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Schools: Ethnic Groups

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to tackle the incidence of school populations dominated by one ethnic type in English schools; and if he will make a statement. (146736)

Where communities are ethnically diverse their schools should aspire to reflect that diversity. However, it is unlawful for schools to take account of a child's ethnic background when allocating places. What is important is that all parents are able to exercise their fundamental right to decide what school they would like their child to attend confident that they will not be discriminated against because of their background. The new school admissions code, which came into force on 28 February 2007, has established a framework to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to attend a good school. In addition, the governing bodies of maintained schools in England have a duty under section 38 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion and Ofsted will report on the discharge of this duty.