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180 racism incidents in city schools
YORK schools reported 180 incidents of racism over the four years to last July, council chiefs have revealed.
A spokeswoman for City of York Council said that of these, 145 were categorised as “name calling”.
Kevin Hall, assistant director in adults, children and education, said the authority was responsible for more than 60 schools in York and there were a relatively low number of reported cases of racism.
“Schools take any incidents of racism very seriously and act on them sensitively and swiftly,” he said.
North Yorkshire County Council said that 236 racial incidents were reported at all schools across the county in 2010/11, with 79 in the autumn term, 98 in the spring term and 59 in the summer term. Figures were not available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
The figures were revealed after it emerged that nationwide, tens of thousands of children – including some as young as three – have been accused of racism at school.
Data obtained from 90 councils under a Freedom of Information request detailed 87,915 “racist incidents” at primary and secondary schools between 2007 and 2011.
The Labour Government in 2002 put schools under a duty to record all incidents involving perceived racism and report them to their local authority, but the Coalition Government removed the duty in 2010/11, saying schools should “exercise their own judgment.”
The Department for Education said it wanted all forms of bullying, particularly bullying motivated by prejudice, to be tackled.
“Different schools face different issues, so it is for them to develop their own robust strategies to improve behaviour and to prevent all forms of bullying,” said a spokeswoman.