Jewish people around the country who told me about attacks during the Gaza conflict — which had increased dramatically. The department is right to take it seriously.”

Last updated: 1:26pm, March 19 2009