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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Schools told to teach tolerance
Bradford rioting
Rioting in Bradford has exposed racial tensions
Schoolchildren in Bradford should be made to learn more about other cultures, says a report which is set to present a bleak picture of racial segregation in the city's education system.

The report, written before a wave of rioting hit the city, is expected to say that white, Asian and black children are growing up with few experiences of children of other races or religions.

Lord Ouseley'
Lord Ouseley's report is expected to criticise a culture of segregation
And it calls for the compulsory introduction of lessons encouraging an understanding of cultures across what it identifies as a widening racial divide.

The report, produced by Lord Ouseley, the former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, and due to be published in full on Thursday, is expected to call for closer links between schools across the city.

Schools are identified as being "mono-cultural", serving local Asian, white and black communities and with limited contact with schools serving other ethnic groups.

"Something needs to be done about this segregation," said local councillor, Sajawai Hussain, echoing the report's findings.

"We need to integrate our children and mix them together, unless we do that they're not going to understand each other and we're going to have problems."

Bussing

There have been earlier attempts to create a more diverse racial mix in local schools, but local MP, Gerry Sutcliffe, speaking on Newsnight, said that previous attempts at "bussing" pupils across the city had failed.

"You can't force people to travel from one side of the city to the other," he said.

But he urged schools to develop multicultural awareness and he suggested that catchment areas could be reconsidered.

There have also been concerns that the government's proposed expansion of religious schools will deepen such divisions.

Religious schools

Single-faith schools can give preference to applications from families within a religious community, rather than reflecting the local social, ethnic or religious mix in the local population.

There have been fears that Christian denominational schools can become synonomous with the white community, with local Muslim pupils being excluded.

This becomes even more controversial when these schools are among the highest-achieving in an area - with accusations that children of other faiths are denied admission to the most successful schools in their locality.

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See also:

19 Feb 99 | Education
Education system racist - Ouseley
10 Jul 01 | UK
Further trouble in Bradford
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