Today the House of Lords will debate the Department for Education’s new policy of collecting data on the nationality and country of birth of every school child as part of the thrice yearly School Census and annual Early Years Census.

 

Against Borders for Children (ABC) believes that this policy is unnecessary, divisive and puts vulnerable children and their families at risk. While the completion of data is optional, many schools have incorrectly asked for passport numbers, birth certificates and in some cases whether children were asylum seekers, as well as on occasion targeting only non-white children. (1) Hundreds of parents, teachers and kids are dismayed about this new data collection; many of have been in touch with ABC to say so and have expressed concerns publicly.

 

A Freedom of Information response received on 6 October revealed that the Department for Education has shared individual children’s data with the Home Office on numerous occasions between 2012 and 2016 for immigration enforcement purposes.

 

In the run-up to the debate on October 31, the House of Lords needs to understand that lots of people are worried, and with good reason. To that end, ABC is asking parents and teachers to write to, call, or email your local MPs and councillors to explain why they are concerned about nationality and country of birth data collection in the School Census, and asking them to raise it with the Lords. You could even write to the Lords directly, if you have a connection to one.

 

Read more on the ABC blog here.

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