DfE set to axe pupil data-sharing deal with Home Office

The Guardian reports that 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”.

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.”

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.”

The government climbdown, reported in Schools Week, comes in the wake of massive opposition from parents, teachers and human rights organisations who claimed that the requirement to collect pupils’ nationality and country of birth data was turning schools into border controls. More than 500 people donated a total of more than £12,000 to fund a court action to overturn the policy.

The DfE was unable to confirm or deny the reports on Monday night because of ongoing legal action. Sources told Schools Week however that schools would not be required to submit pupil nationality or country of birth data in the next census which is due on 17 May.

Bradley said she hoped the government climbdown would inspire further resistance to the government’s broader hostile environment policies, adding: “It doesn’t change the fact that the DfE is still sharing the addresses of hundreds of children and families with the Home Office every month.”

Read the full article DfE set to axe pupil data-sharing deal with Home Office

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