Ignore school census queries on nationality


Originally printed in the Guardian


Greater Manchester Law Centre is committed to battling all forms of discrimination and inequality, and is concerned about the census inquiries in schools (Data fears prompt call to boycott census queries, 26 September). These are directed to children with migrant histories, and should not be responded to. There is no compulsion on parents to respond, and governing bodies of all schools should have a clear policy on whether safeguarding issues arise by participating in such information-gathering.

It cannot be in the best interests of children to be singled out on account of their immigration status, nationality or family history. Schools should in any event make it clear that the provision of any information is non-compulsory.
George Brown Barrister, Kenworthy’s Chambers, Sumita Gupta Clifford Johnston Solicitors, John Nicholson Chair, Greater Manchester Law Centre, Dr Dawn Edge Senior lecturer, Winston Churchill fellow and university academic lead for equality and diversity, University of Manchester, Craig Holmes Barrister, Kenworthy’s Chambers, Mark Schwenk Barrister, Kenworthy’s Chambers, Sukhdeep Singh Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit