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Department for Education: Racial Discrimination

Question for Department for Education

UIN 181043, tabled on 14 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many complaints relating to allegations of racism were made to his Department in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

Answered on

28 April 2021

We are clear there is no place for racism in our society or education system. The Department does not keep a central record of all complaints made to us directly. However, from July 2020, the Department’s School Complaints Unit began recording whether ‘racial discrimination towards a pupil’ has been cited as a factor in complaints made to, or about, local authority maintained school.

Subsequently, racial discrimination towards a pupil was cited as a factor in eight complaints about local authority maintained schools. At the time of their approach, none of the complainants had attempted to resolve their concerns locally, using the schools’ own complaints procedure, so were advised to do so.

Whilst complaints about a school can be made to the Department, in most cases complainants should follow the local complaints procedure in the first instance. All schools are required to have a complaints procedure in place and we have published guidance on this for maintained schools, academies and independent schools:

Maintained schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-complaints-procedures/best-practice-advice-for-school-complaints-procedures-2019.

Academies: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-up-an-academies-complaints-procedure.

Independent schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulating-independent-schools.