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Update on Against Borders for Children campaign

From Against Borders with Children.

1. Update on Education Committee letter
The Committee is working through a backlog of correspondence and hopes to respond to our letter soon.

2. Open meeting – 16 September 2-5pm Room S209 Senate House, SOAS
This is an open organising meeting for anyone who is interested in getting involved with ABC in the run-up to the Oct 5th census or in the longer run – please let your members / supporters know as we would love to have more people on board.

3. Census on October 5
As before, we will be calling for parents not to give their child’s nationality / COB data and to retract data that they have already given. The right of retraction is due to be reviewed in December, and while we will fight for it to be retained I suggest parents use it sooner rather than later.

The DfE has produced much tighter guidance on nationality / COB data collection and any practitioners or schools that are unclear on parents’ rights should be signposted to pages 67-69 of the guidance. Schools can help support the boycott by recording all children as ‘not yet obtained’ as default, and making parents aware that they can optionally opt-in to giving nat/COB data, rather than asking for the data from all children and informing parents that they can opt-out.

If you can support our messaging via social media and in your interactions with parents that would be great – will be in touch with more resources mid-Sept.

4. Plans for the coming months
We will continue to call for an end to the collection of nationality / COB data on the grounds that:
a) we do not believe it is being collected for educational purposes, and that it may be used to justify restrictions on migrant children’s access to education in the future
b) the agreement not to share this data with the Home Office can be changed at any time
So the call for a boycott continues, and we will be building capacity to reach as many teachers and parents as possible, reminding them that they can refuse to give this data and retract any data that they have already given.

We will continue to oppose the sharing of other census data, such as children’s home address, with the Home Office. However, as parents cannot refuse to give their child’s home address through the census we will not be making a huge fuss about this publically, because we don’t want parents frightened to send their children to school. It’s also important to note that the data-sharing fortunately isn’t that successful – there is a match rate of around 25% with school census data requests, as opposed to 66% for NHS data. I’ll produce an updated briefing soon.

We’ll be gathering testimonies from affected parents, children and teachers – if you know anyone who would like to share their story or concerns with us, please put them in touch with [email protected].

We continue to explore opportunities to take litigation.

We’ll be launching some anti-racist teaching materials soon too!

As ever, if you can include schools as part of your wider work around the hostile environment and migrants’ rights that would be brilliant. And if you need anything from us or have ideas about how we can collaborate I am always very happy to hear them.

In solidarity,

Quoting [email protected]: