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HUNDREDS OF RACIST incidents AT SCHOOLS; More racist incidents.

Byline: Sam Dimmer Crime reporter sam.dimmer@coventrytelegraph.net

HUNDREDS of racist incidents are recorded at schools in Coventry every year, new figures show.

On average there are two reports of racist abuse a day at the city's schools.

More than 440 racist incidents were recorded in Coventry schools during the last full academic year (2013/14). And experts say they've seen an increase in abuse targeted at Mus-TURN TO PAGE 2 FROM PAGE ONE lims and gipsies.

The figures cover the last five years in Coventry and show there has been little change in the number of reports each year - with 439 racist incidents reported in 2009/10 compared to 444 in 2013/4. A spokesman for Coventry City Council said that in theory the reports covered state schools and academies but not free schools.

However, schools are not legally obliged to provide statistics meaning the figures are unlikely to be complete.

The severity of each incident is unknown and schools are likely to have different standards as to what constitutes racist abuse. A racist incident is described by the council as one that is perceived as racist by the alleged victim.

Once an allegation is made it is recorded and investigated by the school.

James Kingett, from anti-racism educational charity Show Racism the Red Card, said that racism in schools had changed.

He said: "The idea that racism is an issue that has gone away or decreased is a little bit misleading.

"The face of racism is changing though.

"We're seeing increased levels of prejudice against groups that weren't facing the same level of prejudice five years ago.

"We're seeing increased anti-muslim sentiment and Islamophobia as well as racism towards gypsy, Romany and travellers.

"Particularly we're seeing racism towards immigrants and people perceived as foreign or non-indigenous to the UK."

In the last five years the council's figures for racism have varied between 376 a year to 445 - an average of eight or nine racial incidents per 1000 pupils.

Nearly a decade ago the council said that a perceived increase in the number of racist incidents in Coventry's schools was down to them encouraging schools to record every incident.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 11, 2015
Words:361
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