- Created: Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:49
Since 2007 every school has had to submit its census twice a year. This information identifies free school meal eligibility, ethnicity (numbers of EAL pupils – English as an additional language) and Special Educational Needs. The numbers determine how much funding the government gives to each school.
This year the Department for Education has requested additional information, the nationality and country of birth of pupils to be confirmed by presentation of the child’s passport. This information is due to be sent to Department of Education on 6 October and schools have to check nationality status every term.
Parents can, before this date, declare that they want to opt-out and refuse to give this information to schools. If they have already given this information before this date, they can instruct schools not to send this information to central government as it will end up in the hands of immigration enforcement. All schools, nurseries and child-minders should be giving parents an option to opt out from providing this additional information. School letters should have the option ‘I do not wish to provide this information’ and also state that ‘there is no requirement for the school to see your passport or birth certificate’.
Some schools and nurseries in Hackney already collected this information in July and the result was the deportation of up to 50 schoolchildren. It is vital that no parents comply so that there is a united front against this ruling. There is a good leaflet advising parents of their right to opt out at schoolsabc.net/resources which provides a template letter for parents to send to their school or nursery. Solidarity of all parents/carers can succeed against this piece of state racism.