The request, actioned by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, found that reported figures varied “wildly” between councils, prompting calls from anti-racist campaigners for stronger interventions in classrooms.
Over the last three years, our charity has found that 32 per cent of the young people we worked with have experienced or witnessed racism in Scotland’s classrooms and playgrounds.
The number of racist incidents recorded is staggering yet only exposes the tip of the iceberg as generally racism is heavily under-reported. These latest figures bring into focus the thousands more who continue to suffer in silence every day, and call for greater support for our teachers to recognise, challenge and report racism effectively.
We thank the Scottish Liberal Democrats for obtaining these statistics and bringing the issue of racism in our schools to light. Scottish Lib Dem education spokeswoman Beatrice Wishart, pictured right, said: “No one should go to school afraid that they will face racist abuse, but these figures show that racist incidents remain a stubborn stain on Scottish schooling.
“All forms of bullying need to be challenged effectively. That means accurate recording and monitoring of bullying so that the right interventions can be put in place to stamp these incidents out.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has encouraged us all to think about racial injustice and to reflect on Scotland’s own history.”
Schools in Scotland are run by local councils and a spokeswoman for their umbrella body, COSLA, said:
“We are clear that there is no place for racism within our schools and we are committed to tackling racist bullying,” the spokeswoman said.
“In 2019 we implemented a national approach to recording and monitoring incidents of bullying in Scottish schools, which was developed with the Scottish Government and trade unions.”