Inequalities report recommendations

In the field of education The Woman and Equalities Committee is recommending to the Government that:

  • the Department for Education should carry out a complete audit of all local authorities to ensure that they have robust policies and procedures on children potentially missing from education, as required by section 436A of the Education Act 2006 and the Government’s own “Children Missing Education Guidance”.
  • any local authorities that are found to have inadequate processes should be required to remedy them within six months of the audit.
  • the audit should also inspect the procedures that authorities have in place for ensuring that home educated children are receiving a “suitable” education, including effective mechanisms for taking action under section 437 of the Education Act.
  • the Government should consider piloting a pupil passport scheme with rapid evaluation to ensure that, should it be successful, it can be rolled out as quickly as possible.
  • at the same time, the Department for Education should explore how such a scheme could be implemented across England and what the budgetary implications would be. Such a scheme would ensure that when children move schools or move into home education, their records and history travel with them.
  • schools should, as part of their responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty, be challenging race and gender stereotypes wherever they encounter them.
  • Ofsted should ensure that inspectors are actively inspecting schools for gender and racial stereotyping or signs of sexism or racism from either pupils or staff.
  • schools have a duty to proactively plan for how they will have conversations with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller parents about what relationship and sex education involves and what parents’ options are for their children, short of removing them from school. These plans should be explicit and Ofsted should take them into account during inspections and assess schools accordingly.
  • there are multiple organisations in other fields that provide role models to speak and work with schools to foster good relations between groups.
  • the Government should increase the capacity of these organisation to provide similar support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller role models.