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10 April 2018

Campaign wins government U-turn on hostile environment in schools

According to the Guardian:

Campaigners are claiming victory amid reports that the government is to back down on a controversial requirement that schools must collect data on their pupils’ nationality and country of birth.

The campaign group Against Borders for Children (ABC), which has fought against the policy since its introduction in September 2016, welcomed the apparent government U-turn as a “comprehensive victory”.

The Department for Education (DfE) is now expected to contact schools to explain there will no longer be any requirement to collect information from parents about the nationality and country of birth of their child as part of the school census.

Alan Munroe, a primary school teacher and ABC spokesperson, said: “This news is a massive victory for a small group of activists with no budget and no staff, just a determination that our schools should be a safe learning environment for every child.

“ABC was set up just over 18 months ago to end the gathering of nationality and country of birth data on children in English schools as part of the Tory ‘hostile environment’ [immigration] agenda. Today that objective has been achieved, and we will be celebrating tonight.”

Gracie Bradley, advocacy and policy officer at the human rights charity Liberty, added: “This is a huge victory for the teachers, parents and campaigners who stood up and refused to comply with this poisonous attempt to build foreign children lists.”