Against Borders for Children is a coalition of parents, teachers, schools and campaigners.
Our aim is to reverse the Department of Education’s (DfE) policy, effective from September 2016, to collect country of birth and nationality information on 8 million children in England in order to ‘create a hostile environment’ for migrant children in schools.
This new immigration data will be collected through the School Census and then permanently stored on the National Pupil Database. These censuses happen every year and every academic term respectively. The next happens in Spring 2017.
Providing this data is optional and does not affect school funding.
This means parents and schools can legally work together to withhold this information from DfE.
The agreement, which has been in place since June 2015, is outlined in a memorandum of understanding between the Department for Education (DfE) and the Home Office. This step is a diluted form of Theresa May’s 2015 stated goal of having schools check passports before accepting new pupils and withdrawing and deprioritising places for migrant children.
As well as using the data to target individual children and families, we are concerned that members of the public, journalists, government departments, and other organisations will also be able to access schools’ immigration numbers. With a huge rise in racist hate crime since the Brexit vote, we fear for the safety of schoolchildren nationwide.
So we are organising a national boycott until the Department of Education reverses this policy and commits to safeguarding children from the stigma of anti-immigrant rhetoric and the violence that accompanies it.
Update: The campaign has won a concession to exclude collecting nationality data in the Early Years census that concerns toddlers.
What you can do:
If you are a parent, you can learn more about how to protect your child’s data.
If you are a teacher, learn how you can get involved.
For more questions, please contact us.
Over 20 organisations signed our letter to Justine Greening, calling on the Secretary of State for Education to reverse the policy and to commit to protecting all children from stigma, xenophobia, and violence. They are:
- Zita Holbourne, Co-Founder / National Co-Chair, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts
- Sabir Zazai, Chair of Trustees, City of Sanctuary
- The Children’s Society
- Jen Persson, Coordinator, defenddigitalme
- Remi Joseph-Salisbury, Founding Member, Critical Race and Ethnicities Network
- Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now
- Liz Fekete, Director, Institute of Race Relations
- Rizwan Hussain, Founder and Director, Jawaab
- Saira Grant, Chief Executive, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
- Carolina Gottardo, Director, Latin American Women’s Rights Service
- Bella Sankey, Director of Policy, Liberty
- Stephanie O’Connor, Chair, London Campaign Against Police and State Violence
- Wayne Myslik, Director, Migrants Resource Centre
- Don Flynn, Director, Migrants’ Rights Network
- Malia Bouattia, President, National Union of Students
- Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group
- Gus Hosein, Executive Director, Privacy International
- Jabeer Butt, Deputy Chief Executive, Race Equality Foundation
- Rita Chadha, Chief Executive, RAMFEL
- Maurice Wren, Chief Executive, Refugee Council
- Lisa Matthews, Coordinator, Right to Remain
- Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters
- Suresh Grover, Director, The Monitoring Group