Are schools a foreign country?
Everyone would say no, but then why are school children being asked to show their passports or fill out details of where they were born?
Under orders from the Department for Education, Lambeth, along side other local authorities, are now asking parents to provide details of their children’s nationality. The entire purpose of this is to find undocumented families. This is part of the growing anti immigrant mood in British politics and is a very worrying development. Schools should have no role in policing people’s backgrounds – their only job is to provide free education to the children that live in their area.
Thankfully the DoE has clarified that passport checks are not a requirement. The school may ask to see documentation but parents should refuse to comply. In which case the administrator will leave the box empty.
UNISON is opposed to these immigration checks on parents and children.
MOTION PASSED AT LAMBETH UNISON BRANCH COMMITTEE IN SEPTEMBER
The Department of Education under the guise of investigating “education tourism” is asking all children in schools in England to bring their passports and birth certificates to prove their nationality and country of birth.
More details can be found on this site: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/schools-must–collectdata–on immigrantchildren–children–from–autumn.
This will only serve to exacerbate concerns for immigrant communities and will be an infringement on the rights of British citizens as it will apply to the general school population. Under this Policy, schools will be required to check on “nationality” status every term.
Nicky Morgan disclosed in an interview with The Telegraph earlier this year that she had ordered civil servants in the Department for Education to investigate the impact of mass migration on state schools.
The impact of this policy will only serve to create anxiety amongst immigrant communities out of genuine fear that the information will end up in the hands of Immigration Enforcement.
This motion seeks to gain the understanding and support of Lambeth UNISON that such a policy is divisive and will only serve to cause harm to children who may be withdrawn from school. The general feedback is that parents are not aware that they can opt out and must do so by the 6th October , this part of the policy has not promoted as much as the need to see proof of nationality.
Concern is also expressed for the emotional wellbeing of those in schools, in these posts, who will be expected to implement this part of the policy.
This branch resolves to
- Highlight this policy and make public the relevant information to empower parents of their right to opt out and encourage its members to be active in publicising this policy and more importantly the right to opt out
- Obtain clarity as to how this information will be used
- Call on Lambeth Council to make a statement pertaining to this divisive and extremely worrying policy.