Liberty responds to Theresa May's planned 'deprioritisation' of school places for illegal migrant children

01 December 2016

Leaked Home Office documents have today revealed that Theresa May planned to 'deprioritise' school places for children of illegal migrants when Home Secretary.

Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, said: “This was a dangerous, mean-spirited and small-minded proposal. The Prime Minister should be building a fair, inclusive nation for us all – instead she still seems bent on fuelling mistrust and discrimination.

"Since September, the Department for Education has been forcing schools to draw up lists of foreign-born school children, creating a climate of fear and isolation. 

“Parents can and should refuse to reveal their child’s nationality in the January school census. That will 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.”

Gracie Mae Bradley, co-founder of Against Borders for Children, said: “It’s sad but not surprising that proposals to treat migrant children this way were mooted as recently as last year. Even if they are shelved for the moment, yesterday’s Home Secretary is today’s Prime Minister, and the Government is currently pressing ahead with plans to draw up foreign children lists through schools.

“Parents have the right to refuse to give this data in the next census on January 19th, and to retract any data that they have already submitted. Doing so sends a strong and urgent signal to the Government: that we reject its attempts to divide people by where they were or were not born, and that we will not be complicit in its efforts to undermine the human rights of migrant children and families.”