Stoke & Staffordshire

Head teacher apologises over 'racial discrimination' letter

littleton letter original
Image caption The letter warned parents that children risked a permanent "racial discrimination" note on their school record

A head teacher has apologised for sending parents a letter saying a "racial discrimination" note would be added to their child's education record if they did not go on a religious trip.

Pupils from Littleton Green Community School, Cannock, were expected to go to Staffordshire University to "learn about different cultures".

A letter to parents said it was a "statutory requirement".

But the school has now asked parents to "disregard a section" of the letter

Letters sent to parents said children would get a 'racial discrimination' mark if they did not go on the trip, where they would have the "opportunity to explore other religions".

They would look at "religious artefacts", the letter said, but would not be "partaking in any religious practices".

'Not fair'

Parents were warned: "Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child's education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career."

Parents contacted the school to complain.

One parent, David Rhys, 44, said: "There could be all manner of reasons why parents do not allow their children on a trip.

"But that doesn't mean the parents are racist, and it certainly is not fair to label the children as racist for the rest of their school life.

"These children are very young but something like that could affect the rest of their lives."

Another letter sent home from the school by head teacher Lynn Small apologised for "any inaccuracies" in the earlier letter, and asked parents to disregard the original letter.

The new letter also clarified that pupils who did not attend the trip would not be labelled with the "racial discrimination note".

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