Campaigners claim DfE to end collection of children’s nationality data

Campaign group Against Borders for Children (ABC) has claimed that the Department for Education (DfE) is to end the collection of children’s nationality and country of birth data in schools.

A DfE spokeswoman declined to comment on what she described as “speculation”.

The campaign said it had received more than £12,000 in donations to take the matter to court, where it would have been represented by civil rights group Liberty.

ABC said collection of this data “had been part of the Prime Minister’s ‘hostile environment’ agenda towards migrants” and was shared with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes.

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Campaign spokesperson Alan Munroe said: “This news is a massive victory for a small group of activists with no budget and no staff: just a determination that our schools should be a safe learning environment for every child.

“There is still some unfinished business, though: the data which has already been collected must be deleted, and the DfE must stop sharing children’s addresses with Home Office enforcement teams.”

Liberty advocacy officer Gracie Bradley said: “This gives hope that - if more people stand up and resist - we can succeed in dismantling the Government’s hostile environment policies piece by piece.

“But it doesn’t change the fact that the Department for Education is still sharing the addresses of hundreds of children and families with the Home Office every month – and the Government freely admits that it will use the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Bill to help the Home Office access yet more school records for immigration enforcement.”

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