Updated: Sunday, 9th August 2020 @ 8:23am

Oldham schools see 40% hate crime increase over past four years – despite racist incidents fall

Oldham schools see 40% hate crime increase over past four years – despite racist incidents fall

By Dean Wilkins

Racism in Oldham schools fell by 15% despite an increase of 40% for hate crime and bullying from 2007 to 2010 according to new reports.

There were 87,915 cases of racist bullying, ranging from name calling to physical abuse, across the UK from 2007.

And Oldham, Luton, Bedford and Middlesbrough saw sharp increases while Birmingham topped the list with 5,752 incidents – many blamed to new government reporting guidelines for the fluctuation of figures.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, told the BBC: "These numbers are disappointingly high – we would really hope this is not the tip of the iceberg.

"Clearly were would not want any cases of racist abuse or racism in any of our schools."

Data from 90 areas was taken up until 2011 as the coalition changed the guidance for schools which are not expected to record and report the data anymore.

Sarah Soyei, of the anti-racism educational charity, Show Racism the Red Card (SRRC), said: "Unfortunately, the numbers of recorded racist incidents are just the tip of the iceberg.

"Racism is a very real issue in many classrooms around the country, but cases of racist bullying are notoriously underreported.

"Often teachers may not be aware of racism in their classrooms because victims are scared of reporting them out of fear of making the situation worse.

“It is teachers and parents, not central government, that know what is happening in their schools, and they are best placed to deal with racist behaviour when it happens”

But some local education authorities say the increases is due to better recording methods and that the problem is not growing.

Teacher unions and anti-racism charities agree the government's new recording of racism in schools is a mistake.


Oldham Council previously used a system to track bullying called Notification of Racially Motivated Incidents (NORMI) which tracked racially motivated incidents and the number of racially motivated incidents fell between 2008/09 (272) and 2009/10 (231).



But since 2009 the council has used Notification of Hate Incidents and Bullying (NOHIB) which now includes all types of hate type bulling including for instance homophobia and racial motivated bullying. Both these factors will have led to an increase in the overall figure which is 396 for 2009/10.


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