Policy paper

Inclusive Britain: government response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

Published 17 March 2022

This was published under the 2019 to 2022 Johnson Conservative government

Presented to Parliament by the Minister of State for Equalities by Command of Her Majesty, March 2022
Command paper number: CP 625
ISBN: 978-1-5286-3184-6
© Crown copyright 2022

1. Ministerial foreword

If there is one thing at the heart of this government’s agenda, it’s that anyone in this country should be able to achieve anything, no matter where they live or come from. As a black woman, a first-generation immigrant and the Minister for Equalities, I passionately believe in this idea too. It is my lived experience.

I also know, however, that not everyone in this country has had this experience.

The events of summer 2020 showed that many people believe certain systems are flawed or actively rigged against them – be it in the workplace, in education, or the criminal justice system.

Whilst there have been many advances and worthwhile initiatives led by campaigners and people drawing attention to disparities and injustice, there is clearly a need for a more systemic approach on the part of government which is informed by a coherent overall analysis and philosophy.

Recognising this, the Prime Minister asked Dr Tony Sewell to chair a new Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities to scrutinise these issues thoroughly and objectively. The panel was made up of 9 others drawn from a variety of fields, from education and economics to medicine and policing. With one exception, all were from ethnic minority backgrounds. Last year the Commission published a significant report – one that delved beneath the surface of the various disparities that persist across society, and took a detailed look at how they have evolved over time.

I want to thank each of the Commissioners for their dedication and for giving up their time to examine forensically an issue that matters deeply to people in the UK.

The report delivered a compelling message: as a country we have made huge progress, but we can go further.

In reaching its conclusions, the panel sought to unpick properly other numerous factors behind disparities, including socio-economic background, educational failure and family breakdown.

Some of the report’s conclusions were relatively uncontroversial. Others challenged the lazy consensus. It lived up to the maxim of the author and economist Thomas Sowell that ‘when you want to help people, you tell them the truth…When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.’ The evidence is free from politicisation or distortion, with findings presented in an unvarnished fashion.

The panel found that racism does still exist in some areas and does still require action to overcome it, but the panel also found many minority groups have achieved successes that have gone unreported or unacknowledged, and far from the nature of our society and institutions constituting a bar to success, they are more often than not an enabler of opportunity.

Of course, there is more to do to overcome barriers to opportunity, but that applies beyond ethnic minority groups, as the Commission found a huge proportion of white people from deprived backgrounds continue to be left behind by society.

As Dr Sewell said in his report: “Put simply, we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities. The impediments and disparities do exist, they are varied, and ironically very few of them are directly to do with racism.”

‘Inclusive Britain’ sets out a raft of measures that translate the findings from the Commission’s report into concrete action. In doing so, we’ve considered and responded to each of the report’s 24 recommendations – in some cases going even further than the report envisaged. Inclusive Britain is a comprehensive plan that details 74 actions right across government, which together will put us on a course towards a more inclusive and integrated society.

We do not agree with those who think that lack of opportunity should be seen solely through the prism of ethnic minority disadvantage. We do not believe that any group is less intrinsically capable than any other – ability is spread across the population. But opportunity is not.

Therefore, every action in the plan is crafted to deliver on our unwavering commitment to ensure that everyone in our society – no matter their background, gender, sexuality, creed or colour – has the opportunity to go as far in life as their ambition will take them.

Much of this comes back to the government’s defining mission: levelling up. We’re determined to breathe new life into areas across the country that have felt forgotten by Westminster. Better schools and colleges, better job opportunities, better health outcomes all have a role to play. Only by taking the long-term view can we build people’s trust in the institutions that are central to public life.

We’re already one of the fairest countries in the world. But we continue to strive to go even further to give people the best chance of success in life. Inclusive Britain will take us that step closer.

Kemi Badenoch MP
Minister of State for Equalities

2. Introduction

At the heart of this government’s mission is a moral purpose. We believe in the potential of every individual to succeed. We want to see the state and society provide the right support, and to level up around the country so that everyone, from every community and in every corner of the UK, has opportunity. A person’s race, social or ethnic background must not be a barrier to achieving their ambitions.

Our strategy to ensure equality and fairness is three-fold.

First, to ensure that prejudice and discrimination have no place in our society. No exceptions. No excuses. We can achieve this by tackling discriminatory behaviour where it might exist, and adopting policies that build trust and promote fairness.

Second, to promote equality of opportunity and encourage aspiration by nurturing agency – showing the path to success and removing personal and structural barriers which block the way. While the government has a clear role in dismantling practical barriers that some groups face, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is the agency, resilience and mutual support of and among individuals, families and communities that ultimately drives success and achievement.

Finally, we will actively foster a sense of inclusion and belonging to the UK and our country’s rich and complex history, in an era of rapidly changing demographics, social media, increasing ethnic diversity and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and tech that are completely reshaping our economy and our lives.

The UK is an open, tolerant and welcoming country, with a great history and great people. We are proud of the multi-ethnic, diverse society we have become, the benefits of which can be seen in every aspect of our society, from the NHS to popular culture and indeed the highest levels of politics.

We believe in our country and in the strength and resilience of its institutions. We are custodians of a legacy which we want to preserve, strengthen and entrust to future generations. Therefore, it is vital that the next generation believes in those shared values and principles found across the political spectrum. These include a belief in equality under the law and equal treatment of all citizens.

But we also know that this has not been the experience of everyone who lives here.

Everyone in society has a role to play in ensuring that we live in a better, fairer country. Government at all levels can play a role in providing tools that level the playing field. This means providing business with appropriate regulation, schools with the right resources, civil society with data and guidance to provide support and, where necessary, provide a safety net for the most vulnerable.

It is the government’s role to understand the state of the nation, strive for continuous improvement and investigate when things go wrong, working to fix emerging problems.

Prior to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ report, successive Conservative-led UK governments have launched 10 different reviews – each on specific policy areas – around race and ethnicity to improve outcomes for ethnic minorities in particular. Where it was for the government to act, and where these reviews showed evidence that change was needed, we implemented over 100 recommendations. From the Casey Review into Opportunity and Integration in 2016, to investigating COVID-19 disparities, we have embraced independent advice to help us diagnose problems and acted as a government to improve ethnic minority outcomes.

Since 2010, the UK Government has also introduced a raft of other, wider policy initiatives that benefit ethnic minorities. The Academies Act 2010 means that good and outstanding schools are educating children in some of the most deprived and ethnically diverse parts of England – schools that would otherwise not be there. That means more ethnic minority children getting the knowledge and qualifications they need to flourish in life. The ‘Help to Buy’ scheme has disproportionately helped ethnic minority people take their first step onto the housing ladder and gain the security of a place to call their own. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government-funded research into the disproportionate impact of the virus on certain ethnic groups and developed strategies to address these, including targeted campaigns to promote vaccine uptake.

Yet there is clearly still a trust deficit which some groups have towards the UK and many of its institutions.

It was clear from the events in the summer of 2020 that many people believed race relations, social mobility and opportunity for ethnic minorities were not improving. Some thought they had worsened. We also recognise that there are other groups, such as people from white working-class backgrounds, who have felt left behind despite increasing national prosperity and the actions of successive governments. This government wants to address that deficit of trust both by levelling up where opportunities are genuinely lacking and countering the pessimism that often prevails in debates about race in the UK.

With this in mind, the government established the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (“the Commission”), chaired by Dr Tony Sewell to try a different approach. Its remit was not just to identify disparities as with previous reviews, but to undertake the foundational work to understand why these disparities existed, and understand what has been happening over time in order to target solutions effectively at root causes and not on symptoms, assumptions or perceptions.

The Commission produced a significant report that makes an important contribution to both the national conversation about race, and the government’s efforts to level up and unite the whole country. It is far broader in scope than previous reviews and draws on an extraordinarily wide range of data. It also examines factors which can explain patterns of ethnic minority success. We are grateful for the energy, rigour and honesty with which they approached this endeavour.

We agree wholeheartedly with the Commission’s wide-ranging conclusions and especially the finding that we have made enormous progress as a multiracial society over the past 50 years. As it states, there is still work to do.

We agree with the vast majority of the report’s recommendations based on the 4 themes of building trust, promoting fairness, creating agency, and achieving inclusivity. We believe they will provide a solid foundation to inform the future of policy-making in this area, and our inclusion strategy.

​​We also recognise that many of the findings and evidence in the report present a new and updated portrayal of race relations in the UK. Drawing on academic research and data, the Commission paints a picture of ethnic minority success despite continued challenges, and where disparities do exist, complex causes which go far beyond racial prejudice. The report’s focus on evidence has revealed an important general finding: that whilst there is still some prejudice in our society, most racial disparities are not the consequence of individual acts of prejudice, whether unconscious or unwitting. The report’s analysis shows that for the most part negative disparities arise for reasons not based on personal dislike or attitude. This explains why, in our more liberal-minded era, disparities continue to exist. The Commissioners also set out their views on how to address social cohesion and create a more unifying narrative around a shared identity. The conclusions of the report, informed by the latest data, challenge much conventional thinking about race relations policy, although many acknowledge this complex analysis is long overdue and well-grounded in evidence.

We support the report’s recommended approach when considering disparities – that is, to look at both positives and negatives, successes and failures, in order not to create a distorted picture of racial outcomes and race relations. We agree with its conclusion that racism persists in the UK and continues to blight many people’s lives, but that a more sophisticated and robust analysis of the data is needed than is often the case.

The Commission also found that where persistent disparities between ethnic groups do exist, they are more likely to be caused by factors other than racism and discrimination. Its analysis of the data revealed that there were often greater differences between, and even within, different ‘umbrella’ ethnic groups such as black or Asian than when compared to the white majority. For example, although some people argue that black pupils are far more likely to be excluded from schools than white pupils because of widespread racial discrimination, the data shows that black African pupils are less likely to be excluded from school than white British pupils and black Caribbean pupils. This does not mean racist attitudes or racist incidents do not exist anywhere in schools, but it does suggest that other factors play a more significant role in determining different exclusion rates.

Where evidence shows disparities to be more complex than a face-value interpretation of the data would suggest, more thorough consideration and analysis of the causes is required before it can be concluded that racial discrimination or personal attitudes are the driver. Such an analysis would also help identify and tackle other causes that may be more significant.

2.1 Inclusive Britain: An Action Plan

We are determined to do all we can to root out racism, to tackle discrimination and to build a fairer Britain, one in which colour or cultural background do not determine economic and other outcomes. We share Martin Luther King’s vision of a just society being one in which the attributes of the individual, rather than immutable characteristics such as ethnicity, shape their future. This vision is not only important for Britain’s growing ethnic minority population, but for the long-term success of the country as a whole.

We welcome the report’s emphasis on practical measures which improve the lives of all people, focusing on those which address unfair disparities and tackle their root causes, whether they are caused by racist prejudice or any other factor. The Commission’s report is structured around specific themes and makes 24 recommendations. We have considered and responded in detail to each one and in some cases have gone further than the report envisaged to ensure there is an Action Plan for building a fairer and more inclusive society in the long-term.

As a government, it is our responsibility to ensure policy and action are focused on what works and creating positive results. We understand why many people with good intentions endorse particular symbols, slogans and gestures to explain their commitment to equality. However, the government’s role is to go further and work for meaningful change. This means we require all government initiatives and actions to have concrete outcomes and indicators of success; we should not accept the rhetoric of change as a substitute for the reality of changed lives.

Our detailed plan of action comes with specific recommendations and accountability measures. This Action Plan, outlined below, provides a template for the rest of the public sector – as well as businesses, charities, or individuals, to work towards achieving a society which is truly equal.

We will report back to Parliament in 12 months’ time on the progress we have made in delivering these actions.

Our approach is designed to promote unity and deliver results that will work for all of society. Often the causes and solutions to disparities are common to different ethnic groups. The Commission found that the best and fairest way to address disparities is to make improvements that benefit everyone, targeting interventions based on need rather than ethnicity. That is an approach this government takes in developing solutions to tackle negative disparities.

As such we accept the rationale put forward by the Commission that the use of racialised terms, such as ‘white privilege’, or imprecise ones like ‘BAME’, can be seen as unhelpful, stigmatising and potentially divisive as they have the unintended consequence of pitting groups against each other.

Dr Sewell also made some initial recommendations to the government before the Commission submitted its final report in March 2021. He found that many of the drivers of racial disparities were due to socio-economic and geographical factors. The government, he argued, needed to take a much more holistic view of circumstances confronting young ethnic minority people to boost their outcomes in the long run. He therefore recommended that the Social Mobility Commission (SMC) sit at the heart of government in the Cabinet Office’s Equality Hub. The Equality Hub currently brings together teams working on race, sex, sexuality and disability. The government implemented this recommendation on 1 April 2021 to ensure place and class are being considered throughout our approach to equality. This move is emblematic of our wider commitment to level up opportunity across the country and a refreshed SMC with new leadership will be able to draw on a much wider pool of data and expertise when making future recommendations.

The Commission also concluded that the term ‘BAME’ had become increasingly irrelevant and even counterproductive to ethnic minority progress. The government agrees that this term is poorly understood by many; that it obscures important disparities between different ethnic groups, and instances where some groups are actually doing better than average; and that it allows organisations to claim they are making progress when in fact only certain ethnic groups may be advancing. Therefore, across government we will be as granular and specific as possible in how we talk about ethnicity. We will use the ethnic classifications of the census which cover a substantial proportion of the UK’s ethnic minority groups. Where it is absolutely necessary to draw a binary distinction between the ethnic majority and ethnic minorities, we will say ‘people from ethnic minority backgrounds’.

We will take a similar, evidence-driven approach to identifying apparently race-based outcomes that are actually determined by other factors. For example, the UK’s ethnic minority population has grown significantly since the mid 2000s due partly to increases in inward migration from a wide range of countries. Many recent migrants – particularly refugees – will inevitably take time to adjust to life in the UK, and their economic activity will lag behind that of more established communities. Looking at ethnic minority groups through the prism of race alone would mean overlooking the other factors, such as language or economic capital, that might affect some groups’ ability to participate in the labour market or take out a mortgage. A more holistic view of economic and social factors would allow a better, more sophisticated understanding of the disparities that exist between and within ethnic groups.

Often the causes of disparities exist ‘upstream’, long before we see them emerge in the data of a school, business or health setting and the more we understand this, the more policy interventions can be targeted in the right way. For example, the Commission’s recommendation to explore the importance of family, early years and cultural integration on influencing life chances is one we strongly support.

It is also important that government and the public sector act impartially in using language and discussing contentious concepts around race. This means being willing to reinforce commonly shared values such as opposition to racism, but avoiding promoting explicitly political or partisan views in a way that might suggest bias in areas of genuine debate. So, for example, while schools and universities will rightly wish to teach students about current race debates and may even refer to controversial terms like ‘white privilege’, they should do so in a way which fully acknowledges disagreements over the use of such terms and the ideas they reflect. They should also give room for competing views to be heard. In government and the wider public sector, we will seek to adopt language that clarifies and enhances understanding of these complex issues, and fosters a constructive dialogue between people but makes clear that debate is healthy. We acknowledge that while the vast majority of people share a positive commitment to ending racism, it is perfectly legitimate to hold different opinions about what this means in practice.

As part of this effort, we will commit to reforming training around diversity and inclusion in the UK Civil Service and public sector workforce, embedding what works into management and leadership, and putting an end to the proliferation of unproven training materials and products. We are also placing much greater emphasis on trusting individuals to use common sense, shared values and rigorous evidence and to encourage diversity of opinion. It is important that the people who shape and lead our national institutions and public services encourage tolerance and genuine diversity for both the people who work in their organisations and the citizens who rely on them.

One of the reasons why the UK is a resilient multiracial society is that we have long been a diverse union of nations living, learning and working together for centuries. Across the UK, we all share a commitment to tackling negative disparities and building a fairer society for everyone.

The Commission focussed its work on disparities in education, employment and enterprise, crime and policing and health. Responsibility for many of these areas is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In areas that are devolved, the actions and approach of the UK Government [footnote 1] set out in this response relate to England only (or England and Wales in the case of justice and policing), unless otherwise stated. In these areas the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive will continue to pursue their own policies to build a fairer society for everyone in relation to areas that are devolved.

The UK government wants to continue to work closely with the devolved governments on this, as well as the wider public sector, including to share learning and to identify opportunities for further collaboration. Collectively, all levels of government across the UK should share a strong commitment to tackling negative disparities.

2.2 Levelling Up

The government’s plans to boost economic growth and level up the UK are crucial to tackling the long-term, historic disparities experienced by ethnic minority groups. Our aim is to create more high-skilled, high-wage jobs in all parts of the UK, and to transform places and public services where outcomes are lower than average. A stronger economy and better public services are key to transforming life chances for everyone, but especially those groups who experience disadvantage today.

This matters for ethnic and racial disparities because socio-economic outcomes and protected characteristics are not evenly spread across the UK and place-based interventions have the potential to disproportionately benefit ethnic minority groups. By focusing on the places with the poorest socio-economic outcomes, levelling up acts as a vehicle for improving outcomes for the groups with the worst outcomes, complementing and supporting our wider work to tackle race and ethnic disparities.

For example, settlement patterns over decades mean that ethnic minority populations are more likely to live in larger urban areas and also in specific clusters across the country, such as de-industrialised towns in the North-West, Yorkshire and the Midlands. These spatial patterns often overlap with deprivation – people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups are over 3 times as likely as white British people to live in the most income-deprived 10% of neighbourhoods.

Finally, our 12 Levelling Up missions also reflect this as they seek to address social and economic imbalances across the UK. Delivering them will require close and collaborative work with the devolved governments and with wider partners across the UK.

3. Trust and fairness

At the moment, too many people from ethnic minority backgrounds feel that the ‘system’ is not on their side, whether that is through police use of stop and search powers, employment opportunities and pay levels, or in the way our health services are delivered. The best way to build trust is to emphasise to every ethnic group that we treat individuals fairly, and do not discriminate on the basis of their ethnicity.

Addressing a trust deficit will require 3 steps:

  • acknowledging failings where they have occurred
  • improving actions, behaviours and systems that led to the loss of trust
  • honesty and transparency in communication from government, its delivery agencies and from other stakeholders including business, the media and civil society

The key areas where the Commission identified a need to build trust were around policing and the criminal justice system, the NHS and its diverse workforce and pay transparency.

Separately, as part of the government’s work reviewing COVID-19 disparities, we learned much about the lack of trust that patients from an ethnic minority background have in government and health authorities. Some of the successful strategies we have deployed around vaccine hesitancy are applicable to other areas.

We believe the following actions will go a long way in significantly addressing issues of trust in our institutions from people of all backgrounds.

3.1 Strengthen the equalities watchdog to protect individuals from discrimination

Our equality laws are among the most robust in the world. The Equality Act 2010 is a landmark piece of legislation that acts as a shield to protect individuals from discrimination. Racial discrimination, whether direct or indirect, is unlawful in the UK. The Equality Act 2006 established an independent regulator, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), with statutory powers to defend the right to equality.

High profile cases in recent years have drawn attention to and challenged racism in different contexts. These include:

  • Preventing racial discrimination by a holiday home park which blacklisted people with Irish surnames from booking accommodation and refused to take bookings from callers with an Irish accent. The holiday park is now obliged to carry out a number of measures to demonstrate it has ended discriminatory practices and is complying with the law.
  • Supporting a British Sikh Indian couple to challenge an adoption agency which told them they could not apply to adopt local white children and that they should instead adopt from India. The couple were told they could not make an application because white couples would be given priority as only white children were available for adoption. The court found adults cannot be disqualified from joining the adoption process because of their ‘cultural identity’.

These cases are important examples of how the UK, as a multi-racial society, must continue to guard against complacency when it comes to eliminating racial (and other types of) discrimination. But the cases also show us that racism or indirect discrimination in institutions will not go unchallenged and will be penalised.

We believe it is crucial to strengthen the EHRC’s ability to continue to enforce the Equality Act 2010 and continue to protect those most vulnerable from discrimination.

Action 1

To enable the EHRC to increase its vital work in tackling race discrimination and disadvantage, the Cabinet Office will invest in EHRC enforcement activity to challenge race discrimination through investigations and supporting individual cases.

To improve good practice in equality law across Britain, the EHRC will also support a wider range of organisations to comply with equality law and develop policies and processes that support equality of opportunity for all.

To tackle race discrimination and help victims seek justice, the EHRC has launched a landmark new fund that will see up to £250,000 to help victims take action against organisations which may have broken equality law. Building on previous successes, the fund will also support legal practitioners resolve complaints of race discrimination and help employers understand their responsibilities and what the consequences are for not following the law.

3.2 Tackle online racial abuse

Racial abuse has no place in any community or any corner of the UK. We are committed to doing everything we can to seek it out and stamp it out. The online world is no exception.

That is why we will bring forward, as soon as possible, ground-breaking legislation in the form of the Online Safety Bill, to hold social media companies to account for vile, racist abuse on their platforms. Under our new regulatory framework, which will apply across the UK, all services in scope, such as social media platforms, will need to:

  • take proactive steps to remove, and prevent users from being exposed to priority illegal content and offences including hate crime
  • ensure that this content is removed swiftly and the risk of it appearing and spreading is minimised by effective systems
  • ensure that they have effective systems and processes in place to quickly take down other illegal content, once it has been reported or they become aware of its presence
  • set out how they will deal with the risks they identify in their terms of service to limit the spread of illegal anonymous abuse, including when it takes place in private messaging
  • where services are likely to be accessed by children, assess the risk their service poses for children, put in place proportionate measures to protect children from harmful content, and monitor these for effectiveness
  • have effective and accessible user reporting and redress mechanisms in place, ensuring that users, and other affected persons (for example, a parent or carer of an or adult with a disability) can complain and seek action if they encounter harmful content on a regulated service

In addition, the biggest companies in scope, will need to maintain commitments to adult users by taking action against legal but harmful content that is prohibited under their terms of service. This could include, for example, some types of online racist abuse that does not reach the criminal threshold. These companies will need to set out clearly what content is acceptable on their platforms and enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently.

Social media companies will have to do far more to tackle the racist abuse which causes their users much pain and suffering because of the financial consequences we will place on them. Ofcom will have a suite of enforcement powers to use against companies who fail their duties. These powers include fines of up to £18 million or 10% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher. In the most egregious cases, Ofcom will have the power to limit or prevent the ability of the company to operate in the UK. These steps will ensure that tech companies can be held to account for the harm associated with their platforms.

We are also giving people more control over their online experience. Over the past year people in the public eye, including England’s footballers, have suffered horrendous racist abuse. Female politicians have received abhorrent death and rape threats, and there is repeated evidence of ethnic minorities and LGBT people being subject to coordinated harassment and trolling.

To address this, we have added 2 new duties to the Online Safety Bill in order to strengthen the law against anonymous online abuse. The first duty will force the largest and most popular social media sites to give adults the ability to block people who have not verified their identity on a platform. A second duty will require platforms to provide users with options to opt out of seeing harmful content.

We also know that this is not just a UK phenomenon and there are no international borders when it comes to online abuse. For example, following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 tournament, the UK Football Policing Unit found that of 207 abusive social media posts that were deemed to be criminal, 34 have been confirmed as originating from accounts in Britain and 123 from other countries.[footnote 2] The RDU in partnership with DCMS and Home Office is building on the UK’s convening power and global leadership on this issue. This includes hosting a UK-led international roundtable on tackling online identity-based abuse. The discussion enhanced existing international engagement currently underway.

Within England and Wales, we will amend legislation to extend the use of Football Banning Orders so online abusers can be banned from stadiums for up to 10 years, in the same way violent individuals are barred from grounds.

Our forthcoming hate crime strategy will set out wider plans for tackling all forms of hate crime and will include a renewed commitment to ensuring that the victims of such crimes remain at the heart of our work.

Action 2

To clamp down on racist abuse online, DCMS and the Home Office will introduce the world-leading Online Safety Bill as soon as possible. Companies that fail to comply with their legal duties in the Bill could face fines of up to £18 million or 10% of their qualifying annual global turnover, or business disruption measures.

Quantifying online abuse is complicated by a lack of available evidence. A 2019 systematic review by the Alan Turing Institute (PDF) suggested that UK evidence is “fragmented, incomplete and inadequate for understanding the prevalence”. This, in turn, is hampering our ability to understand the drivers of online abuse.

Action 3

To improve our understanding of online harms, RDU will engage with service providers, international organisations and experts to better measure and monitor online abuse. This programme of work will also consider how specific events, such as high-profile football matches, can act as instigators for online abuse.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the harmful role deliberate misinformation can play in undermining trust among particular groups. Vaccine misinformation was often targeted at ethnic minority groups, leading to lower vaccine uptake among those who were at greater risk of contracting the virus. We need to improve our understanding of how different groups are accessing and interpreting online misinformation in order to inform and strengthen our response to this issue.

Action 4

To improve online transparency, RDU will lead a review into online misinformation to better understand how different groups are accessing and interpreting information online. The review will provide a series of data and policy recommendations to strengthen the government’s understanding and ability to tackle online abuse.

3.3 Report responsibly on race

Reporting on news and issues around ethnic minorities needs to be done sensitively, accurately and responsibly in order to maintain trust of communities, as well as the rest of civil society and public institutions.

One of the key principles we hold for demonstrating inclusion is not to lump together different groups of individuals with different perspectives and experiences just because they are not white. Segregating by race in this way is clumsy and actually results in exclusion and not inclusion.

In the past there was a logic to segregating groups in this way. In the campaign for anti-discrimination legislation, different racial and ethnic groups were a very small minority of the overall population and they coalesced to campaign for racial equality. Today’s multi-racial society is “super-diverse” and bound together not by race, but by values which we all share.

This is why we accepted the Commission’s recommendation last year to stop using the term ‘BAME’.[footnote 3] The term aggregates based on skin colour rather than more appropriate classifications, overlooking other key factors that may be shaping people’s life chances. We issued an updated guide on how to write about ethnicity in December 2021.

The term also masks disparities around class and culture within white ethnic minority groups such as the Gypsy, Romany, Traveller groups or Eastern European migrants, as the term is most often used as a proxy for “non-white”.

In turn, by reporting disparities by ‘BAME’ and not responsibly disaggregating ethnicity data, there is the risk of misinforming the public on key social issues. For example, it has been reported that black pupils faced triple the exclusion rate in some areas of England. This is misleading.

First, there are small numbers of black pupils in some areas and even a small increase in the number of exclusions for that group can distort the figures for a particular year.

Second, this misinformation spreads because of a conflation between race and ethnicity. Poor reporting also confuses the complex reality that even ethnic groups who share the same race have different outcomes and face different challenges. In fact, black African pupils who outnumber black Caribbean pupils by more than 220,000 are less likely to be excluded from school than white British pupils.

The result is an assumption that the cause of the exclusion is racist discrimination and incorrect solutions are proposed which do not address the problem and in fact can make things worse. This then perpetuates beliefs that black pupils are being specifically targeted, fostering a sense of exclusion and disconnection from the rest of the country within these communities.

Messaging which unfairly singles out any of the UK’s racial or ethnic groups, such as over-emphasising particular ethnic groups in health messaging, can reduce trust in health authorities and other public bodies and increase hesitancy in getting healthcare.

There is sustained evidence that the language used has a significant impact in shaping behaviour. When people hear false information that the system is rigged against them, the most likely response is a loss of aspiration, an increase in fear and a breakdown in trust.

Our multi-racial society and the government draw the best from each other through trust. That trust is diminished when ethnic minorities believe that public services deliver persistently worse results for them because of who they are. We have a duty to rebuild that trust.

So the government will tackle misleading information which undermines ethnic minority trust in public services by making data about ethnic minorities more accurate and easier to report on. Transparency and context are the best antidotes to distortion and disinformation.

We also believe that the government has a role to play in improving the way we discuss race in order to foster social cohesion and remove stigmatisation, deliberate or otherwise, of any ethnic group. We accept the Commission’s belief that this is not something we can do on our own and that we need partnerships with the media and civil society. This will improve the accuracy of reporting online, in print and broadcast and ensure that stakeholders actively work to reduce offensive portrayals of any ethnic group and reduce crude stereotypes that do not represent modern Britain.

Action 5

To communicate more effectively on racial issues and to avoid lumping together different ethnic minority groups, the government has stopped using the term ‘BAME’ in its own communications and will encourage other public sector bodies to do the same.

Action 6

To ensure more responsible and accurate reporting on race and ethnicity, the RDU will by the end of 2022 consult on new standards for government departments and other public bodies on how to record, understand and communicate ethnicity data.

Action 7

The RDU will lead work to:

  • engage with people from different ethnic groups to better understand the language and terminology that they identify with
  • review how media coverage of race and ethnicity issues impact the communities being covered
  • develop recommendations which will encourage responsible and accurate reporting on race issues by June 2023

The ‘Ethnicity facts and figures’ website, which was launched in October 2017, is a world first and has been welcomed internationally for its open and data-driven approach to highlighting disparities. RDU’s ongoing series of published Methods and Quality Reports[footnote 4] are important in helping users understand and interpret ethnicity data. However, statistics can easily be taken out of context and used to give a misleading impression of social trends, so it is important to set out wider analysis to enhance understanding of what the data shows.

To support improved reporting of ethnicity data, we will review the impact and utility of the website, with a view to providing deeper analysis and clearer context of the data in which users are particularly interested.

Action 8

To improve the presentation and to assist the interpretation of data on ethnic disparities, the RDU will consult by summer 2022 on a set of proposals to reform the Ethnicity facts and figures website, with a view to maintaining a smaller range of the most useful data sets.

3.4 Improve understanding of migration outcomes

The Commission’s report found that it is important to look beyond race to other causes of disadvantage, such as migration status, even when considering issues of race and ethnicity. It highlighted that migration patterns have shaped the present ethnic and racial disparities by influencing how different groups have integrated into communities, accessed jobs and where they reside in the UK, among other things.

For example, new research commissioned to inform the Commission’s report showed migration data is needed to understand fully the social mobility journey of ethnic minorities in Britain in the last 50 years. The study showed that while many black Caribbean people migrated as voluntary migrant workers with lower educational qualifications than those of white people, black African people generally migrated as highly educated students. In turn, unemployment rates for black Caribbean men were higher than for black African men, who were much more likely to occupy professional/managerial positions. These disparities, which are shaped by many factors including migration outcomes, can still be seen today.

To improve our understanding of the role of immigration in driving some of the ethnic disparities, we will launch a new, cross-government analytical programme to identify and fill gaps in our evidence and understanding. We want to work collaboratively with all levels of government across the UK on this project.

We also need to understand better the barriers that first generation migrants face when moving to the UK including language barriers, qualification recognition, lack of contacts and limited capital. Our new cross-governmental analytical programme will therefore consider:

  • migration patterns over the last 50 years and how these will shape the UK’s future
  • outcomes for migrants in the UK across the labour market, education, poverty, housing and social mobility, including the outcomes for first and second generation immigrants
  • how data and evidence can be improved to understand disparities and inform policy

As part of this work, we will learn from initiatives such as the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for Integration Fund. This supports highly-localised, community-based English language learning, empowering those who speak little or no English by boosting their language skills and building their confidence to reduce isolation and participate in their local community.

Action 9

To identify and fill evidence gaps about the social mobility, skill and role mismatching and health outcomes of immigrants, the RDU will lead a new, cross-government analytical work programme with input from external experts in 2022. This will include analysis of the structural issues that immigrants may face in the UK, and understanding the lessons that the government has learned about policy making in this area.

3.5 Strengthen bonds of trust between people and their police force

Police officers are part of the social fabric of the communities they serve and those communities flourish with the safety police provide. This social fabric is held together by trust. Policing by consent has been at the heart of how police forces in the UK have operated since their very foundation in 1829. The principle that the police are the public, and the public are the police informs our entire approach.[footnote 5]

While confidence in the police remains high, it has declined in recent years for everyone, not just people from particular ethnic minority backgrounds. It is most notable, however, in the black ethnic group between 2017/18 and 2019/20, falling from 76% to 64%. The Commission found that this lack of confidence appeared to stem from the types of experiences and the intergenerational memory that members of the black Caribbean group in particular have of the unfair and excessive policing that took place in the past.

We are therefore launching new measures to improve trust and confidence in the police by strengthening the systems of scrutiny, accountability and transparency.

Action 10

The police need the powers to tackle crime – but there also needs to be effective local scrutiny of these powers in order to enhance trust and strengthen relations between police and communities. The Home Office, with policing partners including Police and Crime Commissioners, will develop by summer 2023 a new, national framework for how the use of police powers – including stop and search and use of force – are scrutinised at a local level. This framework will ensure that local scrutiny panels are independently-led, reflect the diversity of the areas they represent and give police officers the confidence to use their powers with the backing of local communities.

This new framework should result in:

  • improved relationships between police forces and their local communities, with more frequent, consistent and honest conversations
  • more local people from ethnic minority backgrounds understanding how and why the police have chosen to act the way they have and challenging this when necessary
  • more demonstrable accountability for police behaviour and an opportunity to discuss important local issues with mutual respect

To help build trust within communities, it is important that the police engage with young people at an early age. Positive interactions between the police and young people help not only support local policing priorities but give young people a chance to be heard, be involved in their communities and gain a practical understanding of policing. As a means for engaging with local communities, police forces work with schools, community and charity groups to provide opportunities to young people. One example includes the ‘Mini Police’, an interactive police engagement programme operating across the country which brings together community volunteers, primary schools and police forces. The programme teaches children about policing, personal safety and gives them the opportunity to take part in volunteering activities important to their local community.

Stop and search is one of many vital tools used by the police to tackle serious violence and keep our streets safe. In the last year alone, it removed almost 16,000 weapons from the streets and resulted in almost 80,000 arrests.

Among many of those who have sadly lost loved ones to serious violence, there is no debate on the merits of stop and search. Many families of young people murdered have said the tool is under-used and could save more lives.[footnote 6] As they see it, the debate is on what more the police and the communities they serve must do to rid the streets of weapons.

For this reason we believe it is crucial the police reserve the power to stop and search appropriately and continue its use as a tool to tackle crime and protect the public.

The most shocking statistic among all of the disparities outlined by the Commission’s report was that young black people were 24 times more likely to be murdered than their white counterparts. In the most recent data (year ending March 2020), there were also clear differences in the ages of homicide victims between ethnic groups. Nearly half (49%) of all black homicide victims were aged 16 to 24 years old, compared with 25% of Asian victims and 12% of white victims. The proliferation of young men carrying offensive weapons is a likely cause of this, although the causes and motivations are complex and not fully understood.

Although knife-enabled crime fell in the year to the end of March 2021, the government is clear that more needs to be done to prevent and reduce serious violence which can devastate communities. This requires a whole system, multi-agency approach.

That is why we have invested £105.5 million in Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) over the last 3 years, which bring together local partners to tackle the drivers of violence in their area, and have reached over 300,000 young people in the first 2 years alone.[footnote 7]

Action 11

To tackle serious violent crime, which disproportionately affects some ethnic minority groups, the Home Office is bringing into force the Serious Violence Duty which will require local authorities, the police, criminal justice agencies, health authorities and others to work together to understand why violent crime is taking place in their area, and then to formulate and implement a strategy for tackling these drivers of serious violence.

Stop and search is, at its core, a preventative tool; one that deters crime by raising the costs of carrying an offensive weapon or possessing drugs.

There are 3 key criticisms of the use of stop and search:

  • that it is an unnecessarily antagonistic procedure
  • that it is used disproportionately to police minority communities
  • that there is no evidence that stop and search prevents crime

Addressing these criticisms will go a long way to improving community trust in policing. We recognise the criticism that stop and search can feel antagonistic. Survey evidence reveals that many young ethnic minority people who are stopped and searched find it a hostile experience, one that they feel is not discharged with courtesy or respect.

If the first interaction a young person has with a police officer is of being aggressively interrogated and then physically handled on the street, this could create a negative perception of the police for years to come.

To improve this, the College of Policing and policing partners will work to bring in a better-quality, standardised training offer for officers. This will help ensure stop and search is not an unnecessarily hostile experience because of an officer’s behaviour.

This training will equip officers with skills to manage conflict wherever it arises during a stop and search, to calm tensions before they boil over into preventable confrontation.

Action 12

To protect the public and police officers and to give communities confidence that they are being policed fairly, the Home Office will support the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council by autumn 2024 to review and deliver any necessary improvements to police officer training in de-escalation skills and conflict management in everyday police-citizen encounters, such as use of stop and search and use of force powers.

Body worn video (BWV) is a vital tool for policing. BWV protects the public by allowing interactions to be recorded and reviewed, ensuring powers are used correctly and protecting officers from spurious claims of mistreating the public. The Commission determined that BWV is used inconsistently across police forces and not enough in routine police scrutiny.

We accept that BWV should be used much more widely in scrutiny groups so communities can see how officers within their forces behave and hold them to account for any misdemeanours.

Action 13

To improve transparency and promote uptake, the Home Office will identify and seek to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent increased use of Body Worn Video (BWV) and will encourage policing bodies to share guidance and best practice on the use of BWV.

The Home Office, with policing partners, will also explore how best to facilitate the sharing of BWV footage with local scrutiny panels, in order to improve the scrutiny of police decision-making and improve the understanding of legitimate police use of powers such as stop and search. This will feed in to the new framework for scrutinising use of police powers that will be developed by summer 2023.

This will boost the quality of policing across the country by ensuring standards of scrutiny are higher and more consistent across the board. Crucially, it will boost trust in the police by giving the public more visible evidence of how the police are doing their job.

We have looked at the claims that minority groups are being disproportionately targeted for stop and search.

Nationally in 2021, black people were 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. It is vital that we seek to understand why this is the case, recognising that there are a range of variables that impact the interpretation of such data.

If geographic differences are not taken into account, the overall relative disparity between black and white people could be misleading. For example, in an area where the ethnic minority population is low, stopping and searching just one person of a particular ethnicity could significantly distort figures in that area. This is because the national relative disparity is influenced by the clustering of both the number of stop and searches and ethnic minority populations in certain areas, particularly in London and areas of higher deprivation.

Given that higher proportions of black people live in more deprived areas than white people, it is possible that deprivation and the younger (than average) age profile of black people may be linked with the disproportionality between the 2 ethnic groups.

Stop and search is typically used in more deprived areas or areas with higher crime, so the numbers of stops and searches vary significantly even at a police force area level of geography. Combined with differences in the makeup of the population, this means that, where possible, relative disparities should be analysed for smaller geographic areas.

In the past year we have made a number of improvements to stop and search data collection, to allow for more in-depth analysis and insight. For the first time, in the year ending March 2021, the Home Office collected record-level information on stop and search, meaning a single stop and search can be followed through to the outcome, with much richer data about who was stopped and searched (for example, age, gender and ethnicity information for each record). The precise location of where the search took place was also collected, as well as the date and time of the search.

This is part of an ongoing programme of work to improve the clarity and context of stop and search data and to better understand the disparities in stop and search rates.

Action 14

To give greater clarity and context to stop and search data, and reassure the public about its use, the RDU will work with the Home Office, Office for Statistics Regulation and ONS to improve the way this data is reported and to enable more accurate comparisons to be made between different police force areas.

Action 15

The Home Office and RDU will work with policing partners and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to consider a range of metrics for stop and search rates in order to identify and, where necessary, challenge disparities at police force area level. To be clear, a higher rate should not automatically be regarded as a problem, but the reasons should be transparent and explicable to local communities.

3.7 Promote fair pay

Employers both need and want to build trust by demonstrating they are treating all their employees fairly. Employees also want assurance that they are not being unfairly discriminated against or less likely to progress in the workplace due to their ethnic or social background.

This government will support companies and organisations to do this. We want to tear down unfair barriers in the workplace for everyone, everywhere, in every community. It is essential this is done by following the evidence of what works best and implementing practical solutions employers can actually deliver. That is why we will support employers across the UK who want to publish their ethnicity pay gaps, much like they do for gender, with new guidance.

This guidance is needed to help employers navigate the challenges associated with reporting as set out in the Commission’s report. BEIS has consulted extensively with employers to identify issues. We recognise the significant obstacles for employers looking to create ethnicity pay gap mechanisms, including employee confidentiality, that allows meaningful comparisons to be made. So we will work with experts to produce guidance which will enable employers to identify the causes of pay disparities and take relevant steps to mitigate them.

We will also address other challenges identified in reporting. For example we will encourage employers to use, where appropriate, specific ethnic groups rather than broader categories when publishing their data. As we have already seen, different ethnic groups that share the same race can have very different outcomes. This means that a meaningful pay gap reporting standard for ethnicity will necessarily need to be very different to one for gender reporting, which uses just 2 categories. This complexity means that ethnicity pay gap reporting would be a more resource-intensive activity for business.

Any solution will also need to support reporting across demographically different areas. This will assist those employers in parts of the country with very small ethnic minority populations who cannot reasonably be expected to produce meaningful pay reporting because the numbers are too low, to give a statistically reliable account of how they are performing and allow for meaningful comparisons.

A key recommendation of the Commission’s report was that employers should produce a diagnosis and action plan, setting out the reasons for and steps to address the disparities. The guidance will include compelling case studies drawn from those leading organisations who have already chosen to report on their ethnicity pay. In this way we hope to set a benchmark for what a good action plan might most effectively cover.

Ethnicity pay gap reporting is just one type of tool to assist employers in creating a fairer workplace. It may not be the most appropriate tool for every type of employer seeking to ensure fairness in the workplace. We also want to avoid imposing new reporting burdens on businesses as they recover from the pandemic and so we will not be legislating for mandatory reporting at this stage, rather we will support employers with voluntary reporting.

Action 16

We will address the challenges with ethnicity pay gap reporting to support employers who want to demonstrate and drive greater fairness in the workplace.

BEIS will publish guidance to employers on voluntary ethnicity pay reporting in summer 2022. This guidance, which will include case studies of those companies who are already reporting, will give employers the tools to understand and tackle pay gaps within their organisations and build trust with employees.

Once employers are equipped with a trustworthy, consistent standard for reporting, we would expect them to take meaningful action to identify and then tackle the causes of disparate pay.

3.8 Reduce disparate pay in the NHS England workforce

The NHS is our country’s most diverse institution. Contributing to its work brings together people from every corner of the country, and the world. These people, from different races and ethnicities, work together in a common, collective effort to provide care which is universal in access and high quality. To support this endeavour, it is critical that every single person in the NHS family feels valued, respected and represented.[footnote 8]

The NHS committed last year to publishing its ethnicity pay gap and it is essential that this information is published alongside a diagnosis of the causes of disparate pay and actions to address it. As highlighted by the Commission, the picture presented by the overall NHS workforce data is complicated. There are many factors at play from length of service to seniority, age and geography. The disparities also vary depending on a person’s grade and ethnic group. For instance, at the ‘very senior manager’ grade, black men earn 96p for every £1 earned by white men, while Asian men earn £1.08. More analysis needs to be done to understand the nuances of the NHS workforce data and build a picture of what is needed to reduce disparate pay. Sustaining morale in the NHS means demonstrating that no one is being held back from progressing because of their race or ethnicity.

The first step in this process will be to collect and analyse data in order to build a picture of how any pay gap impacts different ethnic groups as well as newer immigrants who have been trained elsewhere, and how such factors interact with recruitment and progression.

Action 17

To close the gap in pay between different ethnic groups working within NHS England, we will commission a new Ethnicity Pay Gap research project. The project will consider the scale and causes of the ethnicity pay gap across the NHS and produce actionable recommendations on how to reduce it.

3.9 Require the health and social care regulator to measure workforce diversity and inclusion in all their inspections

All NHS workers, no matter their race or ethnicity, should feel valued in their roles, free from any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying, and have the opportunity to progress as far as their talent takes them. No one should be treated differently or made to feel separate on account of their nationality or ethnicity in our health service.

The independent regulator of health and social care, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), takes into consideration a variety of factors during their assessment inspections including taking into account racial disparities in staff experience. However, the Commission found that the CQC is not holding healthcare providers to account for why ethnic disparities exist in their workforce.

In 2020 the CQC concluded an internal review of how it assesses the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). Its report was published in July 2021 and, as part of the second phase of its improvement work, CQC is:

  • working closely with NHS England & Improvement (NHSEI) to improve the use of data so that risks to workforce inequality are flagged sooner, triggering regulatory action to address them
  • setting up new structures in CQC for operational oversight of workforce equality risks
  • developing more consistent approaches to assessing feedback from staff working for regulated providers about workforce race equality and
  • developing a better strategic partnership across national bodies to address workforce race equality issues

CQC has also been developing a new, single, quality-assessment framework. This is what CQC will use to assess quality in all service types and at all levels – from registration, through to ongoing assessments of quality, as well as with local authorities and integrated care systems. The single assessment framework includes a quality statement on workforce equality under its well-led domain. This quality statement aligns with the Sewell Commission’s recommendation for CQC to review its approach to including disparities in the experiences, progression and disciplinary actions taken against ethnic minority staff in their inspections of healthcare providers.

As workforce equality is included in CQC’s draft single assessment framework, it will be embedded into the testing of these new approaches. CQC expects to evaluate the single assessment framework at a provider-level, as well as the impact of the CQC WRES review recommendations by March or April 2023 at the earliest. Nevertheless, CQC’s expectation is that it will see improvements in assessing workforce equality ahead of this time through its work on risk, escalation and oversight. CQC is also considering how it looks at, and evaluates, workforce equality at a system level in assessments of Integrated Care Systems and local authority assurance.

Action 18

As part of its new assessment framework, and to ensure that healthcare providers are held to account for why ethnic disparities exist in their workforce, the CQC will be assessing how providers are addressing the experiences, progression and disciplinary actions in respect of ethnic minority staff in their workforce. Once the CQC has evaluated how this new framework has been implemented over 2022/23, DHSC will carefully consider whether the concerns raised in the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ report have been addressed.

3.10 Identify and tackle health disparities

The Commission’s report highlighted that contrary to the widespread view that ethnic minorities always have worse health outcomes than white people, the evidence actually showed the picture was much more variable, with ethnic minorities having better outcomes compared to white groups for many leading causes of death. This is supported by evidence published by ONS in July and August 2021 which presents the first estimates of life expectancy and overall and cause-specific mortality by ethnic group. This shows that for both men and women, before the pandemic, all ethnic groups (except mixed) had higher life expectancy than white groups.

For the 30 leading causes of death (responsible for about 80% of all deaths) ethnic minorities had lower mortality rates for 15, higher for 8 and no significant difference for 7. Other data sources have also shown significant differences between ethnic groups for different diseases with, for example, South Asians having lower rates of cancer than average but higher rates of heart disease.

The substantial differences in mortality rates between ethnic groups have important public health implications. They show that South Asian and black people should not be viewed as homogenous groups with respect to their mortality rates. The very low rates seen for some diseases in some ethnic groups, such as cancer for the Indian group, may indicate the potential for reducing mortality in other ethnic groups.

The evidence shows that deprivation and geography remain the key drivers of poor health – including for COVID-19 – and they are associated with much larger differences in life expectancy than those found between ethnic groups. For example, males in the most deprived decile have close to 10 years lower life expectancy than males in the least deprived decile; and in Blackpool, healthy life expectancy in men is almost 18 years lower than for men in Richmond upon Thames.

As outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper, our goal is to tackle the stark disparities in health outcomes across the UK, ensuring people have the opportunity to live long, healthy lives wherever they live. We will set out a strategy to tackle the core drivers of disparities in health outcomes with a strong focus on prevention and disparities by ethnicity, socioeconomic background and geography.

Action 19

To reduce the gap in health outcomes and tackle current health disparities, DHSC will publish a new strategy in a health disparities white paper for England later in 2022.

Where some ethnic minority groups have worse outcomes for some important causes of death – for example, maternal mortality (see the section below), infant mortality, heart disease and stroke – these must be properly investigated and urgently addressed. Greater focus should also be given to those diseases with the highest burden of mortality and morbidity, such as heart disease, stroke, dementia, many types of cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

3.11 Review potential racial bias in medical equipment

In November 2021 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care launched a review into potential racial bias in medical equipment. This followed concerns raised about the way medical devices and technologies are designed and used, and the impact of ethnic background on a patient’s diagnosis and treatment. In February, he appointed Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead, professor of public health at the University of Liverpool, to lead the review, which will:

  • identify systematic inequalities in medical devices registered for use in the UK
  • make recommendations on how these inequalities should be tackled
  • consider what systems need to be in place to ensure emerging technologies are developed without ethnic disparities
  • improve global standards to better healthcare and tackle disparities

The review is due to conclude within 18 months and will help to improve the quality and availability of devices to diverse groups.

Action 20

To address concerns about the way medical devices and technologies are designed and used, and their impact on ethnic minority patients’ diagnosis and treatment, the Department for Health and Social Care will consider carefully the findings of Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead’s review when this reports in 2023.

3.12 Establish a new body to target health disparities

We are committed to tackling the root causes of health disparities, not just the symptoms. That is why on 1 October 2021 we launched the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). The design of OHID takes account of the Commission’s focus on action in society to prevent disparities emerging in the first place. OHID will partner with leading scientists, researchers and industry to prevent the onset of ill health in the first place, especially in the most disadvantaged groups.

OHID has a particular focus on addressing disparities in health, including the wider determinants, which was recommended in the Commission’s report. The Health Secretary has already written to charities, industry experts and key employers to join the OHID’s mission to act on wider factors that affect people’s health, such as work, housing and education. This collaborative approach is informed by the Commission’s focus on identifying the determinants of health which affect outcomes long before people access the NHS or social care.

OHID’s work is also going to be driven by the evidence of who is at risk and what works to support them. Using science, technology and data, OHID will target support to where it is most needed. Living in deprivation is a stronger predictor of poor health than race. This approach will mean that more people can live in better health for longer, whatever their ethnicity.

Action 21

To improve life expectancy across all groups and to reduce health inequalities, DHSC established the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities in October 2021. The OHID is leading cross-government work to address the causes of health inequalities (such as deprivation, tobacco, alcohol, diet and physical inactivity) which often disproportionately affect certain ethnic groups, and on the health disparities white paper. OHID’s mission is to improve and level up the health of the nation.

3.13 Identify the cause of maternal health disparities

While the NHS is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby, and the numbers of maternal deaths are very low, outcomes are worse for mothers and babies from black and Asian ethnic groups during pregnancy or within 6 weeks of giving birth.

191 women died during or up to 6 weeks after the end of pregnancy in the UK from direct or indirect causes associated with their pregnancy, between 2017 and 2019. This was out of over 2.2 million women who gave birth in the UK during the same period. Maternal deaths were recorded in 127 women from the white ethnic group, 23 women from the black ethnic group, 26 women from the Asian ethnic group and 12 women from mixed and other ethnic groups in the UK. However, the risk of maternal death is 4 times greater for black women and 2 times greater for Asian women compared to white women in England.

We are serious about understanding the causes underpinning these disparities and are working with the NHS to ensure equity in maternity care for all women. For example, the data shows that ethnic minority women tend to access antenatal care later in pregnancy, have fewer antenatal checks, and fewer ultrasound scans and diagnostic screening tests.

To address these gaps, we need to understand the numbers and focus on tangible, achievable solutions. We have already taken a number of steps. We commissioned research into disparities in ‘near-misses’, where the mother survives childbirth but suffers from long term health problems postpartum. Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, England’s Chief Midwifery Officer, is leading work to understand why mortality rates are higher among ethnic minority women including considering evidence about what will reduce mortality rates and supporting action to improve equity in outcomes for mothers and their babies.

In September 2021, NHSEI published its Equity and Equality guidance for Local Maternity Systems. The guidance focuses on actions to improve equity for mothers and babies from ethnic minorities, those living in the most deprived areas and on improving equality in experience for staff. Local Maternity Systems have been asked to submit an equity and equality analysis (covering health outcomes, community assets and staff experience) and equality action plans. £6.8 million has been provided to support Local Maternity Systems to implement Equity and Equality Action Plans and implement targeted and enhanced continuity of carer.

NHSEI are working to ensure that by 2024, 75% of women from black, Asian and mixed ethnic groups and a similar proportion of women from the most deprived areas will receive continuity of carer from their midwife throughout pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period.

And last year, DHSC launched a new £7.6 million Health and Wellbeing Fund to reduce health disparities among new mothers and babies.

While progress has been made, disparities continue to persist. That is why we announced in February a new taskforce to tackle disparities for mothers and babies and to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths by improving access to effective pre-conception and maternity care for women from ethnic minorities and those living in the most deprived areas. The taskforce, chaired by the Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care and the Chief Midwifery Officer, brings together a wide range of experts from across the health service, mothers, government and the voluntary sector. It will work to consider and support evidence-based individual, community, and targeted population interventions to tackle disparities and will develop key priorities that will be included as commitments in our Women’s Health Strategy.

In addition, 4 early adopter maternity services in the NHS in England are piloting a new AI pregnancy screening tool developed by Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives. The new tool works by assessing detailed data gathered during antenatal appointments, to determine a woman’s specific, personalised risk of potential complications developing during pregnancy. Trials of the tool involving more than 20,000 pregnant women showed very positive results in terms of reducing disparities in mortality rates for both ethnic minority women and their babies.

Being precise and careful in our use of statistics is still crucial. For instance, the low numbers of maternal deaths in this country make it difficult to understand the full picture presented by the data. However, we know that there are a range of factors that contribute to maternal deaths such as older maternal age, mental health problems, country of birth, facility with language, complex medical problems during pregnancy and lower socio-economic status. We want to avoid misleading ethnic minority women in particular into thinking that giving birth in England is unsafe, but rather, focus our efforts on building their trust to ensure women access maternity services earlier. We must reassure women that NHS services are designed to keep them safe during pregnancy and beyond.

Action 22

To improve maternal health outcomes for ethnic minority women, DHSC, the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and NHS England and NHS Improvement will consider and support evidence-based interventions to address the current disparities in outcomes through the Maternity Disparities Taskforce.

3.14 Address COVID-19 health disparities

Another priority area for the government is to understand and address the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on ethnic minority groups, in terms of infection and mortality rates. Following publication of the Public Health England report ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19’ in June 2020, the Prime Minister asked the Minister for Equalities to lead work across the government to address its findings. She has published 4 quarterly reports to the Prime Minister updating him on progress with this work.

Over the course of this work our understanding of COVID-19 risk factors has evolved. In the early stages of the pandemic it was unclear why the virus was having such a disproportionate impact on many ethnic minorities, especially black groups, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. What began to emerge is that the increased risk of COVID-19 infection was primarily driven by a range of socio-economic factors and demographic factors, including geography/population density, occupation, deprivation and household size and intergenerational living. The higher prevalence of some underlying health conditions such as diabetes in some ethnic minority groups also predisposed them to worse outcomes once infected.

Our understanding has evolved as the pandemic itself has evolved. The second wave of the virus (from 1 September 2020 to 31 March 2021) had a more disproportionate impact on men from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups, while outcomes improved for those from black African and black Caribbean groups. Data from the early part of the third wave (from June 2021 to November 2021) showed that, in contrast to waves 1 and 2, the white British ethnic group had the highest rates of infection.[footnote 9]

The most significant intervention to address COVID-19 disparities has been our world leading vaccination programme. In the early stages, there were lower levels of uptake across most ethnic minority groups. In February 2021 we published our COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake plan with the aim of improving uptake across all groups. The vaccine programme has involved: local and national partnerships, such as the Community Champions scheme; use of trusted voices such as local faith leaders, influencers and media medics to help overcome concerns about vaccination; use of places of worship as vaccination sites to build trust within particular ethnic groups; and an extensive communications campaign at both a national and local level. Flexible delivery models, such as walk-in and mobile vaccination clinics, were also supported to increase access and convenience of the vaccination offer.

These interventions have helped to minimise the barriers to uptake and increase access to factual information, improving the convenience and confidence to get vaccinated. This has seen vaccination rates rise across all ethnic minority groups. We will learn the lessons from the impact of the pandemic on ethnic minority groups so that we can reduce the disparities in the risks of infection and mortality witnessed in the first 2 waves. We will continue to build trust in our health institutions through community engagement, using the insights we have gained from the vaccination programme.

Action 23

To reduce the health disparities we have seen during the pandemic, the government will implement the package of recommendations from the Minister for Equalities’ final COVID-19 disparities report, published on 3 December 2021.

3.15 Encourage greater ethnic minority participation in clinical research and trials

Another way of building trust in particular health interventions, such as vaccination programmes, is to increase ethnic minority representation in research projects and clinical trials. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), whose mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, is committed to developing robust evidence to understand the factors that have led to under-representation of ethnic minorities in its research.

In 2020 NIHR amended the requirements for researchers applying for funding. They are now expected to demonstrate how they will consider the characteristics and circumstances of participants to ensure recruitment is inclusive. Researchers must also outline the steps they will take to ensure that their research is representative of the population at which the study is targeted. The NIHR has worked with partners to develop the ‘INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework’, which supports clinical trial teams to understand the unique barriers for ethnic minorities and to encourage applicants and trial teams to take a more inclusive approach to research design.

The NIHR is also supporting researchers to extend their research into regions and communities where the need is greatest, but that are often under-served. This will help to ensure that research is well-designed and relevant to the end-user, that results are generalisable to a broad and diverse population, and that any resulting intervention can be successfully delivered to the people who most need it.

As part of our Life Sciences Strategy we initiated the Our Future Health study, the UK’s largest health research programme which plans to recruit up to 1 million ethnic minority participants. We will continue to support this programme to help make it the largest multi-ethnic health study in the world.

Action 24

To build confidence in future vaccination schemes and other health interventions, the National Institute for Health Research and the NHS Race and Health Observatory will seek to increase ethnic minority participation in clinical trials and research through methods such as promoting the INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework.

4. Opportunity and agency

Talent is spread equally across this nation, but opportunity is not. Yet over the last decade we have made great strides in widening that opportunity, giving more people of every race and background the chance to fulfil their potential.

At the heart of our approach is a fervent commitment that no-one’s destiny should be determined by their background. We believe every child deserves to expect the highest quality education and training, and that the rich wealth of history, literature and culture is the birthright of all of us, regardless of race.

Over the last decade we have achieved so much to create those opportunities – with 86% of children now in ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ schools, and with almost two-thirds of pupils in state-funded schools passing GCSE English and Maths in 2019, the gateway to so many jobs. It is why Brampton Manor, a state sixth-form school in London with a majority of its pupils from ethnic minorities, now regularly sends more students to Oxford and Cambridge than Eton, and why over 50,000 first year entrants to university in 2019/20 were black. The number of parents choosing to send their children to private school is falling – not because government has made it harder but in part, because the quality of our leading state schools is now so good that, in the words of a former education secretary Michael Gove, to opt-out of them is becoming ‘an increasingly eccentric choice’.

There is more we need to do to support families, to give children the best start in life, and to continue to drive up standards within our education system.

4.1 Support families

This government believes stable families are the bedrock of society. Family stability provides the solid foundation children and young people deserve to start a fulfilling life. It is the single most important determinant of life outcomes.

We agree with the Commission’s observation that the support, nurture and care that family networks provide are something that no government intervention can match in practical or emotional power.

We also agree that the need for support is greater among lone parent families and in those ethnic minority groups where family breakdown is more prevalent – the Commission cited concerning statistics, noting in 2020 there were 2.9 million lone-parent families – affecting 63% of black Caribbean children, and 62% of children whose ethnic group was identified as ‘black other’. Consequently, the need for support from either extended family or community and friendship groups is even greater. This is why it is crucial that the state creates an environment that enables stability and provides support for those who have been unable to form strong families.

The government will invest £200 million towards expanding the Supporting Families programme, which provides targeted, co-ordinated support for families affected by multiple and complex problems. This will help up to 300,000 more families facing multiple, interconnected issues access effective support and improve their life outcomes. We will also invest £300 million to transform ‘Start for Life’ services and create a network of family hubs in half of all council areas in England. More than before, services that support families will work together in schools, children’s centres, family hubs and in local communities to improve outcomes over the long term.

One of the key conclusions of the Commission’s report was that the support offered to families does make a big difference to the outcomes for children, and that more needs to be done to improve the way public services understand the needs of children within families. We have therefore asked the Children’s Commissioner to consider whether the needs of children are understood in the provision of services to families, and how we could improve children’s outcomes by improving the way public services understand the needs of families. It is only by taking a whole family approach – one which strengthens the bonds and attachments within, helps people to break free from abusive relationships, and access the right mental health support – that meaningful and sustainable change can be found going forward.

Action 25

The Children’s Commissioner for England will commence a review in April 2022 to improve the way public services understand the needs of children and families, so every child has the best start in life and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

We also recognise the importance of the early years and ensuring that we are doing all we can to support families in giving their baby the best start in life. As the SMC State of the Nation pointed out, by the time children start school, poorer children are already developmentally behind with the education attainment gap which then grows every year. That is why it is important that parents and carers get the support that is appropriate for them early on. The early years are also the critical period in which babies form a secure attachment with their primary caregiver. As the Leadsom Review raised, these relationships are the foundations for an individual’s success in school and in later life.

4.2 Improve adoption rates for disadvantaged children

Data shows that black children are more likely to be in care (7%) and less likely to be adopted (2%) compared with their share of the under-18 year old population (5%). Though Asian children are less likely than black children to be in care (4%), they are even less likely than black children to be adopted (1%) compared with their share of the under-18 year old population (10%). White children are less likely to be in care (74%) and more likely to be adopted (83%) compared with their share of the population of all under-18 year olds (79%).

Since 2019 the government has funded a national recruitment campaign to find more adoptive parents, which includes a focus on prospective parents from ethnic minority groups. The latest figures published on 3 March show that the number of ethnic minority approved adopters has gone up by 32% between March 2020 and September 2021.

Our adoption strategy, published in July 2021, sets out a bold vision to deliver excellence in adoption services across England including how we will address disparities around the adoption of ethnic minority children.

We want to ensure prospective adopters are never deterred from pursuing an opportunity to adopt because of their ethnicity, sexuality, age or social background.

Too many have, in the past, been put off by a system that can be too judgemental if you are not the right ethnicity, do not have a big house, are too old, or practise the wrong faith. Some local authorities and adoption agencies have not done enough to tackle prejudice and to deliver excellent support for all children in the adoption system. We committed to changing that.

A court ruling in December 2019 found that a local authority had acted outside the law when it turned away a prospective adopter couple because they did not have children waiting to be matched with the same ethnicity as the couple. The attitudes that lay behind the local authority’s decision assume that ‘cultural matching’ is necessary for successful adoption – a view which is discredited and simplistic according to the evidence.

In the past, some prospective adopters reported feeling judged by the system which conforms to narrow expectations of adoptive families. Almost anyone who can provide a safe and loving home can adopt, and the class, ethnicity, profession, sex or sexual orientation or marital status of prospective adopters should not stand in the way of adoption. Single adopters in particular should not face delay in their matching journey. Families who rent rather than own their homes, do not have a big enough house to give each child their own bedroom, or do not conform to other expectations of ‘typical’ adopters should not face any additional barriers to adoption.

Matching children to adopters fully capable of providing them with a stable and loving home should be the overriding objective of the system. Ethnic minority children wait the longest to be found a new home. Maintaining continuity of the heritage of their birth family is important to most children – it is a means of retaining knowledge of their identity and background. However, social workers should avoid placing the child’s ethnicity above other relevant characteristics when looking for an adoptive family for the child.

Agencies must not delay placing a child with the prospective adopter simply because they do not share the child’s ethnic or cultural background. Many adopters provide brilliant love and care for children with whom they do not share the same ethnicity.

Action 26

To increase the number of ethnic minority children who are adopted, and to reduce the time they have to wait to be adopted, the DfE, together with regional adoption agencies, will work to launch a new drive to match children with adoptive families. DfE will work to ensure that potential adopters are not discouraged to apply because of their ethnicity.

We also need better data about the adoption process and the use of Special Guardianship Orders (when children cannot live with their birth parents and adoption is not right for them). A more detailed understanding of the demographic profile of looked after children will enable better planning around providing the right permanence options for children, such as adoption, special guardianship, long-term fostering, or return to parents. It will also inform and support the recruitment and approval of the right adopters, Special Guardian or foster parents to meet the needs of the children.

Action 27

In line with commitments in the adoption strategy, the DfE will start to modernise data collection and information sharing so that regional adoption agency leaders have access to data which can be used to speed up matching of ethnic minority children with new adoptive families.

Action 28

To improve the existing evidence base, the RDU will work with the DfE and other stakeholders to develop and publish, in 2022, a strategy to improve the quality and availability of ethnicity data and evidence about looked after children and their routes out of care.

To give looked after children and care leavers the best possible start in life, we will also move forward with the introduction of mandatory national standards for independent and semi-independent provision in autumn 2023.[footnote 10] Overseen by Ofsted, this reform will provide the right level of checks and balances in the system to ensure children and young people have access to good accommodation that meets their needs and keeps them safe.[footnote 11]

Beginning with the first full inspections from April 2024, Ofsted will be given the tools to take action against any low quality operators. The DfE will also invest £142million across the next 3 years to support local authorities to deliver these changes.[footnote 12]

4.3 Enable better quality learning

We know what good education looks like in practice: an ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum, taught by great teachers in schools with high expectations and good pupil behaviour. Every child deserves this, irrespective of their race or social background. This is why we are providing the biggest uplift to school funding in a decade – £14 billion over 3 years – investing in early years education and targeting our ambitious recovery funding, worth £3 billion to date, to support disadvantaged pupils aged 2 to 19 with their attainment.

We have been raising standards relentlessly over the last decade, improving the education of disadvantaged children of all ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ has risen to 86%, up from 68% in 2010. This means tens of thousands more children are receiving the education they deserve, giving them better prospects for a successful adult life.

People from ethnic minority backgrounds should not face barriers to academic achievement. A higher percentage of ethnic minority young people attend university compared with white young people. However, it is clear from the Commission’s findings that when taking socioeconomic status into account, the predominant picture in education is of most ethnic minority groups outperforming the white British group. For example, at GCSE exams in 2018 to 2019, a higher percentage of pupils in state-funded schools from Chinese, Indian, Asian other, white Irish, Bangladeshi white and Asian, and mixed background other ethnic groups achieved strong passes in English and Maths than average. The picture of educational achievement across ethnic groups is complex, and different social, economic and cultural factors contribute to this: parental income levels, parental career and educational achievement, geography, family structure, and attitudes towards education within the family and wider community.

We believe that the ethnic minority success story in our schools should be replicated for every ethnic group and our best chance to do this is promoting what works to raise attainment for all. So, where some ethnic groups have under-average attainment, the best solution is to improve the school’s core offering so that all children fulfil their potential, rather than applying specific interventions to certain groups of children, which could single them out in the classroom and stigmatise them.

Action 29

To drive up levels of attainment for under-performing ethnic groups, the DfE will carry out a programme of analysis in early 2022 to understand pupil attainment and investigate whether there are any specific findings and implications for different ethnic groups to tackle disparities.

Action 30

The DfE and the RDU will investigate the strategies used by the multi-academy trusts who are most successful at bridging achievement gaps for different ethnic groups and raising overall life chances. The lessons learnt will be published in 2022 and will help drive up standards for all pupils.

Action 31

The DfE will investigate the publication of additional data on the academic performance of ethnic groups alongside other critical factors relating to social mobility and progress at school level, in post-18 education and employment after education by the end of 2022.

Action 32

The DfE will bring forward an ambitious schools white paper in spring 2022 which will set out a long-term vision for a stronger school’s system. There will be a focus on improving the literacy and numeracy outcomes of those not meeting expected standards because this is one of the most important factors for children’s life chances. Disadvantaged pupils are overrepresented in the cohort not meeting expected standards; a core pillar of the white paper will be providing targeted support for those who need it most, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. We will also look at ways we can target interventions in areas and schools of entrenched underperformance.

4.4 Invest in what works for pupils

We increased schools funding by £2.6 billion in 2020-21 and are increasing it by a further £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. The great majority of this funding is distributed through the National Funding Formula, which targets £6.4 billion of the funding at schools with higher numbers of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and with additional needs in 2021-22. For 2022-2023, funding through the National Funding Formula will be increasing by 3.2% overall compared to 2021-2022. This investment will be in proven interventions which we know work to transform the life chances of children. The evidence shows that there is greater variation in school performance by socio-economic status, parental education and family income, than by ethnicity.

We fund schools on the basis of need, not protected characteristics. The best way to do this is targeting funds toward low prior-attainment and socio-economic disadvantage to level up opportunity and transform the lives and prospects of a generation of pupils.

Action 33

In order to tackle disparities in educational outcomes for disadvantaged groups and to ensure that funding streams sufficiently address pupil needs, from September 2021 the DfE has required all schools to publish their strategies for spending money allocated for disadvantaged pupils through the pupil premium and the recovery premium. The funding grant conditions require these strategies to be built around well-evidenced approaches, such as classroom practice that has consistently demonstrated accelerated pupil progress. DfE will not have ethnicity-based funding streams unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Action 34

To maximise the benefits of the pupil premium for disadvantaged pupils, DfE amended the pupil premium conditions of grant for the 2021-2022 academic year to require all schools to use their funding on evidence-based approaches. To the extent possible, DfE will investigate the scale of these benefits.

We target funding to the regions, towns and places that show the greatest disparities. The Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is delivering a new, one-year £1 million fund to test locally-targeted interventions to support the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children and young people. These interventions focus on improving educational attainment, reducing school drop-out rates and improving the pathways to education and employment for GRT children and young people.

Children from ethnic minority backgrounds are disproportionately represented across the DfE-identified Opportunity Areas.[footnote 13] These areas are part of our national plan for dealing with social mobility through education, levelling up outcomes for children and young people in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. We are working with their colleges, schools, and early years settings to support raised aspirations and improve outcomes, with wider support outside the school gates to make sure children and young people are ready to learn and can benefit from a world-class education. By adopting evidence-based funding and interventions we will ensure that we meet the needs of all children.

The Levelling Up White Paper included a commitment to driving further school improvement in England through 55 new Education Investment Areas. These will cover the third of local authorities in England where educational attainment is currently weakest, plus any additional local authorities that contain either an existing Opportunity Area or were previously identified as having the highest potential for rapid improvement.

4.5 Increase quality of alternative provision in education

Outcomes for pupils in alternative provision (AP) are not good enough and we know some ethnic minority groups are overrepresented in AP schools.[footnote 14] In January 2021, there were 12,785 pupils whose main school registration was in state, place-funded AP. Of those pupils, 71.4% were white British compared to 64.9% in all schools. All Asian ethnic groups are underrepresented in AP, whilst other groups are overrepresented, such as black Caribbean (2.7% compared to 1.0%), white and black Caribbean (3.7% compared to 1.6%) and Gypsy/Roma (1.1% compared to 0.3%).[footnote 15]

We also know that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are being excluded or are absent or missing from school much more frequently than other pupils nationally. Certain ethnic groups, such as black Caribbean pupils, are disproportionately represented in different types of SEND identification, which negatively impacts the provision and support received.[footnote 16] To ensure that vulnerable children have the same opportunities to succeed, we are conducting a SEND Review which we will use to consult on proposals for transforming outcomes for young people in AP. This transformation will make early support the norm for all young people who need it in mainstream schools and ensure stable and high-quality education is available throughout a young person’s time in AP.

These reforms will incentivise early support in mainstream schools that will help reduce preventable exclusions and ensure overrepresented groups of children who are permanently excluded remain safe and supported in high-quality education. This will help to get all children and young people back on track and minimise the risk of them being exploited or becoming caught up in gangs, violence or county-lines drug activity.

Evidence shows small group tuition has a notable impact on academic progress. The DfE will continue to invest over £1 billion in the National Tutoring Programme, directing support to schools to provide tutoring services, prioritising disadvantaged pupils – generally those from low-income households – with extra help to support SEND students. As children from some minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be living in low-income households, the programme is likely to have a disproportionately positive impact on these children.

The disadvantaged groups highlighted in the Commission’s report will attract tutoring support based on their personal needs. Beyond those from low-income households, this will include (but is not limited to) looked-after children and those who have left care through adoption.

Action 35

The DfE will take action to improve the quality of education outside mainstream schools. These proposals are part of the forthcoming schools white paper and the SEND review and measures will be announced in 2022 to deliver significantly improved outcomes for children and young people at risk of being excluded from school or who are in Alternative Provision.

This action will improve behaviour, attendance and long-term pupil outcomes, including better transition to post-16. This will ensure children and young people from all backgrounds, including those from ethnic minorities, get back on track and help minimise the risk of them being exploited or becoming caught up in gangs, county-lines and serious violence. We will set out further plans in both a schools white paper and a SEND green paper, followed by a public consultation which will inform the further development of AP transformation.

As well as ensuring high-quality education for all pupils, we will also take action to reduce the ethnic disparities in exclusion rates. As the Timpson Review found, there are complex factors which contribute to exclusion rates including SEND, unsafe family environments and poor mental health. Yet, even when accounting for these factors, the likelihood of exclusion remains higher for some ethnic groups compared to white British children. The Hamilton Commission, set up to examine diversity in the motorsports industry, also recommended that more needed to be done to tackle the high proportion of students from some black backgrounds being excluded from schools.

To help schools to develop and sustain a culture where good behaviour is the norm, we’ve invested £10 million in the Behaviour Hubs programme. But we recognise that there is more we need to do to tackle the disproportionality in exclusion rates.

Action 36

The DfE will consult on and publish new and improved guidance on behaviour in schools and on suspensions and permanent exclusions in 2022. Both sets of guidance will help local leaders identify and address any disparities that might exist within suspension and permanent exclusion rates.

Action 37

The DfE will launch a £30 million, 3-year programme to set up new SAFE (Support, Attend, Fulfil and Exceed) taskforces led by mainstream schools to deliver evidence-based interventions for those most at risk of becoming involved in serious violent crime. These will run in 10 serious violence hotspots from early 2022 targeted at young people at risk of dropping out of school: reducing truancy, improving behaviour and reducing the risk of NEET.

Action 38

DfE will invest £15 million in a 2 year-programme to pilot the impact of co-locating full-time specialists in Alternative Provision in the top 22 serious violence hotspots.

4.6 Support community-led rehabilitation

One of the best ways of breaking the cycle of reoffending is by maximising the opportunity for rehabilitation through well-targeted and relevant interventions and services. These services are often outsourced to external organisations to provide expert delivery. However, small and medium sized, ethnic-minority led organisations which may be best placed to meet the needs of disproportionately impacted groups – and particularly young, ethnic minority men – are often overlooked. This has been attributed to factors such as lack of connections or training, compared to other voluntary and community sector organisations who would bid for this work.

Building trust with ethnic minority groups also requires us to support trusted organisations within those communities – regardless of their size or reach. The MoJ is determined to overcome the barriers small service providers face in their desire to provide effective rehabilitation services.

Following a rapid review of the position of ethnic minority-led voluntary and community sector organisations at the onset of COVID-19, the MoJ provided almost £1.6 million of funding targeted to such bodies in the third and fourth quarters of 2020/2021. This was broken down into 3 elements: £1.2 million was divided between 12 probation regions for services or training to improve rehabilitation services for minority ethnic offenders; £175,000 was distributed to the approved premises (formerly known as hostels) estate to improve support to ethnic minority residents; and £210,000 was provided to Clinks[footnote 17] to help ethnic minority specialist organisations improve their strategic capability, including participating in tendering exercises. This funding had a catalytic effect on probation activity in terms of the numbers reached, deploying organisations in different and new ways (such as staff training) and increasing our understanding of the barriers faced by such organisations in engaging in tendering and other commercial processes.

Action 39

To enable more grassroots, ethnic minority-led and specialist, voluntary or community sector organisations to provide rehabilitative services, the MoJ launched a new Stewardship Fund for 2021/22. We will also provide advice and support to help these organisations bid for funding and following an evaluation of the impact of the stewardship fund we will assess if funding provision can be made on a longer-term basis.

4.7 Improve advice for young people in police custody

At present, an individual in police custody has to ‘opt in’ and ask for the independent legal advice to which they are entitled. Evidence suggests that uptake rates are low, with only just over half of suspects requesting this free legal advice. This means those who need legal advice the most often do not always receive it. This can lead to “not guilty” pleas even when there is incontrovertible evidence they are responsible for a crime.

In the year ending March 2020, people in the black other ethnic group and the black Caribbean ethnic group were arrested at rates 7 and 4 times higher than white British people. As a result, police custody disproportionately affects black groups who historically have had the least trust in the justice system. In many cases, admitting guilt can be the difference between a suspended sentence and a custodial one. An admission of guilt may even prevent someone from entering the criminal justice system in the first place via the use of out of court disposals (OOCDs).

We want to build trust and better incentivise early intervention by making sure as many young people as possible in police custody, a disproportionate number of who are from an ethnic minority background, get the independent legal advice to which they are entitled. We are therefore supporting a number of trials in police forces that assume the offer of legal advice has been taken up, unless expressly refused, and that reiterate to defendants in the ‘booking’ process that this advice is free and independent.

These trials were welcomed by Sir Christopher Bellamy QC in his Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid, published in November 2021. He noted anecdotal explanations for the low take up rate of advice in police custody including a fear that asking for legal advice implies guilt, and the lack of trust in a lawyer being paid by the state, especially among young ethnic minority suspects. Sir Christopher suggested developing additional ways of informing suspects of their rights in order to help build trust between suspects and advisers. The MoJ is now consulting on Sir Christopher’s findings.

Action 40

To ensure that ethnic minorities and others receive the legal advice they need when in police custody, the MoJ will support a number of police forces to trial the effect of an automatic ‘opt-in’ to receive independent advice over 2022 and to build trust to see if this reduces disparities. This will assess whether better advice could lead to improved outcomes following arrest, such as better protection of vulnerable individuals, and increased take up of OOCDs.

4.8 Give young adult offenders a second chance

Evidence shows that people living in deprived areas where crime is higher are more likely to be stopped and searched. This means that young people in those areas committing low-level drug offences are therefore more likely to be caught and prosecuted. Areas which are less deprived but have similar levels of drug use have lower rates of drug offence detection. This trend is disproportionately criminalising young black people who are more likely to live in areas with higher deprivation or crime. This may contribute to the perception that disparities in criminalisation are due to racism in the criminal justice system and that solutions limited to policing, the courts or custodial institutions will not solve the problem alone.

We must ensure young adult offenders (those aged 18 to 24) receive age-appropriate consequences for their actions and are discouraged from repeating criminal behaviour, and we do not want to see them criminalised if there is a strong argument for a second chance, especially where individuals are motivated to acknowledge and learn from the experience. Where drugs offences come about through the exploitation of vulnerable young people, we want to avoid a cycle of victims becoming offenders. OOCDs and other pre-court diversion measures are an example of how the wider criminal justice system can give young people this second chance. They give a young adult offender the opportunity to face up to the reality of their crime, receive some structured help or direction and avoid prosecution. This matters. Evidence shows that when a young black person goes into the criminal justice system, and custody in particular, they are more likely to return to it than their white peers. Getting a criminal record can be a block to employment, which makes a life of crime far more likely. OOCDs offer a chance to break this cycle of criminality early on.

Deferred prosecution differs from OOCDs and is aimed at addressing ethnic disparity in entry into the formal criminal justice system. The MoJ co-ordinates a deferred prosecution pilot, ‘Chance to Change’, in West Yorkshire and London. In this pilot (and similar schemes run by other forces) a prosecution for certain offences including drug possession can be put on hold pending compliance with a number of conditions in order to offer a second chance.

There are a number of other diversionary schemes being piloted at the moment, including drug diversion pilots in Thames Valley and the West Midlands. In addition, as part of our ‘Beating Crime’ plan announced at the end of July 2021, we expanded Project ADDER (Addiction, Disruption, Diversion, Enforcement and Recovery) – an innovative approach which combines tough law enforcement with increased provision of treatment and recovery services – to 8 more local authorities, backed by an additional £31 million.[footnote 18] Through the Drug Strategy this programme has been extended until the end of March 2025. This will allow the police to target local gang leaders driving the drugs trade while better helping people to recover from addictions in more of the hardest-hit areas.

We are committed to transforming the lives of those affected by drug addiction. Our 10-year drug strategy, ‘From harm to hope’, sets out an ambitious new approach to tackling illegal drug use, reducing crime and improving people’s lives. It will ensure that no-one gets left behind.

This will tackle all illicit drug use and is underpinned by 3 priorities: breaking drug supply chains; delivering a world-class treatment and recovery system; and achieving a generational shift in the demand for drugs.

An additional £780 million will fund the first 3 years of an ambitious, decade-long transformation of drug treatment and wider recovery support in England. This marks the largest ever increase in treatment and recovery funding, taking the total treatment and recovery spend to more than £2.8 billion over 3 years.

From summer 2022, we will roll out a £15 million expansion of drug testing on arrest through police forces across England and Wales, so that we are taking every chance to identify offenders who use drugs and to ensure that they get directed to treatment and education awareness and can turn away from drug misuse.

Backed by a total of £9 million new funding, we will also support forces to introduce, or expand, a tough consequences OOCD scheme from summer 2022 to ensure young people are offered the opportunity to change their behaviour at an earlier stage, either through diversion towards treatment or to drug education courses. We are also developing our longer-term ambition which will make sure that more people using illegal drugs receive a relevant and proportionate consequence. Police forces will have discretion to deliver the appropriate sanctions to people whoever they are. This will ensure that so-called recreational drug use doesn’t go without punishment, but it also allows the police to focus their attention on the ruthless pursuit of criminal gangs driving the highest harm.

These projects will be designed with police forces and will aim both to address the disproportionate way in which certain groups, such as young black men, are sanctioned by the criminal justice system for drug possession and, at the same time, deliver a set of tougher consequences for everyone who breaks the law.

Action 41

To tackle the disproportionate criminalisation of young adults, who are often from ethnic minority and/or deprived backgrounds, we have begun to pilot a number of drug diversion schemes through Project ADDER which have the long-term potential to transform the way we tackle drug-related crime and engagement with youth at risk. We have extended Project ADDER to 8 additional local authority areas, as announced in July 2021. We will also explore ongoing current drug diversion schemes and share what works with other areas.

Action 42

To ensure that more people using illegal drugs receive a relevant and proportionate consequence, the Home Office will support a number of police forces with £9 million in funding to introduce, or expand, out of court disposal schemes from summer 2022.

4.9 Career advice that expands choice and enhances social mobility

The Commission found that most ethnic minority pupils outperform their white peers at school, but once they get to university (with the exception of Asian students) ethnic minority students are more likely to drop out, have lower levels of attainment, and most ethnic minority groups have lower earnings after graduating. Disadvantaged white pupils have some of the poorest GCSE attainment and are the least likely to go to university.

As a country, we pride ourselves on meritocracy and aspiration. Despite numerous interventions it is frustrating that we have not succeeded in helping every student in fulfilling their potential.

The Commission stated that a large minority of pupils are selecting universities and courses that they later regret. The Graduate Outcomes Survey shows that two-thirds of UK domiciled graduates who reported being in full time work agreed or strongly agreed that they were utilising what they had learnt during their studies. However the last Higher Education Policy Institute Student Academic Experience Survey conducted before the pandemic also suggested that 34% of respondents on courses would have made a different choice knowing what they know now.

Ethnic minority students have higher transition rates to higher education but drop out more often than white majority group students, despite reporting higher aspirations at age 14. These students may not have the right career guidance or visible role models who can demonstrate the breadth of opportunity in terms of life choices or even the social capital that opens doors into lucrative careers after graduation. They need better advice and guidance to increase their chances of success. This is especially true given that most young people will accumulate debt to pay for their degrees – a particular strain for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We are determined therefore, to tackle this problem before it develops, without lowering standards.

Action 43

To empower pupils to make more informed choices about their studies, the DfE will ensure that Higher Education Institutions support disadvantaged students before they apply for university places.

Action 44

The DfE will work with UCAS and other sector groups to make available both advertised and actual entry requirements for courses, including historic entry grades so that disadvantaged students have the information they need to apply to university on a fair playing field.

Action 45

Higher education providers will help schools drive up standards so that disadvantaged students obtain better qualifications, have more options, and can choose an ambitious path that is right for them.

Action 46

Higher education providers will revise and resubmit their Access and Participation plans with a new focus on delivering real social mobility, ensuring students are able to make the right choices, accessing and succeeding on high quality courses, which are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment.

The Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Bill will extend the existing duty on maintained schools, special schools and pupil referral units in England to secure independent careers guidance to pupils throughout their secondary education. Currently the duty only applies from the year in which the majority of the pupils attain the age of 13, until the end of the school year in which the majority of the pupils attain the age of 18.

The Bill will extend the duty to all students in state-funded secondary education and will also establish consistency across education settings by extending the statutory duty to academy schools and alternative provision academies in England.

Action 47

To improve careers guidance for all pupils in state-funded secondary education, the Department for Education will extend the current statutory duty on schools to secure independent careers guidance to pupils throughout their secondary education.

The Commission also found that ethnic minorities are under-represented in the apprenticeship system. For example, Asian people made up 6.1% of apprenticeship starts in the year ending July 2021 and 8% of the overall population estimated in 2019.There is currently too little awareness of the very positive opportunities apprenticeships offer. Many degree level apprenticeships now compare favourably to traditional degrees in terms of career development and wages. The In-Work progression report also points to the huge potential that apprenticeships have to change the skills landscape in the UK.

In March 2021, the government published Build Back Better: our plan for growth, which sets out our plans to drive growth through infrastructure, skills and innovation. High-quality education and skills training play a vital role in sustaining productivity growth, and our international competitiveness, and the plan for growth sets out government action in this area, including a continuing focus on the quality of apprenticeships. Yet many young citizens are not able to take up the opportunities available. This has held back our collective economic strength, leaving us less competitive than other countries, instead of enabling young people to fulfil their potential.

Action 48

To increase the numbers of young ethnic minorities in apprenticeships, the DfE is, since November 2021, working with DWP and partner bodies and employers to engage directly with young people across the country to promote apprenticeships. This will use a range of mechanisms to attract more ethnic minority starts identified in the Commission’s report, such as events in schools with strong minority representation, relatable role models, employer testimonies, data on potential earnings and career progression. It will also explore the impact of factors that influence a young persons’ career choices.

Action 49

In January DfE launched a major communications campaign Get the Jump: Skills for Life, a new integrated communication and engagement campaign that will target young people aged 14-19 about the full range of options available to them post 16 and post 18. It will help to tackle disparities by featuring a diverse range of young people in the campaign imagery, through case studies, influencers and through media targeting. The DfE will measure and publish participation levels of people from ethnic minorities, including a breakdown by age. This will allow us to track the progress of apprenticeship uptake by ethnic minorities and other under-represented groups in particular sectors.

Action 50

To help high-achieving, disadvantaged students to reach their full potential whilst studying in higher education, including degree courses or apprenticeships, the DfE will invest up to £75 million to deliver a state scholarship programme.

4.10 Clamp down on low-quality courses in higher education

More widely in higher education (HE), we need to ensure that courses are of high quality and are designed to meet the needs of students and employers. To clamp down on low quality courses, which hurt people from disadvantaged backgrounds the most, the Office for Students (OfS) will set minimum acceptable standards for student outcomes. By setting a minimum threshold for drop-out rates, course completion and graduate employment, universities and colleges will no longer be able to offer courses that do not improve student lives after graduation.

This new requirement will sit alongside new proposals for universities to rewrite their access and participation plans to include better, more focused and more transparent targets. Universities and colleges will be expected to focus on work that will improve prior attainment in the community, opening the door to university to more disadvantaged students and driving social mobility.

In addition, as part of its response to the Augar Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, the government is consulting on means to incentivise high quality provision and ensure all students enter pathways on which they can excel and achieve the best possible outcomes, including exploring the case for low level minimum eligibility requirements to access HE student finance and the possible case for targeted student number controls to tackle poor quality. The government is consulting on the case for introducing these policies, the mechanisms whereby they would operate and any exemptions that would apply.[footnote 19]

This is taking place in parallel with the development of and support for high quality alternatives to traditional undergraduate degrees, including degree apprenticeships, Higher Technical Qualifications, the creation of 21 new Institutes of Technology delivering high quality technical education and the government’s flagship Lifelong Loan Entitlement, which will provide individuals with an individual loan entitlement equal to the equivalent of 4 years of post-18 education to use over their lifetime.

Action 51

To clamp down on low quality courses, the Office for Students will set minimum acceptable standards for student outcomes and work to ensure universities rewrite their Access and Participation Plans to include more focused and transparent targets.

Action 52

The government is consulting on means to incentivise high quality provision and ensure all students enter pathways on which they can excel and achieve the best possible outcomes, including exploring the case for low-level minimum eligibility requirements to access higher education student finance and the possible case for proportionate student number controls.

4.11 Rank university courses by social mobility

Too many young people, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds, go to lower performing universities and study courses with lower rates of employability. For example, 17.6% of black students went to high tariff providers (Oxbridge and the Russell Group of universities) in 2018/19, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups.

Although individuals from most ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to go to university than those with white backgrounds, they are more likely to drop out and to then not progress to graduate employment or further study.

These young people will then graduate with a large amount of student debt but with a degree which will do little to boost their long-term employment prospects, increase their earnings or help them to fulfil their life’s ambitions.

It is important to provide transparent ways for parents and young people to understand what the implications are for enrolling on a certain degree at a certain institution and to be able to compare options, including non-university routes to higher level qualifications. They can nudge them in a direction to make a more informed choice about their future and to enhance their job prospects.

Current university rankings tend to focus on the teaching and research ratings of institutions, rather than the ability of particular universities or courses to boost social mobility. There is no easy to understand system for comparing options.

Addressing this will not be simple or straightforward, but the SMC, working with others, will seek to improve the information available to parents and students about the labour market value of qualifications and, where possible, their potential impact on social mobility. This will help prospective students – and particularly those from more deprived backgrounds – to choose the right course for them and to boost their employment prospects. It will also incentivise universities and other providers to improve or withdraw those courses that do not deliver genuinely improved opportunities.

Action 53

To help disadvantaged students to choose the right courses for them and to boost their employment prospects, the Social Mobility Commission will seek to improve the information available to students about the labour market value of qualifications and, where possible, the impact of those qualifications on social mobility.

4.12 Overcome barriers to progression out of low pay

In March 2020, we asked Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith to lead a commission exploring how workers in low pay can be better supported to progress in work. In July 2021, the independent In-Work Progression Commission published its findings, setting out the challenges faced by those in low-paid work. It made a number of recommendations to help overcome the barriers to progression out of low pay.

As the report highlights, certain ethnic minority groups are overrepresented in lower-skilled and lower-paying occupations and underrepresented at more senior levels, meaning that they face additional challenges to moving out of low-paid work. The report makes a number of recommendations for government and employers aimed at improving progression opportunities for those in low pay, including promoting a culture of lifelong learning and developing clear progression pathways within individual companies and in industries. For employers, it highlights the importance of having appropriate mentoring programmes and the value of role models for ethnic minority workers.

We are committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, wherever they come from and whatever their background. To this end, we have carefully reviewed the In-Work Progression Commission’s recommendations. In February 2022, the Levelling Up White Paper set out the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) new in-work progression offer. A full response on their programme for progression, which includes a package of measures to help boost people’s pay, prospects and prosperity, will be published shortly.

Action 54

To unleash people’s potential, DWP will roll out a new in-work support offer to every Jobcentre from April 2022. The new programme will appoint 37 new specialist Progression Champions to deliver specialist support to Jobcentres and develop tailored progression plans to support working claimants to climb the career ladder.

Both government and employers have an important role to play in improving in-work progression and we encourage employers to consider the recommendations aimed at them and reflect on what steps they can take to improve progression opportunities for their employees.

4.13 Increase opportunities for ethnic minority entrepreneurs to access finance

According to the British Business Bank (BBB) report Alone Together – entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK, published in October 2020, access to finance appears to be a major barrier for ethnic minority entrepreneurs. We are working with stakeholders, including lenders, to better understand the underlying causes and to agree interventions to improve access to finance.

There is evidence to suggest that the design of finance programmes can influence outcomes for ethnic minority entrepreneurs. For example, the UK-wide Start Up Loans programme, part of the government-owned BBB, provides loans of between £500 and £25,000 at a fixed rate of 6% to new entrepreneurs. Applicants also benefit from pre- and post-application support and have free access to a business mentor for the first 12 months if their application is successful. Of the loans issued since the programme started in 2012, 21% have gone to those from an ethnic minority background. Another BBB-managed scheme, the Future Fund government scheme, also invested just under £1,137 million in a total of 1,190 companies across the UK between May 2020 and January 2021. Companies with senior management teams drawn entirely from a black, Asian or other ethnic minority background, together with mixed teams of white, black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds, accounted for 61.6% of this investment, amounting to £646.5 million.

More needs to be done, particularly in relation to ethnic minority women. The ‘Investing in Women Code’ is an initiative that arose from the 2019 Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, committing financial institutions to collecting and reporting gender disaggregated data and taking further action to improve female entrepreneurs’ access to the tools, resources and finance needed to grow successful businesses. As at the end of February 2022, 134 lenders and investors have signed the Code, including the majority of high street banks and over 90 Venture Capital firms. During 2022, BEIS will work with Code signatories on a voluntary basis to pilot data collection on ethnicity as well as gender and report on the findings.

Action 55

BEIS will work with Code signatories and their trade associations to pilot data collection on the ethnicity of entrepreneurs applying for finance. This pilot will inform future options for data collection and follow-up actions designed to improve access to finance for ethnic minority entrepreneurs.

4.14 Improve productivity of entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds

The BBB found that the average turnover for black-led businesses is £25,000 compared to £35,000 for white-led businesses. Over one third of female business owners from ethnic minority backgrounds reported making no profit in 2019, compared with 15% of white female business owners.[footnote 20] Reasons for this include access to finance, deprivation, education, and under-representation in senior workforce positions. We urgently need to turn around this trend by getting the next generation of aspiring ethnic minority entrepreneurs equipped with the skills and confidence which makes them more likely to succeed. We also need lenders to do things differently, to tap into the huge entrepreneurial potential of ethnic minority groups and build new relationships.

Action 56

To equip entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds with the skills they need to build successful businesses, BEIS is supporting HSBC to develop and launch its pilot for a competition-based, entrepreneur support programme in spring 2022. The programme, which will be run in partnership with UK universities, will equip entrepreneurs with the skills they need for years to come.

HSBC UK is already running the first wave of the pilot programme in the academic year 2021-2022 in 5 universities across the UK. The 12-week programme provides specialised sessions across a range of topics relevant to entrepreneurs, and especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds. The programme will equip students to bring their commercial ideas to life through a range of hard skills (for example, finance and investment) and soft skills (such as advisory, publicity).

This programme has the exciting potential to improve outcomes for ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the long-term. What it will do in the short-term is encourage more ethnic minority young people to see themselves as aspiring entrepreneurs in a society which will be a springboard to their success.

We will also engage ethnic minority business leaders and representative organisations to better understand barriers faced by ethnic minority entrepreneurs when starting a business, and consider further policy options to address these.

It is our ambition to make the UK one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business. To help deliver our ambition, BEIS is developing an Enterprise Strategy which we plan to publish later this year. The Strategy will look at barriers to growth at every step of the business growth journey, and consider what more can be done to support the UKs entrepreneurs.

The Enterprise Strategy will consider widening opportunities to all parts of society because we want to unleash Britain’s enterprising potential for everyone, everywhere.

5. Inclusion

Our multi-racial society in the UK is unique. We share similar demographics with many other countries such as the USA or France, but across a range of measures, including socio-economic disparities, economic marginalisation and prejudice, our country in 2022 is still one of the best examples of managing complex diversity, protecting rights and delivering opportunities for the individual – no matter who they are or where they have come from.

Inclusion is at the heart of our equality strategy. We strive for a society where no individual is treated differently, because they belong to a particular group. But inclusion also requires that everyone has a stake in society – not just in their own prosperity but that of their neighbours and fellow citizens.

An inclusive society is built on shared values, and a shared history. In a diverse community, such as ours, inclusion will not happen so long as membership of a particular race or ethnic group supersedes integration with wider society.

There are many characteristics which we will all share; some are legally protected to safeguard us all from discrimination. However, the most important characteristic we have in common is that of being part of the UK. The diversity and multiple identities that make up the UK are a clear strength and one that we celebrate.

We understand and recognise differences where they exist. However, we do not define ourselves by our differences but instead on what we have in common.

This is why our vision of a better, more inclusive world is based on hope and rejects fear. It requires thinking the best of our fellow citizens and not looking for the worst possible interpretation of their actions without good reason.

This will need a focused and continual communication on the positives of our society as well as its history and values and an honest examination where there are deficiencies. The risk is that an imbalanced emphasis on the negatives can distort the true picture, often to the detriment of young ethnic minorities who are led to believe, incorrectly, that their society is against them and they will never belong.

5.1 Create a more inclusive history curriculum

All children should grow up feeling a strong sense of belonging to this country. They need to see themselves as integral parts of the rich, diverse mosaic of traditions, faiths and ethnicities which make up the UK today. Children need to know that the UK is their home and that they will play a part in writing the next chapter of the UK’s future. While promoting and celebrating diversity is hugely important, it is meaningless if children do not feel a sense of belonging or inclusion.

We will ensure that how our past is taught in schools encourages all pupils, whatever their ethnicity, to feel an authentic sense of belonging to a multi-racial UK.

Action 57

To help pupils understand the intertwined nature of British and global history, and their own place within it, the DfE will work with history curriculum experts, historians and school leaders to develop a Model History curriculum by 2024 that will stand as an exemplar for a knowledge-rich, coherent approach to the teaching of history.

The Model History Curriculum will support high-quality teaching and help teachers and schools to develop their own school curriculum fully using the flexibility and freedom of the history national curriculum and the breadth and depth of content it includes. The development of model knowledge-rich curriculums continues the path of reform the government started in 2010.

A knowledge-rich approach to teaching enables better curriculum design and sequencing. It embeds not just the diverse histories of the world and Britain’s place within it, but also places more emphasis on the national histories of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, telling the story of how the United Kingdom came to be.

Action 58

The DfE will actively seek out and signpost to schools suggested high-quality resources to support teaching all-year round on black history in readiness for Black History Month October 2022. This will help support schools to share the multiple, nuanced stories of the contributions made by different groups that have made this country the one it is today.

We also recognise more can be done to equip teachers to deliver a high-quality curriculum and support leaders in their decision-making. Education practitioners face ethical dilemmas every day but there is no single agreed set of principles to help school and college leaders navigate these dilemmas.

Helping teachers to develop the skills to deal with the ethical issues in leadership and curriculum design is a key step to ensure pupils receive a good and balanced education. As the Commission’s report found, a good education with a well-designed curriculum is essential to prepare pupils to understand the society in which they grow up in and, in turn, promote respect for other people and for difference.

Action 59

To equip teachers to make ethical decisions and deliver high-quality education, the DfE will embed new reforms to transform the training and support teachers and school leaders receive at every stage of their career. These measures include national roll-out of the new Early Career Framework and reformed National Professional Qualifications from September 2021.

5.2 Support a more inclusive school hair and uniform policy

The government is concerned that some black pupils are experiencing discrimination because of their hair. We are determined to ensure schools never apply uniform policies which may indirectly discriminate against black pupils. This is because race is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and afro hair is inherently linked to race – so any uniform requirement which is not appropriate, reasonable or necessary and which puts black children at a particular disadvantage, could constitute indirect discrimination. The case of Ruby Williams vs Urswick School has meant that some school leadership teams are increasingly looking for guidance on this issue.

We also understand the very real, practical difficulty compliance with some uniform policies may pose to black children and their parents. Traditional expectations of uniform and dress policies may not always be appropriate for those with afro hair.

This means that more clarity should be provided to ensure black children do not experience unfair treatment. Given that there have been court cases and protests, we think guidance is needed to ensure students, parents and teachers have a shared understanding of what is suitable.

While schools have autonomy and the government does not dictate uniform policy, we recognise that advice on best practice would enable schools to ensure their approach to hair is consistent with equality law, so that no black pupil ever gets discriminated against.

We also recognise that black people have had negative experiences in the workplace because of their hair.[footnote 21] By promoting best practice in schools, we are making an important step in showing that institutions must be sensitive to the multiracial community they serve and that they have no excuse to promote policies or practices which racially discriminate.

Action 60

The DfE will, in collaboration with the Equality Hub, work with leading schools to help them create a resource on pupil hairstyles and uniform policy. This will showcase best practice in uniform policy specific to the diversity of acceptable hairstyles in school to avoid unfair treatment of ethnic minority children whose hair type may not be like the majority.

5.3 Enrich the school day for children

The pandemic has significantly disrupted the education of children and young people. At the end of spring term 2021, primary pupils were on average around 2 months behind in reading and over 3 months behind in maths, relative to where we would expect them to be in a normal year. This is an issue that we must address.

We have initiated a long-term catch-up plan to give parents confidence that we will be doing everything we can to support children who have fallen behind through no fault of their own. Already, children and young people across England are benefitting from the 100 million hours of free tuition to help them catch up on learning lost during the pandemic. But we will go further and the next stage of our catch-up plan and how this could level up opportunity across the country.

To help all pupils, but especially the most disadvantaged, who are more likely to have fallen further behind in their studies during the pandemic, the DfE will invest almost £5 billion to support recovery for children and young people, with extra help for those who need it most. Following the evidence, DfE will focus extra time on older students (16-19) as they have less time left in education. £828 million of funding will enable full time students in 16-19 education to receive an average of 40 additional hours each academic year (equivalent to 1 hour per week) of teaching and learning (and a proportionate amount for those who are part-time) to catch up on lost learning. This includes £100 million specifically to meet the increased costs of additional time for students with high needs and is complemented by more targeted catch-up programmes such as the £1.95 billion catch-up and recovery premium funding, the National Tutoring Programme in schools and Tuition Fund in 16-19.

Action 61

To help all pupils, but especially the most disadvantaged who are more likely to have fallen further behind in their studies during the pandemic, the DfE will invest almost £5 billion to support recovery for children and young people, with extra help for those who need it most. We are investing over £800 million across the next 3 academic years to fund 40 additional learning hours for 16 to 19 year olds – the equivalent of one extra hour per week in school or college.

Using time in school to play sports or learn music is something we very much support because it creates new opportunities for children to flourish and grow into young adults. DfE will work with some of the best multi-academy trusts nationally to understand how their operating models allow them to focus as much money as possible towards teaching, curriculum and enrichment activities – and in turn the benefits that this additional investment brings to children across the trust schools. This work will happen across 2022.

The DfE will continue to invest £115 million per year in cultural education over the next 3 years, through music, arts and heritage programmes, including Music Education Hubs and a range of other cultural education programmes, working closely with DCMS, the Arts Council England and others.

In our Levelling Up White Paper we also announced that we will:

  • invest £560 million in young people for new and improved youth facilities, services and experiences in England where they are needed most
  • launch a new National Youth Guarantee so that by 2025 every young person in England will have access to regular out of school activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer
  • ensure the Duke of Edinburgh Award is offered to every state secondary school in England
  • give more students the transformative opportunity to join the cadets, including providing more support to the state school sector to increase participation

5.4 Reinforce impartiality in the public sector

The last 18 months has seen an intense and welcome debate about race in the UK. It is important that this debate is conducted in a civil way, and that people of all backgrounds feel they can contribute and participate in discussion. The complexity of issues and the contested nature of ideas and information means people will hold a variety of views, even if their shared goal is to achieve equality and fairness in society.

For this reason, it is important that public servants and public institutions recognise the diversity of opinion on these issues, and encourage an environment that is free from bias. There is also a need to ensure that language seeks to encourage unity and inclusion, rather than division and grievance.

Those leading in public sector organisations, especially those facing the public, should understand that not everyone agrees and there is a legal duty to act impartially, without fear or favour.

We will ensure that the publicly-funded sector promotes the values of tolerance and equality, but that there is careful delineation of ideas and views which are more political. It is never appropriate to promote political ideas or groupings, or communicate in divisive language which singles out any community in a negative way, in a public sector environment.

Action 62

We will develop refreshed guidance on Civil Service diversity and inclusion, with clear advice on impartiality in language and practice.

The UK Civil Service supports the UK Government, Scottish Government and Welsh Government. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Civil Service in delivering this action.

5.5 Use professional skills to benefit local communities

School governors and trustees play a key role maintaining school standards which deliver good outcomes for all pupils. Setting strategic direction and holding the leadership to account should be done in the interests of all pupils. Diverse boards, giving a voice to the wider school community help ensure that decisions taken are in the interest of all pupils.

We have added new content to the ‘Understanding your data’ guide for school governors and academy trustees to remind them of: the importance of understanding the diversity of their schools and the communities they serve; the need to ensure their board is reflective of this; and their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. This mirrors wording that was strengthened in the Governance Handbook when it was updated last year.

As we are updating the handbook, we are looking at including guidance for boards on collecting and publishing data specifically about the diversity of their board, something that was recommended by the Commission. Once the new edition of the handbook is published we will reflect this guidance in future iterations of the ‘Understanding your data’ guide.

It is also important to acknowledge that while ethnic minorities remain underrepresented on a national level on governing boards, factors such as place and age play a role. For example, newer governors or trustees are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background than ever before.

We are committed to ensuring recruitment considers how to ensure the governor and trustee workforce represent the communities they serve. Going beyond this, we are working closely with partner organisations to understand the needs of the sector and tackle the key issues.

Action 63

The DfE will encourage governing bodies to be more reflective of the school communities they serve and will recommend that schools collect and publish board diversity data at a local level. The DfE will also update the Further Education Governance Guide in spring 2022 to include how to remove barriers to representation, widen the pool of potential volunteers and promote inclusivity.

5.6 Make police forces more representative of local communities

There is no doubt that we have made good progress since 2010 and there are now more than 50% more police officers from an ethnic minority background. (The number of officers who identify as belonging to an ethnicity other than white has increased from 6,704 (on a headcount basis) as at 31 March 2010 to 10,833 as at 31 December 2021). But no single force is ethnically representative of its area.

We are committed to increasing diversity in the police because it benefits relations with the community and because it boosts the quality of policing. Hiring locally means officers bring a working knowledge of local issues, familiarity with the longstanding issues communities face and the sensitivities which need careful handling. Strengthening the bond between police applicants and the people they wish to serve and the place they wish to police will rejuvenate the relationship between police and the public.

The Police Uplift Programme (PUP) is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to attract the best talent from all ethnic backgrounds. It is delivering our manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023 and to make forces more representative of communities they serve. As part of our approach, the PUP is supporting forces to meet diversity ambitions by using the national recruitment campaign to highlight the diverse backgrounds, talents and cultures within policing. This is complemented by a campaign targeted at potential ethnic minority candidates, as well as their family and friends.

Action 64

To help police forces become more representative of their local communities, and benefit from local knowledge and experience, the Home Office, working with the College of Policing, will consider with individual forces measures to ensure that new recruits have a better understanding of the areas and the people they serve, including the feasibility of a local residency requirement where appropriate.

These initiatives will only be successful if new recruits have the competence and ability to understand, communicate with, and interact effectively with people from different groups in the communities they serve. The Commission emphasised the need for a recruitment approach that includes recognition of the life skills that candidates can offer, such as a working knowledge of local issues, familiarity with the community languages in the areas covered, and an understanding of different religions and cultures.

Action 65

To ensure that the recruitment processes identify and select officers who are reflective of the needs of local communities, the Metropolitan Police Service, working with the College of Policing, is considering additional methods for assessing candidates’ understanding of those needs and will announce its plans later in 2022. Changes would be delivered via a pilot that will be evaluated by the College, with a view to applying learning to its ongoing development of the assessment process.

5.7 Address racial discrimination and abuse of police officers

Physical and racist abuse targeted at police officers and staff, who do crucial work in serving their communities, is deplorable. As highlighted by the Commission, racist assaults against police officers in the Metropolitan Police service almost doubled between the year ending November 2019 and November 2020. And according to an ITV survey, nearly 70% of ethnic minority police staff said they had suffered racist abuse from the public while carrying out their job.

In the long term, the Commission found that this abuse can lead to people from ethnic minority backgrounds becoming reluctant to join the police and in turn, impacts community relations and trust.

We are committed to increasing diversity in the police because it benefits relations with the community and because it boosts the quality of policing. Work is also underway across many police forces to improve their outreach with ethnic minority groups within their local communities, in order to build trust, strengthen relationships and reduce hostility.

These approaches should see a rise in the number of ethnic minority officers and in turn help to improve community relations. But no police officer should have to endure racist abuse. Offences against emergency workers and hostility on grounds of race are both statutory aggravating factors under the Sentencing Act 2020. This means that, should the circumstance of any case contain either instance, the court can take into account those factors when determining the seriousness of the offence. The most common forms of racist hate crime, such as assault, are also covered by stand-alone offences under the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), with higher maximum penalties than non-hate crime equivalents.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, we will also double the maximum penalty for common assault or battery against an emergency worker from 12 months to 2 years’ imprisonment, further signalling our commitment to ensuring these attacks are not tolerated.

Action 66

To protect police officers and others when exercising their functions, we will double the maximum penalty for common assault or battery committed against an emergency worker from 12 months to 2 years’ imprisonment.

5.8 Improve judicial diversity

Although the proportion of ethnic minority judges has increased since 2014, the first year for which comparable data is available, it remains low especially in the more senior judicial roles. We are committed to improving diversity in the judiciary and the MoJ is working with the Judicial Diversity Forum[footnote 22] to improve the rate of progress of under-represented groups into judicial posts.

In December 2021, the Forum published an update to its September 2020 action plan, alongside new priorities and actions for 2022. This commits it to taking action to improve diversity in the judiciary through:

  • placing transparency, data, evidence and insight at the heart of its activities, including further qualitative research and analysis to ensure that it can take evidence-based action
  • delivering development programmes and directing support to diverse candidates, providing support and interventions at every career stage and targeting outreach at underrepresented and non-traditional candidate groups
  • communicating clearly and consistently with, and listening carefully to, underrepresented groups
  • amplifying the voices and experiences of legal professionals, judges and successful judicial applicants from underrepresented groups to help inform and inspire prospective, current and future judicial office holders

As part of this work, the MoJ will continue to fund 2 schemes in 2022/23 aimed at increasing judicial diversity:

  • the Pre-Application Judicial Education programme, which supports eligible lawyers from under-represented groups, including those from an ethnic minority background, who are considering applying for a judicial appointment
  • the Judicial Appointment Commission’s Targeted Outreach programme, which provides support for key selection exercises as a pipeline to senior appointments, including Circuit and High Court judges

The new action plan also commits MoJ to reviewing, by July 2022, the process and barriers to appointment for other parts of the legal profession to ensure a broader pool of talent.

These activities complement actions undertaken by the legal professional bodies to increase the diversity of the legal professions and provide support for lawyers who wish to pursue a judicial career. The judiciary has also set out a set of actions in its Judicial Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020 to 2025, published in November 2020.

The proportion of magistrates from an ethnic minority background was 13% on 1 April 2021, up from 8% in 2014. This too is a step in the right direction but, there is more to be done.

We are investing over £1 million in a joint judicial and government-led programme of work to recruit more diverse magistrates and promote the magistracy as an attractive option to a broader range of potential applicants. This includes introducing a streamlined recruitment process and a new digital system for managing magistrates’ recruitment. Candidates will submit their applications online, allowing us to improve our data collection and reporting. For the first time, diversity information will be captured for all applicants, allowing us to understand the diversity breakdown of applicants at each stage of the process. This will enable us to identify any differences in success rates between different ethnic groups.

We will use this data to develop more detailed and targeted policies and strategies at both national and local level to help us ensure that the magistracy is representative of the communities it serves. The new selection process has also been designed to ensure that applying to the magistracy is more inclusive and accessible while remaining robust and challenging to identify the best candidates. These changes are supported by a new, innovative marketing campaign which was launched in January. The campaign has been designed to raise the profile of the magistracy and encourage those from all walks of life to consider applying, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

Action 67

To broaden the diversity of the judiciary, we will work with the Judicial Diversity Forum to increase the pool of applicants as well as continuing to scrutinise recruitment processes to ensure the very best talent is promoted through the professions and on to the bench. This includes delivering MoJ’s commitments set out in the 2022 action plan.

Action 68

To broaden the diversity of the magistracy, the MoJ is investing over £1 million this financial year to support the recruitment of new and diverse magistrates, and launched a revised, streamlined recruitment process and inclusive recruitment campaign earlier this year. The new process will enable MoJ to better monitor recruitment information, understand any differences in attraction and success rates between ethnic groups and to identify action to address any issues highlighted by this data. An evaluation of this process will be conducted in 2022.

5.9 Promote inclusion in the workplace

It is widely argued that inclusive workplaces are more likely to be successful workplaces. If a workplace openly values people with different experiences, ideas and attitudes, it will naturally increase a sense of belonging for all. This works in the interest of all minority groups, not least ethnic minorities. Inclusive workplaces can be fairer for their staff and through this diversity, different approaches and ideas can create even more business benefits for the organisation.[footnote 23]

One challenge we face is to build stronger evidence showing how we can make workplaces more inclusive and fairer for everybody. For too long, the diversity and inclusion has been measured and understood by focusing on representation of people sharing a protected characteristic such as race. But there is increasing debate that protected characteristics are often proxies for traits an organisation needs to attract and retain, such as cognitive diversity and a diversity of perspectives, personalities, experiences and viewpoints.

Therefore, we will work with experts to promote and publicise an evidence-based approach to advance inclusion in the workplace. This will build on the work currently underway in the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit to define Strand 3 (leadership and management) of the new civil service curriculum. Strand 3 shapes demand for, and assures supply of, the training products available in the Government Skills Campus, and used by civil servants to ensure they manage and lead inclusively. The new Leadership College for Government will also promote and publicise ‘what works’ in effective leadership development and management training, and support the Inclusion at Work Panel.

Sharing this evidence – the effective products and programmes used in the civil service – with employers will help them get the most out of their greatest asset, their people.

Action 69

To tackle bias and ensure fairness in the workplace, by spring 2023 the Equality Hub will create an ‘Inclusion at Work Panel’. Made up of a panel of academics and practitioners in business it will develop and disseminate effective resources to help employers drive fairness across organisations. This will go beyond just race and ethnicity to identify actions to promote fairness for all in the workplace and will include a programme of research and workplace trials to provide a robust evidence base and root out poor quality training.

The panel will be supported by the Government Campus, specifically the new Leadership College for Government, to ensure the Government Curriculum defines effective leadership and management standards and products. The UK Civil Service and public sector employers will lead by example in adopting evidence-based practices and trialling new approaches.

The UK Civil Service and public sector employers will lead by example in adopting evidence-based practices, and trialling new approaches.

5.10 Improve guidance on positive action

We recognise that many companies and organisations are implementing policies with the aim of assisting in improving representation and providing opportunity to certain groups. However, it is important that such policies are consistent with equality legislation and that organisations distinguish between positive action, which is permitted under the Equality Act 2010, and unlawful positive discrimination.[footnote 24]

We believe that new updated guidance will support smaller organisations in particular who are keen to provide opportunity and demonstrate a commitment to inclusion that is relevant to their local communities without breaking equality law.

This will increase the ability for those who may have been locked out of opportunities in education, training and work to improve their lives. It will do so by enabling their employers and organisations to recognise the numerous ways they can provide support and develop those individuals who are not achieving their full potential, regardless of their ethnicity or background

Action 70

To support employers and industry sectors to create opportunity for groups that are underrepresented in their workforce, the Government Equalities Office will create new updated guidance on positive action by December 2022.

5.11 Improve standards by launching an ‘Inclusion Confident’ Scheme

The Commission found the ethnicity pay gap is improving and ethnic minorities have made significant strides in occupational representation. However, evidence shows that there remains under-representation in the top tiers of professions and ethnic minorities are more likely to cite discrimination as a factor in achieving their career goals.

Models such as the Disability Confident Employer Scheme help organisations to take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people within the workplace. A scheme that includes but is not exclusive to ethnicity and race would, in a similar vein, provide the tools for employers to overcome barriers to in-work progression and retention of their ethnic minority staff, helping them to navigate a sensitive area with confidence, to deliver tangible results that benefit the employee and employer long term.

Action 71

Using evidence from the Inclusion at work Panel, and building on the curriculum standards underpinning the Government Campus, and Leadership College within it, the government will develop a new scheme for employers, working with stakeholders in business, civil society and academia, to provide an evidenced framework for improving race equality and progression in the workplace. Organisations will be able to sign-up to the scheme voluntarily, to be live by autumn 2023.

5.12 Harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) for an inclusive future

As set out in our national AI Strategy published in September 2021, we are committed to harnessing AI for good in order to improve people’s lives, address factors that drive ethnic disparities, and lead the global conversation about AI, transparency and ethics. AI offers the potential to improve people’s lives across the country, driving first class public services.

For example, in October 2021 the NHS AI Lab and the Health Foundation awarded £1.4 million to 4 projects to address racial and ethnic health disparities using AI. The winning projects range from using AI to investigate disparities in maternal health outcomes to validating the performance of AI retinal image analysis systems that will be used in the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

In 2020, the Office for AI published an AI procurement guide, based on research conducted in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, aiming to drive responsible public procurement of AI systems. This guide recommends that procurement be conducted by diverse teams reflecting society, and that AI systems are subject to an Equality Impact Assessment before deployment.

Through the 2018 AI Sector Deal, we have already announced a near £1 billion partnership between government, industry and academia. We have since built on that work with further investments, particularly in our international work and efforts to improve diversity in the AI skills pipeline, and in September 2021 published an ambitious decade-long vision to keep the UK at the forefront of AI in the form of the National AI Strategy.

As part of this, £24 million of funding has been announced to help bolster the introduction of new and diverse talent into digital and tech roles, with 1,000 scholarships offered to students from underrepresented backgrounds. Of these, 76% of scholarship students were women, nearly half were black students and almost a quarter were disabled students.[footnote 25]

But like so much emerging technology, we do not yet fully understand how the use of AI will impact ethnic disparities. But we do know that bias can enter AI just as it can enter any process: through data, modelling (where unfair rules may be unknowingly embedded into a system), and through system decision-making.

So, our first priority is to understand what it means to improve transparency and use of AI. We want to build the most trusted and pro-innovation system for AI governance in the world. This will be achieved by setting an example in the safe and ethical deployment of AI.

Action 72

To address the potential risks and opportunities presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, the Office for AI will develop our national position on governing and regulating AI, and set this out in a white paper in 2022. This will include how to address potential racial bias in algorithmic decision-making.

Action 73

To ensure technological advances do not have a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups, the EHRC will advise on the safeguards needed and issue guidance that explains how to apply the Equality Act to algorithmic decision-making.

​Action 74

To enhance transparency and trust, the Central Digital and Data Office and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation published an algorithmic transparency standard for the public sector. This will be piloted by several public sector organisations before formal endorsement in 2023. The move makes the UK one of the first countries in the world to develop a national algorithmic transparency standard.

  1. References in this document to ‘the government’ should be taken to mean the UK Government unless otherwise stated. 

  2. Hate crime investigation following Euro 2020 final leads to 11 arrests 

  3. Following the Commission’s report, many businesses and organisations have already taken action and stopped using the term ‘BAME’: Businesses reduce use of BAME over racism concerns and https://twitter.com/Army_MCN/status/1450373530978332673 

  4. For example: Ethnicity data: how similar or different are aggregated ethnic groups? – GOV.UK 

  5. Definition of policing by consent – GOV.UK 

  6. Mother of murdered teenager tells stop and search critics to stop ‘tying hands of police’ in fight against knife crime – The Independent 

  7. More than 600 organised crime groups disrupted by ADDER projects – GOV.UK 

  8. DHSC has also launched the most far-reaching review of health and social care leadership in 40 years: Government launches landmark review of health and social care leadership – GOV.UK 

  9. COVID-19 Health Inequalities Monitoring for England (CHIME) tool 

  10. Independent or semi-independent supported accommodation serves young people, usually Looked After Children or those who are Care experienced when they need additional support to transition into adulthood. 

  11. Introducing national standards for independent and semi-independent provision for looked-after children and care leavers aged 16 

  12. Introducing national standards for independent and semi-independent provision for looked-after children and care leavers aged 16 

  13. These areas are Blackpool, Bradford, Derby, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich, North Yorkshire Coast, Norwich, Oldham, Stoke-on-Trent and West Somerset. 

  14. AP here refers to local authority maintained establishments providing alternative provision (often referred to as pupil referral units) and alternative provision academies and free schools, known collectively as the ‘state place-funded AP sector’. 

  15. https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/f9520cd3-41ba-4096-bbcb-4f2d6702f3fb 

  16. Ethnic disproportionality in the identification of Special Educational Needs (SEN) in England: Extent, causes and consequences 

  17. Clinks is the national umbrella group that acts on behalf of third sector organisations working with offenders and their families. 

  18. The government announced an extension to the Project ADDER in July 2021, to include Bristol, Newcastle, Wakefield, 2 London Boroughs (Tower Hamlets and Hackney) and 3 local authorities in Liverpool City Region (Liverpool City, Knowsley, Wirral). 

  19. https://consult.education.gov.uk/higher-education-reform/higher-education-he-reform/supporting_documents/HE_reform_commandpaperweb_version.pdf 

  20. British Business Bank, (2020), Alone together: Entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK

  21. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/yorklr2&div=9&id=&page= 

  22. The JDF represents the Judiciary, the Judicial Appointments Commission, the Bar Council, the Law Society, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and The Legal Services Board. 

  23. ​Impact of diversity and inclusion within organisations 

  24. Employers fear using positive action to close disability, ethnicity and gender pay gaps – Equality and Human Rights Commission 

  25. £23 million to boost skills and diversity in AI jobs – GOV.UK