Urgent call to action: the Government must answer questions on collecting country of birth

URGENT: If you act now, Government will have to answer questions on collecting country of birth on your children and their friends.

This Monday, the 31st October, the House of Lords will discuss the collection of country of birth from children in schools.

Contact a member of the House of Lords, and tell them why this is important to you and your family.

Our children’s records must only be used for the purposes parents and pupils and schools expect. Giving sensitive information to schools is necessary for their education, but the Government shouldn’t use it against pupils and schools. How can we trust that the new country-of-birth and nationality data collected will not be used in ways we don’t expect when the government says one thing, and does another? [Read all about it in latest press here].

We have written to the Secretary of State for Education and Department to call for the end of the use of pupil records in these ways. Since July 2015 the Home Office requested almost 2,500 individuals’ details from the Department for Education for the purposes of immigration control. They are giving out home address and school address. The National Union of Teachers has called for this use of pupil data to end to make it clear that “schools are not part of policing immigration.”  The Against Borders for Children Campaign has received parents and pupils’ case studies from the School Census for a month with now several hundred examples of forms that fail. You may have written in response to the ABC umbrella call to supporters’ action already. Now we need all of you to take action today.

Actions you can take:

  1. Post this link to Facebook or Twitter so your friends can help too
  2. Use writeToThem.com to contact a member of the House of Lords, and (politely) tell them why this is important to you and your family, and ask them to “regret the collection of Country of Birth.”

If you haven’t heard anything from your school, then they will have “ascribed” one to your child – whatever they thought it might be. Nationality data already in local systems have been sent to the National Database often without informing parents or pupils at all. Collecting country-of-Birth has been divisive and discriminating.

The Department for Education is terrified that they will lose on Monday. You can remind them that what they see as their database, is actually our children’s school history, and they should treat it with more care.

Without total clarity about Home Office access to pupil data, and to-date no public statement by government on why, if, and how this will continue, there are too few reasons for the new census data  collection and too many risks to entrust even more sensitive data to them now.

ACT NOW: write to them and Government will have to answer questions on collecting country-of-birth on your children and their friends.