Britain’s largest teachers’ union has blasted the government’s “reactionary” plan to ban alleged “illegal” immigrants’ children from schools saying the union is against “racism and Islamophobia”.
General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Christine Blower said the government’s proposals violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“It is quite unacceptable for Ministers at the Department for Education to be considering banning children of immigrants deemed ‘illegal’ from schools. The UK has obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which the Government must ensure we observe,” Blower said.
“The Government must give reassurances that it will not promote reactionary plans such as this. Even the knowledge that it is being discussed could lead to the victimisation of some of the most vulnerable people in society,” she added.
The British media revealed on March 27 that ministers are considering a plan to oblige schools to check the immigration status of their students as part of a crackdown on “education tourists”.
The plans were revealed in a chain of leaked emails by officials of the Department for Education (DfE).
The emails were sent to the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on migrants, which is discussing the ban.
The civil servants used the emails to warn the IMG that any such move will violate article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The revelations raised concerns among teachers’ bodies including the National Association of Heal Teachers (NAHT).
NAHT head of policy Lesley Gannon said in reaction that such a plan will “drag schools into politics”.
The NUT chief also suggested that she had similar worries when she said “the NUT is determined to support campaigns against racism and Islamophobia”.