Ridgeway School, in Wroughton, near Swindon, is heavily criticised in the review for failing to tackle the growing tensions between Muslim and white teenagers, even after a riot on the school’s playing fields.And why did the school have such a problem? Isn't the community supposed to all get along?
Problems increased after the local council began bringing Muslim children from central Swindon to the rural school in an effort to improve community relations after the 7/7 terrorist attacks.Oh. That went well, eh?
The review says that schools in England and Wales should record the ethnicity of bullies and victims. If a pattern of racism emerges, they should take urgent steps to address the playground culture. Teachers should also liaise more closely with the police.Ooooh, they aren't going to like that! And neither is Michael Gove:
The review’s recommendations, which it says should be implemented nationwide, could present a problem for Michael Gove, the Education Secretary. He is planning to scale back the requirement for schools to monitor bullying as part of attempts to cut the “red tape” facing schools.But Henry's parents aren't happy either. They feel there are far, far more people who should be in the firing line than just the school:
Last night, the injured boy’s mother, Liz Webster, questioned the scope of the review, which did not scrutinise the council decision to bus about 20 Muslim children to the unprepared school.Time will tell if they get their wish...
In a statement, she said that parts of the review, which involved speaking to the school, police, local authority and other organisations, amounted to a “whitewash” .
“We are very concerned that the report has failed to address many of the failings which surrounded our family’s treatment throughout this terrible episode in our lives,” said Mrs Webster.
“There were failures at virtually every level of the case from the police, to the Crown Prosecution Service to the behaviour of individual teachers.
“The criticism of the local authority is tantamount to a whitewash as it is so minimal and limited. The review doesn’t mention what needs to be done to improve race relations in Swindon which is an urgent concern considering the increase in the vote for the BNP.
“We also firmly believe that the entire report should be published in full. We will be extremely angry if this does not happen on Thursday.”