Council records 43 ‘racist incidents’ in schools last year
Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter
There were 43 “racist incidents” in the 2022-23 academic year across 15 schools in one Welsh county borough, according to a new report.
Bridgend Council is set to meet this week to discuss the figures, along with initiatives to combat racism within schools.
The report, which is set to go before the cabinet meeting for equalities on 8 November, says the incidents included verbal abuse or insults, racist comments made during a discussion, and name calling, along with verbal abuse and written derogatory text.
It also shows that Porthcawl Comprehensive was the school with the highest number of incidents in the borough, with 12, recorded using the racist incident report form, followed by Bryntirion Comprehensive School with five incidents.
The report highlighted that across the board the most common type of incident was verbal abuse or insults, making up 31 of the 43 reported cases, with the majority of perpetrators said to be male.
The annual report is part of a Welsh Government project started in 2019 to work with schools across Wales with the aim to “deliver critical thinking skills and raise awareness of all aspects of hate crime in schools.”
The report reads: “On 18 March, 2019, all schools were sent guidance on reporting racist incidents within schools. Guidance included notifying the local authority of racist incidents as well as notification to the police where incidents were recorded as a hate crime.
“Incident report forms are sent to the equality’s mailbox for recording purposes, and details are annually reported. In Autumn, 2019, Welsh Government announced several grant-funded streams to deal with hate crime.
“Amongst these was a project to work specifically in 100 schools across Wales. Its aim is to deliver critical thinking skills and raise awareness of all aspects of hate crime in schools, with a focus on pupils at Key Stage 3.”
It added: “In August, 2021, an agreement from WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association) was made to alter the delivery model and offer the teacher training to all schools within Bridgend.
This broadened the scope of the project to reach a potential 21 schools, as opposed to 3 teachers from each of the above schools attending as initially intended.
“This approach has provided a more sustainable approach to dealing with the issues of hate crime in our schools, and address key recommendations set out in the recently published report by Victim Support.”
The update on racial and or discriminative incidents within schools will now go before Bridgend Council’s equalities cabinet on 8 November , for further discussion by members.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.