British schools will be forced to build multicultural links


London : To promote community relations, 'all-white' schools in Britain will have to send their children to multiethnic schools from September so they can mix with other races and religions.

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According to official figures, two percent of secondary schools and five percent of primary schools in England have no ethnic minority pupils.

Schools Minister Jim Knight unveiled the guidance at the 'national association of head teachers' annual conference here Monday.

The minister said some suburban teenagers had never met a Muslim or Hindu and needed more contact.

"They had never met anyone of the Muslim faith, they had never met a Hindu," he said.

The minister outlined that schools should give their pupils the opportunity to mix with and learn with pupils from other ethnic, religious and class backgrounds. Lessons in all subjects should help to teach children tolerance and break down prejudice.

Schools where pupils are predominantly one faith or ethnic group will need to do more than those with diverse populations, according to the latest move by the government.

Schools must encourage pupils to strike up email friendships with children at schools with a different racial or religious mix. They should also consider inviting imams and vicars to talk, the Daily Mail reported.

Ofsted, the schools watchdog, will be given the power to force schools to comply with the new initiative. Those who do not risk being consigned to a failing list.