HC Deb 02 February 1971 vol 810 cc332-3W
89 and 90. Mr. Scott

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) whether the new educational statistics about coloured children to be collected by her Department will include statistics specifically related to Maltese and Cypriot children;

(2) what consultations she held with bodies outside the Government, before deciding to change the basis of the collection of statistics regarding coloured school children.

91 and 92. Sir G. Sinclair

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is the new basis for the collection of educational statistics by her Department; and if she will make a statement;

(2) for what purposes she intends to prepare statistics of coloured children in British schools:

(3) to what extent the collection of new educational statistics by her Department is intended to assess more accurately educational need or demand including any special needs of coloured school children.

Mrs. Thatcher

Since 1966 the Department has for statistical purposes, defined immigrant children as:

  1. (i) children born outside the British Isles to parents whose countries of origin were abroad: and
  2. (ii) children born in this country but whose parents have been here for less than 10 years.

In 1969 the Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration recommended that the definition should cover not only the country of birth of the person concerned but also the country of birth of his or her parents. In the light of this recommendation, and in order to obtain more accurate information about pupils and their special educational needs, and to assist in the allocation of resources, I propose to revise the definition from January 1972.

The revision will be discussed with the local authority associations and the teachers' organisations. The information I propose to collect will not be related specifically to coloured pupils; as at present, it will cover Maltese and Cypriot children as well as children of other national backgrounds.