Call For Ethnic Quotas In Schools

Ethnic quotas should be introduced to the admissions criteria of state schools, according to the head of the Local Government Association. The Times reports Lord Bruce-Lockhart as saying that Britain would never achieve integration and full social cohesion while neighbouring schools were divided along ethnic lines. He described it as unacceptable that non-white pupils should form 90% of the population of one school, when white pupils formed 90% of a neighbouring school.

He suggests one solution would be for schools in areas with high concentrations of minority ethnic groups to incorporate some kind of ethnicity quota into admissions policies.

Former Conservative leader of Kent County Council Lord Bruce-Lockhart was reluctant to specify a quota but said experts had suggested that schools should offer at least 25% of their places to those from other ethnic groups.

Lord Bruce-Lockhart told The Times he accepted that such policies would be difficult to put into practice, but said the most important thing was that a debate on school segregation should take place.

He said: “Proactive admissions policies could be used to establish a better ethnic balance in schools. In towns where the totality of the minority ethnic population is 15% of the whole, we should consider the use of numbers in admissions policies.”

He added that another way forward could be twinning schemes that pair predominantly white schools with predominantly non-white schools for activities such as sports and drama activities.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, agreed that urgent action was needed but was sceptical about the use of quotas. He warned MPs that school segregation had now become a “settled pattern” in many towns, often with disastrous effects.

Tahir Alam, education spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said that ethnic quotas had been shown to be unworkable in the US, where the problem of pupil segregation was far more extreme.