Racist incidents at school fall

NEW figures have revealed the number of racist incidents in Suffolk schools have fallen by 3.7 per cent on last year.

NEW figures have revealed the number of racist incidents in Suffolk schools have fallen by 3.7 per cent on last year.

For the last academic year - September 2007 until July 2008 �- the number of racist incidents in schools, the majority of which is verbal abuse, was 579 compared with 601 incidents for the previous year.

Education chiefs from the county council have conceded there is still more work to do to address racism and to increase reporting of incidents - the 07/08 figure still represents a 34pc increase on the number of incidents in 05/06 (433).

Patricia O'Brien, portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services, said: “We welcome the efforts that schools are making in reporting incidents and working with pupils to increase awareness.

“We are pleased that the trend is down, having risen last year, but there is no room for complacency.

“We will continue to work with schools to tackle racism and to adhere to the zero tolerance approach we have already followed for a number of years here in Suffolk.

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“With that in mind, it is important to make sure that children are willing to report incidents and that teachers are sensitive to them. Suffolk is committed to removing racism from all schools in the county."

Derek Merrill, advisory head for race equality and achievement at Suffolk County Council, said: "We want schools to continue to report incidents and we encourage them to do so.

“The programme of awareness raising is set to continue with further training for schools planned for next term.”

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