Pupils’ Birth Data will ‘Not be Passed to the Home Office’
Data collected by schools concerning pupils’ nationality will not be passed to the Home Office, according to a government spokeswoman.
A Department for Education (DfE) spokeswoman said the information would be used “solely internally” and for research purposes, according to a BBC News Online article.
Information on pupils’ country of birth, nationality and level of English proficiency has been collected by schools in England, as requested by the government, since September.
New guidance requesting schools should seek birthplace data, stressing it wasn’t compulsory to provide it, had led to some schools asking for copies of pupils’ passport, and if they were asylum seekers, according to an investigation by Schools Week in June.
Schools Week said some schools had not communicated the fact this information was optional.
A DfE spokeswoman said: “Collecting this data will help ensure our children receive the best possible education.
“It will be used to help us better understand how children with, for example, English as an additional language perform in terms of their broader education, and to assess and monitor the scale and impact immigration may be having on the schools sector.
“Data on pupils’ country of birth, nationality and level of English proficiency is collected through the school census in line with the national population census.
“These data items will not be passed to the Home Office.
“They are solely for internal Department for Education use for analysis, statistics and research.”
Speaking to BBC News Online Gracie Mae Bradley, from Against Borders for Children, which is leading the campaign to have the policy overturned, urged parents to boycott the data collection.
“In the context of a ‘hostile environment’ in which employers, landlords and even healthcare workers are being turned into border guards, we believe this new requirement could be used to add school administrators to the list.
“We are also deeply concerned that this data will be made available, without time limit, much more widely outside the schools system, which cannot be acceptable.”