Racism Not The Reason For Ethnic Disparities, Government-Backed Report Claims
NurPhoto via Getty ImagesBoris Johnson and his policy chief Munira Mirza, whose appointment to lead the review has proved controversial
Racism is not the reason for most disparities between ethnic minorities and their white counterparts in the UK, a controversial government-commissioned report will say.
The commission on race and ethnic disparities dismisses the “idealism” of young people who claim the UK is institutionally racist, insisting this is “not borne out by the evidence”.
While acknowledging that “overt and outright racism persists in the UK, particularly online” and that Britain is “not a post racial society”, the report claims that societal disparities between ethnic groups “do not have their origins in racism”.
Instead, it argues that all ethnic groups apart from Black Caribbeans outperform their white counterparts at school and this is helping to create more diverse workplaces, although disparities remain at the top of public and private sectors.
The report, commissioned after the Black Lives Matter protests and published in full on Wednesday, is likely to prove highly controversial.
It starts: “Education is the single most emphatic success story of the British ethnic minority experience.
“The commission notes that the average GCSE Attainment 8 score for Indian, Bangladeshi and Black African pupils were above the white British average.”
The report makes 24 recommendations, including:
Scrapping the use of the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) acronym as differences between different groups are important.
Business and other organisations moving “away from funding unconscious bias training”.
Urging the government to convene a panel of experts to develop “evidence-based approaches” of what works to advance fairness at work.
Further research into “high performing pupils’ communities” to see what can be replicated across the education system.
Phasing in extended school days, starting with disadvantaged areas, to make up for ground lost during Covid pandemic home schooling.
Sewell said: “The report highlights the significance of education as the single most powerful tool in reducing ethnic disparities.
“The effect of education is transformative on individuals but also their families and their communities, sometimes within a generation.
“Another revelation from our dive into the data was just how stuck some groups from the white majority are.
“As a result, we came to the view that recommendations should, wherever possible, be designed to remove obstacles for everyone, rather than specific groups.”
He added: “Creating a successful multi-ethnic society is hard, and racial disparities exist wherever such a society is being forged.
“The commission believes that if these recommendations are implemented, it will give a further burst of momentum to the story of our country’s progress to a successful multi-ethnic and multicultural community – a beacon to the rest of Europe and the world.”
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