Reporting and recording racist
incidents in Academies
Section 12. Reporting and recording racist incidents in Academies 1. Introduction
In this guidance, we refer to „racist incidents‟ rather than to „racist bullying‟ because this conveys the importance of dealing with one off events, before a pattern emerges. We believe it is important to be consistent in the terms that are used to describe racist incidents.
2. What is a racist incident?
It will be important that academies think through for themselves the implications/ definition of the term „racist incident‟. Recommendation 12 of the Macpherson
Report on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry published in February 1999 defined a
racist incident as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any
Types of racist incidents that can occur are:
? physical assault against a person or group because of colour, ethnicity or
? use of derogatory names, insults and racist jokes;
? racist graffiti;
? provocative behaviour such as wearing racist badges or insignia;
? bringing racist material into the school;
? verbal abuse and threats;
? incitement of others to behave in a racist way;
? racist comments in the course of discussion;
? attempts to recruit others to racist organisations and groups;
? ridicule of an individual for cultural difference e.g. food, music, religion, dress; ? refusal to co-operate with other people because of their colour, ethnic origin or
? written derogatory remarks;
? any of the above forms of racial harassment, or any other discrimination by
employers in connection with work placements or work experience.
One key step towards creating a safe learning environment is ensuring that all forms of racism are tackled firmly as and when they occur, because no child can feel safe in an environment where racism is not challenged. If racist incidents are not dealt with in academies, then this will send a powerful message to children that racism is acceptable not only in academies but in society as a whole.
Academies may wish to consider putting the Macpherson definition of a racist
incident in words that are appropriate to the age and understanding of their pupils.
To this end academies may find it helpful to involve students in writing the
definition as a means of ensuring that pupils understand and feel responsible for
their academy‟s commitment to equality.
3. Statutory requirements
The Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2000) (RRAA) builds on the previous
Race Relations legislation of 1976 and makes it clear that harassment on racial,
ethnic or national grounds is unlawful. It places general and specific duties on all
public bodies and requires public authorities to review their policies and
procedures; to remove discrimination and the possibility of discrimination; and
actively to promote race equality. In other words, public authorities are required
not only to address unlawful discrimination where it occurs, but also to be
proactive in preventing it from occurring.
Specific duties that all educational establishments must comply with are:
? prepare a written policy on race equality;
? assess the impact of policies on different racial groups of pupils, staff
and parents; in particular, assess and monitor the impact on pupils;
? make information available about their policies to promote race
? take account of the RRAA general duties for public bodies.
4. Academies’ arrangements
Tackling racist incidents effectively is a key step that academies can take in
promoting race equality. The legal responsibility for the academy to meet the
requirements of the RRAA rests with the Governing Body, who should maintain
an overview of the implementation of their Race Equality Policy.
Academy principals or nominated senior members of staff are encouraged to:
? discuss and agree procedures and format for monitoring and recording
? report such incidents at least annually to the Academy Trust/Governing
Body and to their academies liaison officer in the Open Academies and
Finance unit at the DCSF.
Since March 2004, schools have been required to record reasons for permanent
exclusions: this includes racist incidents. Academies should ensure that, where a
child is permanently excluded for a racist incident, this is recorded on the local
exclusions form and recorded on the racist incident form.
5. Ofsted inspections
Ofsted‟s Self-Evaluation Form plays a crucial role in the inspection procedures, and
academies may wish to use the form to demonstrate links between their handling
of racist incidents and their action plan on race equality. When Ofsted‟s inspectors
or School Improvement Partners (SIPs) visit an academy, they can ask for evidence to show what that academy has been doing to tackle racism and promote harmony in the academy community.
Principals should ensure that governors are aware of racist incidents, particularly where serious or persistent offences occur. This should be part of a report on the academy‟s race equality policy action plan. It should cover trends and year groups
A senior member of the academy staff or a governor should be responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented and for monitoring reports of racist behaviour, seeking to establish reasons for trends and action planning accordingly. It is important however, that this information does not prejudice the governors‟ ability to act impartially and appropriately in any subsequent disciplinary action or appeal. This applies whether pupils or staff are involved. The department recommends that a report to the Governors is made in the autumn cycle of meetings so that the information can be included in the annual Academy Profile. Academies are reminded that their procedures for collecting and keeping records of racist incidents should comply with the Freedom of Information Act (2000) and the Data Protection Act (1998).
7. Teachers and other staff
Staff will need to attend appropriate training sessions in order to identify and challenge racist bias and stereotyping and to help maintain racial equality between children of different backgrounds and communities. New staff should be inducted into the processes.
It is important that the victim of any racist incident is informed of any investigation and the outcome. Pupils who may have witnessed an incident need also to be aware of the outcome.
9. Parents & carers
Academies should ensure that parents and carers are aware of the academy‟s
policy and procedures on racism and bullying. Academies should encourage parents and carers to inform the academy about racist incidents which their children talk to them about. They should also feel confident that the academy will take appropriate action to resolve the situation. Such actions should form part of the whole academy policy and approaches to combat racism within the community.