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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Each Racist Incident is One Too Many

July 22, 2014 10:08 AM

Martin VyeAt the County Council meeting on the 17th of July Martin Vye, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Kent County Council, asked what the administration are doing to combat extremism and racism in Kent schools.

He said: "the widely publicised investigation into certain Birmingham schools has made us all think about what values individual schools are promoting. The answer I got from the Cabinet Member for Education is that in Kent it is left to the police to investigate, and tackle, the problem of extremism if it exists in our schools. I was told that the police have been conducting visits to schools, under the national PREVENT programme, and have talked with a number of school pupils referred to them."

Martin went on: "Of course, PREVENT is about stopping the spread of Islamist extremism. I am concerned about the wider picture as well. Are our schools doing enough, for example, to combat racism, which is also totally alien to our way of life? I asked for the number of racist incidents recorded by Kent schools over the past four years. In 2010/11 just under 1,000 such events were recorded. Unfortunately, the Equality Act 2010 removed the requirement for schools to report these incidents. Even so the number reported to KCC in 2012/13 was over 800---and that was with one fifth of schools declining to provide the information. Each of these racist incidents is one too many."