Monday, 31 October 2016

UK Home Office Turning Teachers Into Immigration Officers

When concerns were first raised about changes introduced last month requiring schools and colleges in England to ask parents if their children are foreign nationals or born abroad, they were met with reassurances that the data would not be shared with the Home Office.

However it has now been revealed that even before this new requirement was implemented, Home Office officials had already requested information from the Department for Education (DfE) on almost 2,500 children over a 15 month period. So it's not hard to see why people are worried.

The campaign Against Borders for Children (ABC), using the hashtag #BoycottSchoolCensus, has led the opposition to these immigration related questions. We are concerned that the policy will effectively bring immigration control into schools placing every child aged between two and 19 in England, born outside Britain as a potential immigration offender.

The DfE claims there is a new data agreement which "supersedes" the previous data sharing arrangement. However they have refused to release the text of the agreement without campaigners going through a time consuming Freedom of Information request. This is a stance that hardly encourages trust and confidence in a process that has been plagued by poor planning and lack of guidance from the outset.


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