The Guardian is reporting that parents have been asked to refuse requests from teachers to disclose their children’s country of birth information.
Parents are being urged to boycott requests to disclose their child’s nationality and country of birth over fears it could turn teachers into de facto border guards and stoke divisions in the classroom.
Human rights groups are concerned that the data, collected for the first time this year from pupils aged two to 19 as part of the schools census, could be used against children and their families by immigration enforcement.
The Department for Education (DfE) insists that the information will not be handed to the Home Office and that the data is being collected and input to the national pupil database (NPD) to ensure children “receive the best possible education”.
Disclosure is not compulsory, but a recent investigation by the trade magazine Schools Week found that schools were misinterpreting official guidance by demanding pupils’ passport numbers and even specifically targeting the parents of non-white children.
“That creates a climate where half the class is being told you’ve got to bring in your passport and the other half haven’t,” said Gracie Mae Bradley, from Against Borders for Children. “In a post-Brexit environment, kids are already precarious; they are already feeling like it’s not a good thing to be a migrant child and this further divides them.”
Do you think teachers and schools have the right to this sort of information? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena
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