Schools blighted by segregation

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Thousands of schools are being blighted by segregation linked to a student’s ethnicity or social status withKirklees named as one of the most divided areas within the country, new research reveals.

The study shows that in 2016 more than a quarter of primaries and around two fifths of secondaries were ethnically segregated. And nearly three in 10 primary schools and more than a quarter of secondary schools are split by social background.

This means that many schools across the country have pupil populations made up overwhelmingly of white British, or ethnic minority youngsters, or have large numbers of children from either rich or poor homes.

Areas seeing rising school segregation include Kirklees, where more than 48 per cent of primaries and 79 per cent of secondaries show evidence of ethnic division, compared to 46 per cent and 77 per cent in 2011, the report said.

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “We celebrate our diversity as a strength and promote cohesion and integration and we work closely with schools, parents and our inter faith networks.”

The findings show that more needs to be done to make school intakes more representative of their local communities, according to The Challenge, which carried out the research.The charity, used data for 2011 to 2016, covering more than 20,000 state schools. A school was considered “segregated” if the proportion of ethnic minority pupils or pupils on free school meals was very different to those at the 10 closest schools.

In Bradford, levels of segregation have fallen from 63 to 58 per cent in the city’s primary schools and from 89 to 70 per cent in secondary schools.