Promote British values and register home-schooled pupils, Casey review recommends

A landmark report which was supposed to provide a ‘major review’ of the impact of migration on schools has made just three recommendations relating to education.

The Casey review into opportunity and integration has demanded more weight be attached to teaching British values, laws and history in schools, and recommended compulsory registration of pupils outside mainstream education.

Authored by the government’s troubled families lead Dame Louise Casey, the report also calls for schools in some areas to become more diverse, suggesting that potential school sites be bought in areas of the highest segregation.

Casey also said multi-academy trusts should be encouraged to have a “diverse range of provision” but gives no further detail.

A review into the effect of migration on England’s schools was first mooted by Nicky Morgan last spring, but delayed and rolled into Casey’s inquiry earlier this year.

Read more: Minority ethnic students are baffled by British values
Read more: Minority ethnic students are baffled by British values

That delay prompted concerns the issue was being buried ahead of June’s referendum on membership of the European Union.

In her recommendations today, Casey said schools should promote British laws, history and values “within the core curriculum” to help build “integration, tolerance, citizenship and resilience in our children”.

“More weight should be attached to a British Values focus and syllabus in developing teaching skills and assessing schools performance,” she added.

She also said that all children outside mainstream education should be required to register with local authorities, a call likely to be controversial among those who home-school their children.

Casey warned that high ethnic minority concentration in schools and residential areas increased the likelihood of children “growing up without meeting or better understanding people from different backgrounds”.

One striking illustration of such segregation came from a non-faith state secondary school visited where a survey revealed pupils “believed the population of Britain to be between 50 per cent and 90 per cent Asian”, she said.

The review also found that in one ward in Sheffield, the number of children of EU nationals had increased from 150 to 2,500 in five years.

Casey also highlighted “growing concerns exist for the safeguarding of children in some communities”, and said her review found unregistered faith schools operating in areas researched for the report. She said that in too many cases the educational circumstances of the children were “not known to local authorities”.

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  1. A register of home-schooled children is long overdue. But I’m not sure what Dame Louise means by ‘encouraging Multi-Academy Trusts to have a diverse range of provision.’ Perversely, a diverse range of provision could increase segregation if certain schools were perceived to be for children of a certain background (or academic ability of the Government has its way).
    If, however, Dame Louise means admission criteria for faith schools should be relaxed so such schools can’t discriminate on grounds of faith, then this would ease the segregation of children by beliefs. There would be an element of self-selection, of course, but faith schools which welcomed all children would increase diversity in these schools and reduce the perception of ‘us and them’.

    • Mark Watson

      She might be referring to how some MATs have found it beneficial to have what some refer to as a ‘mixed economy’ of schools. So rather than the chain consisting of similar schools (e.g. primary) in similar areas and in similar circumstances, the chain includes primary, secondary, special and maybe studio/UTC. There would be two or more ‘hubs’ so schools come from different areas with different experiences (e.g. there could be an urban hub and a rural hub), and some would be based in ‘comfortable, middle-class’ communities and others in more challenging communities.
      Having this diversity within the chain means that all the schools benefit from each other – primary, secondary and special working closely together not only gives great benefits to teachers who can learn invaluable lessons from colleagues working in different circumstances, but can also gives children a greater appreciation of children who are different to them.