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Schools: Anti-Semitism

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps the Government are taking to protect Jewish schoolchildren from anti-Semitic attacks by other schoolchildren; and if he will make a statement; (256820)

(2) what assessment he has made of the incidence of (a) bullying and (b) intimidation of Jewish students in schools since December 2008; and if he will make a statement.

Schools are under a legal duty to promote race equality and it is compulsory for schools to have measures in place to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying, whatever the motivation. In March 2006 we published specialist guidance on bullying around race, religion and culture which focused on preventing and tackling racist and religious bullying in schools and included specific material on bullying related to anti-Semitism. We are funding the Anti-Bullying Alliance and national strategies to ensure the guidance is effectively embedded in local authorities and schools, and are monitoring the situation closely.

We have also published a toolkit to help schools contribute to the prevention of violent extremism. The toolkit includes advice on how to protect pupils from violent extremism, manage risks and respond to incidents locally, nationally or internationally that might have an impact on the school community.

We do not collect data on bullying or incidents of intimidation centrally although we are aware that Jewish pupils can be particularly vulnerable to bullying. We intend to introduce a new statutory duty on schools to record all incidents of bullying between pupils later this year, and will specifically consult on whether schools should be obliged to record racist incidents.