Update: April 2018 – After months of campaigning by Against Borders for Children, Liberty and others, the Department for Education has confirmed it is ending the unnecessary and divisive collection of children's nationality and country of birth data. Find out more.
We must send a message to the Government that classrooms are not the place for border control, and that we will not tolerate an unfair immigration system.
In 2016, the Home Office asked the DfE for information on almost 2500 children for immigration purposes.
Foreign worker lists? This is a foreign children list
It bears a striking resemblance to the Home Secretary’s recent suggestion that companies will be forced to reveal the number of non-UK workers they employ which was widely decried as toxic and xenophobic.
However, the schools policy goes even further, establishing a national register of non-national children linked to their name, address, and other sensitive personal data.
This register will be accessible by multiple third parties with opaque and minimal oversight.
Border controls in our classrooms
This is a dangerous expansion of border control powers into children’s school lives. We now know that Theresa May's Home Office had plans to 'deprioritise' children of illegal immigrants on lists for school places.
With high levels of hate crime reported since the Brexit referendum, measures such as these risk victimising children in schools, a place where they should feel free and safe to learn and grow – rather than be a source of information on their parents or a target for immigration enforcement.
Already there have been reports of non-white children being asked to produce immigration documents at school.