23/05/2012

Almost 88,000 Racist Incidents Recorded In Schools

The BBC has reported that almost 88,000 incidents of racism were recorded in Britain's schools between 2007 and 2011.

A racist incident is defined as, any situation perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person; these can include name-calling and physical abuse.

Data from 90 areas showed 87,915 cases of racist bullying.

Birmingham recorded the highest number of incidents at 5,752, followed by Leeds with 4,690. Carmarthenshire had the lowest number with just 5 cases.

In response to the local authority figures, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, the Department for Education said racism needed to be "rooted out".

Following the inquiry into the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence, the previous government said schools in England and Wales must monitor and report all incidents of racist abuse to their local authority.

However, the coalition government has changed that guidance and schools now have no duty to record and report the data.

Many local education authorities say that the increase in reported incidents - up until 2010/11 when the guidance changed - is due to better recording methods.

However, anti-racism charities say that it is a growing problem in many regions.

"We are seeing a real increase in racism in some areas which is down to factors like a growth of Islamaphobia in society which is filtering into classrooms," said Sarah Soyei, of anti-racism educational charity, Show Racism the Red Card.

Teaching unions say the key to tackling the problem in schools is through education for both teachers and students.

Charities have been delivering anti-racism lessons in schools across the country in an attempt to educate young people against racism.

(H)


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