May 25, 2007

Rise in racism in the playground

A threefold increase in reports of racist incidents in Derby's schools over seven years has been put down to better reporting. Children are now not so afraid to tell others, and a mentoring scheme also helps them, officials say.

Figures revealed by Channel 4 News showed that 151 reports of playground racism in 2000/1 rose to 451 last year.

Graham Falgate from the city council said there was now a much better awareness of how to report incidents. He said typical racist incidents included name-calling, ridicule, religious intolerance and other forms of bullying.

Alan Vaughan, a teacher at Derby Moor Community Sports College in Littleover, said they had operated a mentoring scheme for the past four years, which had proved successful.

"The children work with each other to solve the problems," he said. "There is always going to be an element of racism," he said. "We accept it exists and work together to conquer it."


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