CREDIT: This story was first seen in The Telegraph
Schools that are dominated by pupils from a single cultural, racial or religious background must teach “pluralistic” British values, under a new Government strategy.
The Telegraph reports that prime minister Theresa May told ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting that the Integrated Communities Strategy would deliver a “step change” in the effort to ensure that all communities engage in British society.
It comes after the Government promised to come up with a plan to tackle “racially divided” communities, as one of their manifesto pledges.
The strategy, drawn up by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, also includes measures to improve opportunities for people from immigrant communities to learn English and to encourage women to enter the workplace.
Under the plans, which will be unveiled later this month, schools with pupils from a single cultural, racial or religious background will be required to ensure they are taught “pluralistic” British values.
Mrs May’s official spokesman said that the strategy was designed to “help people in more isolated communities to engage with the wider world”.
“It will help women in particular into the workplace, teach more people to speak English and work with schools to make sure that those with intakes from one predominant racial, cultural or religious background teach their students about pluralistic British values and help them to get to know people with different ways of life,” said the PM’s spokesman.
Mrs May told Cabinet that Mr Javid had led work across government to produce a strategy which cuts across departments from the economy to education and housing.
She told ministers to ensure their departments work together to ensure an “ambitious” strategy which would deliver “the step change that is needed”, said her spokesman.
Last year, a Bradford superhead said that legislation is needed to stop one ethnicity taking over schools. Sir Nick Weller, the executive principal at Dixons Academies which runs a chain of schools in the west Yorkshire city, said that introducing a new law is the “only answer” to prevent children being segregated along ethnic lines.
He said that it is “unhealthy” for a city like Bradford to have two communities living “separate lives” and for the children to be educated at different schools.
The Conservative manifesto in last year’s general election promised a strategy to tackle racial and religious divisions within the UK’s communities. The manifesto described Britain as “one of the world’s most successful multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious societies” which had benefited from “cultural and economic enrichment” as a result.
But it added: “The enjoyment and pride we take in our diversity should not cause us to ignore the fact that in too many parts of our country, we have communities that are divided, often along racial or religious lines.”
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