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Race Relations: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 3605, tabled on 6 July 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on how many schools teach anti-racism education; and what assessment her Department has made of the quality of that education.

Answered on

11 July 2017

We do not hold data on how many schools teach anti-racism education. Every school is different and each school will face its own challenges. Schools have the autonomy to tailor their approach to tackling these issues and to take action according to their individual requirements.

The Equality Act introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty. Under this duty, state funded schools must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people with protected characteristics and none.

The National Curriculum also provides many opportunities to raise awareness of racial and religious diversity and tolerance.

Teaching about racism and discrimination can be included as part of the statutory programme of study for citizenship education at ages 11-16 in maintained schools. Citizenship education should include the development of pupils’ understanding of the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding.

Schools are also free to teach about racism in personal, social, health, economic (PSHE) education, where pupils can reflect on and challenge notions of prejudice.

Schools are already expected to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and, as part of this, fundamental British values, including the values of mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This is at the heart of their responsibility to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.

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