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Pupils: Racial Harassment

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the progress made by the Government since the publication of its Race Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland in determining the scale and nature of racist bullying in schools in Northern Ireland. (127184)

In 1999 the Department commissioned research into the nature and scale of bullying in Northern Ireland schools. The report was published in October 2002. The report recommended that managers and teachers should monitor the incidences of ethnic and religion-based bullying and this area should explicitly be included within school policies. The research is available on the Department’s website at I have also arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library.

Following on from this research, in 2005 the Department commissioned the university of Ulster to undertake a further study into the extent and nature of bullying, including racist bullying, in Northern Ireland schools. The report will be published later this year. That will allow for a comparison with the report published in 2002 and the identification of any change.