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Victory for UK school data

United Kingdom

The campaign Against Borders for Children (ABC) is celebrating a victory after the UK Department for Education announced it will stop asking schools to collect data on their pupils’ nationality and country of birth.

‘This is a huge victory for the teachers, parents and campaigners who stood up and refused to comply with this poisonous attempt to build foreign children lists,’ says ABC’s Gracie Bradley.

The data-collection rules, which required schools to pass on children’s data to the Home Office to be used for immigration enforcement purposes, was just one example of the Conservative government’s commitment to create a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants.

This draconian policy – which forced everyone from landlords to bank clerks to run and share immigration status checks – came under unprecedented scrutiny in April when it was revealed that the government had deported and stripped rights from Commonwealth citizens who came to Britain legally in the 1950s and 1960s from the Caribbean (the ‘Windrush generation’); the scandal lost Home Secretary Amber Rudd her job.

In another boon for migrants, the government also announced it was ‘suspending’ data sharing between the NHS and Home Office, except when involving the investigation of a ‘serious crime’. Testimony to MPs found the practice had led cases including a migrant domestic worker dying since she was too scared to seek treatment for a persistent cough.

New Internationalist issue 513 magazine cover This article is from the May 2018 issue of New Internationalist.
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