Racism 'Still An Issue' In English Schools

Education Hit By 'Largest Cuts Since 1950s'

Racism is still an issue in England's schools, with both pupils and teachers showing racist behaviour, research has suggested.

More than four-fifths (83%) of teachers questioned said they had witnessed racist attitudes or behaviour among their students.

This included name calling, comments, jokes and stereotyping of different races.

Almost a third of those questioned said they had seen similar behaviour among teachers, showing the attitudes were not just restricted to pupils.

In some cases, they used racist terminology, or had lower expectations of ethnic minority pupils.

Some interviewees had come across "teachers with racist attitudes, for example those who were dismissive of the Asian pupils due to perceived language issues".

The study, by anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card , supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), is based on a survey of 148 teachers, plus interviews, pupil observations and a research journal.

It aims to investigate the issues of racism and inequality in the education system.

More than a third (39%) of those questioned said they had not received any training in tackling racism.

The vast majority of teachers surveyed (93%) said that if they saw a racist incident they would feel they could report it.

But it adds: "There was evidence of a lack of action against racist attitudes and behaviour and a lack of understanding of the mechanisms and reasons for reporting racist incidents.

"The research highlighted a reluctance to report incidents which were considered a first offence or where it was felt that the racism was unintentional."

The report also says: "In the majority of cases where action is taken it is purely punitive.

"This does not address the underlying issues and may breed further resentment."

The report called for teachers to be given more training in tackling racism.