Pupil nationality data ‘will not be passed to the Home Office’, DfE assures

The Department for Education (DfE) has assured that data on pupils’ nationality collected by schools ‘will not be passed on to the Home Office’.

The assurance follows criticisms that the new data collection plans, which will record pupil nationality in the national pupil database, will effectively turn school administrators into ‘border guards’.

Campaigners penned a letter calling on Education Secretary Justine Greening to scrap the plans over fears that it would potentially be used ‘for immigration enforcement purposes’.

However, the DfE has released a statement claiming that the data will not be passed on to immigration officials and will only be used to assess to impact of immigration on schools.

Te statement read: "Collecting this data will help ensure our children receive the best possible education.

"It will be used to help us better understand how children with, for example, English as an additional language perform in terms of their broader education, and to assess and monitor the scale and impact immigration may be having on the schools sector.

"Data on pupils' country of birth, nationality and level of English proficiency is collected through the school census in line with the national population census.

"These data items will not be passed to the Home Office. They are solely for internal Department for Education use for analysis, statistics and research."

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