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Racist Incidents

Racist Incidents

Guidance on dealing with, recording and reporting

racist incidents in schools

The LA recommends that:

  • All discriminatory incidents should be recorded.

  • Summary information about discriminatory incidents should be regularly reported to governors and parents through the requirement of the Equality Act 2010 to publish equality information annually.

  • Schools’ behaviour policies should cover discriminatory incidents and bullying and make clear how staff and pupils should deal with them.

  • All teachers should be trained to deal with discriminatory incidents. (Training is available from Reading Borough Council Equality Services. Please contact Nicola Davies nicola.davies@reading.gov.uk.)

  • Schools should always advise the police of any criminal activity related to discrimination.

Despite the commonly held belief (a belief also held by the DfE for some time), it is not, and never has been, statutory to record and report racist incidents. However, recording and reporting are still widely considered to be good practice, and their importance and value are reinforced by the Equality Act 2010, and by the current Ofsted framework.

Recording incidents enables schools to monitor incidents of prejudice related bullying, identify any actions required to eliminate discrimination, and evaluate whether actions taken are effective.

Ideally, the behaviour module in SIMS should be used to record details of individual incidents. Alternatively, schools may wish to use the form below.

Please see the Guidance document below for further guidance.


Ofsted and prejudice-related bullying

Ofsted inspection handbook January 2014:

When judging behaviour and safety inspectors should consider:

types, rates and patterns of bullying and the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment. This includes cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying related to special educational need, sexual orientation, sex, race, religion and belief, gender reassignment or disability

the effectiveness of the school’s actions to prevent and tackle discriminatory and derogatory language – this includes homophobic and racist language, and language that is derogatory about disabled people

Behaviour and safety - Outstanding:

Pupils are fully aware of different forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying, and actively try to prevent it from occurring. Bullying and derogatory or aggressive language in all their forms are rare and dealt with highly effectively.

Briefing for inspectors on inspecting equalities:

Inspectors will look at the impact of actions based on analysis and use of data, not whether data are collected.


Collection of racist incidents data by the LA

The decision has been taken that the LA will no longer collect racist incidents data from schools. This decision has been reached for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that there has always been great variation in schools’ recording of incidents, with some schools recording only serious incidents and others recording every incident. This meant that the data was not meaningful. Under the Equality Act 2010 it no longer makes sense to collect data only on racist incidents, as all prejudice-related incidents are now covered by one law.

Instead of asking schools to submit data on incidents, School Improvement Officers will ask about prejudice-related bullying as part of one of their termly visits.