Jump to content

Recommended Posts

my grnaddaughter was to do work experiace at a doctors surgery but her placement there was refused by her school becuse she is white and they had decided that all such placements would only be available to black pupils.

 

Now the law states that you cant discriminate against any ethnic group but then there is a get out that syas if a particular characteristic or group is under represented you can discriminate. As she wants to be a doctor and has the brains to pass her exams this placement would have been ideal and necessary to get into med school (try applying without such experience and soo how far you get).

 

Also white poeple are under represented in the NHS as doctors so what basis could the school or surgery claim under representation of black potential students?

 

When she told the school she thought their approach was unfair and discrimintory they phoned my daughter and accused her (granddaughter) of being rascist for challenging their decision.

 

How would you progress a complaint is what advce I seek.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The law doesn't say that you can discriminate. Discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics is always unlawful. What you CAN do is take positive action to encourage under represented groups. Based on what you are saying here, I can't see that this is positive action.

 

So question one is, how far is SHE willing to take this? Because if she's old enough for a work placement, old enough to know she wants to study medicines and has the intelligence to pass the necessary skills (and had read the news headlines today about discrimination in doctors pay!) then it should be her (with the support of her parents) who does this. And she's the one who has to take the stick for it, as you've already seen.

 

Assuming she's willing to fight, then get hold of the schools complaints procedure and submit a formal complaint is the "right" way to do it. And she does need to do that.

There will be several layers of complaint procedure, and she'll have to follow them all until she wins.

However, I'd also suggest that she rallies this into a bigger campaign.

 

Are there women councilors and MPs in your area?

Is there a women's organisation that fights for equality?

Local papers - or possibly even national ones?

 

Organise the pupils - young people have immense power in organisation, as toy can see from the events in the USA, where only students have ever managed to dent the gun lobby. Tell the school you're going to be seeking advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (and do that!).

 

if the school can bury it or intimidate her into dropping it, they will.

Because it's no longer going to be about her rights, but about them NOT being accused of racism themselves.

 

So you have to fight fire with fire and being "fair" or "correct" in your approach is unlikely to work.

I would threaten to blow this to the stratosphere if they don't comply

- if it were me they would get one chance to fix this before it goes formal and very, very public.

And that would be what I'd be telling them.

 

And I'd also Google "public sector equality duty"....

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they can discriminate in this way. There should be a clear policy about how work experiences are decided. E.g First applicant gets the placement, names out of a hat if more than one person is interested.

 

I would understand discrimation, if it were a women only clinic, where only a girl was to be placed.

 

I would suggest that a threat is made that a complaint will be made to local education authority and secretary of state for education. This will cast the school in a bad light which you wish to avoid. Suggest that they ask the Doctors practice to take two work experience pupils, because a problem has arisen.

Edited by dx100uk
quote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ericsbrother,

 

I've got some experience of this - particularly hearing complaints! - as secondary school Chair of Governors. Can I clarify a couple of points first?

 

How old is your granddaughter - is this a Year 12 work experience (so she's about 17)?

 

How did your daughter find the work experience opportunity? Did she contact the GP surgery and arrange it herself? Or did the school find the placement? In most secondary schools there's a mixture of both. The school will have made arrangements with some employers for placements (and then have a system for assigning pupils to them - often first come first served) but if pupils don't fancy any of those they can make their own arrangements if they are able to find an employer themselves. If pupils find the work experience placement themselves it would have to be approved by the school for suitability and for safeguarding reasons.

 

Has an alternative work experience placement been arranged?

 

 

Is the explanation that "her placement there was refused by her school because she is white and they had decided that all such placements would only be available to black pupils" only coming through your granddaughter? Even at 17 pupils' accounts of what has been said are not always reliable, especially if it's something they are very unhappy about. I've been involved with many secondary schools over the years and that explanation sounds a very unlikely thing for a secondary school to say. Did the school repeat those actual words (or similar) to your daughter as well? How senior is the staff member who said these things? From the head? Or this coming from someone much lower down, not in the school leadership team - form tutor or work experience co-ordinator? Have the school put it in writing?

 

 

Assuming your granddaughter is under 18 it's your daughter who needs to progress a complaint.

 

 

First get hold of the schools complaints policy - by law it must be on the school website. Follow the stages in the procedure. It won't help, and will delay matters, to start all guns blazing with complaints to local media, MPs, Equal Rights Commission, Secretary of State etc etc. That can come later if needs be but don't start there until you have established some basic facts. What is the headteacher's version of events? What's their reason why your granddaughter can't do this work experience placement?

 

The first stage of the complaints procedure will almost certainly be that your daughter must discuss it with the headteacher. Make an appointment asap (it's probably half term this week) to see the head. Firm but polite, this is what granddaughter has been told, it's not acceptable. What's school got to say? Be clear how you want the complaint resolved (presumably by granddaughter going on the placement as originally planned if that's still possible).

 

If there's no satisfactory outcome to discussing with head the next step is formal complaint to the governors, the procedure will be in the complaints policy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a work placement not a job; im not sure what youd sue for loss of. A theoretical future benefit?

 

There is also merit in teaching white people its an ethical thing to level the playing field.

 

And i am not sure the school would have phrased it like the girl has... what did they actually say?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its a work placement not a job; im not sure what youd sue for loss of. A theoretical future benefit?

 

There is also merit in teaching white people its an ethical thing to level the playing field.

 

And i am not sure the school would have phrased it like the girl has... what did they actually say?

actually I would not say its a ethical thing , what about merit and that's as far as I will go with this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s a complex issue. But time after time, study after study, research tells us merit matters less for white, and male, than any other group.

 

So... no. I don’t think it is about merit.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok to answer a few questions- she is 15 and doing a normal sort of work placement pupils do at this age, my wife has had a couple working with her this year and I used to have them when I worked, usually chosen to encourage people to do science A levels.

 

She applied for this particular placment by choosing it from a small number offered and was then verbally rejected because this particular placement was for black pupils only so she told the teacher responsible for this response that this was unfair and discriminatory. It was the leadership office that phoned my daughter to tell her that gd was being rascist for questioning their behaviour/action . All this happened last thursday. As it is now half term nothing has been done since.

the equalities Act makes it clear that such discrimination is unlawful but they then say there is an exception where it is desired to encourage certain under represented groups to apply but does this mena it is lawful to go as far as a blanket ban on those who are not in a particular group? This is the essence of my question. I have looked up the stats on employment of different ethnic groups in the NHS and with doctors there is no case to argue that black people are under represented so that particular reasoning fails. I dont know what the placement provider have said about who they will accept but I doubt if they are the ones making decisions on what pupils they will accept as i would imagine anyone stating they dont want people from this group or another would soon be in massive trouble but well meaning idiots working in the public sector seem to be immune from such approbrium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What EXACTLY did the school say? They will not have said "this is just for black people."

 

 

Until we have their rationale this is going to be a pointless discussion.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is direct discrimination.

 

You cant do a course because your white.

 

Same as you cant do a course because your black or female or male or gay or muslim or christian or Jewish or transgender.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is direct discrimination.

 

You cant do a course because your white.

 

Same as you cant do a course because your black or female or male or gay or muslim or christian or Jewish or transgender.

 

Legally it might be a lot more complex than that, which is why I want to know the school's stated rationale. It may be entirely legal. Positive action is legal. It is not the same thing as discrimination.

 

So what matters is the school's stated rationale. Not lots of opinions about the merits or otherwise of a really vaguely worded situation.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the equalities Act makes it clear that such discrimination is unlawful but they then say there is an exception where it is desired to encourage certain under represented groups to apply but does this mena it is lawful to go as far as a blanket ban on those who are not in a particular group? This is the essence of my question.

 

The essence of your question back in post #1 was "How would you progress a complaint is what advce I seek" and nothing in the additional information changes my advice earlier that to do anything about this the next step is to invoke the school's complaints policy and make an appointment to see the head next week.

 

Your question about race discrimination is hypothetical until you establish what the school actually said and what the head's explanation is of why your gd wasn't allowed that placement. Even if you end up in disagreement with the school about what actually happened you still need to hear the school's version of events first. TBH the language reported by your gd - "becuse she is white and they had decided that all such placements would only be available to black pupils" - sounds to me like a 15 year old's interpretation of what they were told, not a verbatim quotation. And many years of hearing pupils' versions of events at complaints and pupil discipline hearings has taught me that 15-year old's versions of events should not be relied on without corroborating evidence, certainly not without hearing the school's explanation, and especially not when the 15 year old is in trouble for her behaviour when told she couldn't go on that placement.

 

 

Most disputes in schools need to start with establishing as best you can what, on balance of probabilities, actually happened before reaching for legal principles.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, you see, that is where my experience would differ, in that I see exactly this sort of thing happening around where I live all the time, and both schools and their staff do say exactly this sort of thing, and only when directly challenged do they change their tune. Maybe our 15 year olds are more truthful than others of their age? Can we assume that the parent here is also unable to understand facts, since the school went to the trouble of phoning them to tell them that their child is a racist for challenging the decision to only permit black students on this placement - if what the 15 year old said was not true, one assumes that the school have informed the parent of the true facts when phoning to tell them that their daughter is a racist?!!! And I certainly wouldn't ever assume that being a 15 year old "in trouble" for their "behaviour" is any indication that the school is in the right either - all too often our schools operate on the basis of treating young adults that their opinions and beliefs are of no value and they are not supposed to challenge the views of those in authority. That's the reason why so many adults spend their lives believing everything that they are told - many schools do not educate and they certainly don't teach people to think.

 

Whilst I can see the point of the advice here, and I certainly don't have as much experience as some here may, I can see that you may as well forget it if you are dealing with complaints procedures and bureaucracy. She'll probably actually be at university before she gets to the end of that process, and I doubt she'll ever see the placement as it will have come and gone. It seems to me a very simple issue. The school have either said such placements are only open to BME students or not. If they have said it, then I can see utterly no justification for such direct racism, and I would be telling them that this is their one opportunity to put this right now, not in weeks or months, or I would be taking it as far as it can go and a bit further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe our 15 year olds are more truthful than others of their age? Can we assume that the parent here is also unable to understand facts.

 

 

I've no idea because we're hearing from grandad, not parents, and he hasn't been back to clarify.

 

 

It IS a complex area of the law. You can keep development for marginalised groups if "all else is equal." c.f. Springboard programmes. And if no one has exam results yet, then all else is equal.

 

 

Also this is not an employment issue, so I wonder if it is on the right board? Using a test of "would this stand at ET" is not the right test.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can we assume that the parent here is also unable to understand facts, since the school went to the trouble of phoning them to tell them that their child is a racist for challenging the decision to only permit black students on this placement -

 

They way I read ericsbrother's post the school did not confirm to gd's mother that the placement was only open to black pupils and so did not confirm gd's version of events. Happy to be corrected if I read that wrongly. It would certainly make it harder for the school to deny what happened if they repeated the words to the mother. It's not just a question of 15 year old's being deliberately untruthful, they frequently have a way of interpreting what they hear which isn't what was said. Any teacher will have plenty of experience of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've no idea because we're hearing from grandad, not parents, and he hasn't been back to clarify.

 

 

It IS a complex area of the law. You can keep development for marginalised groups if "all else is equal." c.f. Springboard programmes. And if no one has exam results yet, then all else is equal.

 

 

Also this is not an employment issue, so I wonder if it is on the right board? Using a test of "would this stand at ET" is not the right test.

 

I certainly agree that this is not an employment issue. So I wasn't using the test of whether it would stand at ET. I'm not sure where I said I was using that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They way I read ericsbrother's post the school did not confirm to gd's mother that the placement was only open to black pupils and so did not confirm gd's version of events. Happy to be corrected if I read that wrongly. It would certainly make it harder for the school to deny what happened if they repeated the words to the mother. It's not just a question of 15 year old's being deliberately untruthful, they frequently have a way of interpreting what they hear which isn't what was said. Any teacher will have plenty of experience of that.

 

That's certainly one interpretation. But many of us have plenty of experience of teachers interpreting what they hear as a a challenge to their "status". It does cut both ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I certainly agree that this is not an employment issue. So I wasn't using the test of whether it would stand at ET. I'm not sure where I said I was using that?

 

 

You didn't. Oddly, that part of my post was not all about you! But the discussion felt like it was heading that way to me, and it is helpful to remind ourselves that the law applies differently in an education environment.

 

 

I can't add anything more useful unless OP updates so that's me for now.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not just a 15 year olds interpretation, I diod point out that the school phoned my daughter as well to accuse gd of rascism for questioning the "positive discrimination".

Well, there is now an end to the matter, gd has been offered a work placement elsewhere and a financial settlement she is happy with so she doesnt want to take the matter any further. Her decision now closes the matter regardless of rights and wrongs.

 

 

Now with regard to whether any credence can be given to the word of a 15 year old, well she is a hard working pupil, top marks in SATS for maths and most sciences, english etc so hard working and focussed on waht she wants from life. My daughter is an accountant so again not one to state something that is incorrect and certainly bright enough to not misunderstand what she was told by the school. My other daughter's fiance is a doctor and not of white british background so gd will be aware that making baseless statement about race wont do her any favours so I do believe both of them . As for conversation between school and daughter, from what was relayed to me the school did confirm the placement was only open to black pupils. The manner of ending of this suggests that the errors lie in one place as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont doubt the credibility of your family.

One point to remember is its actually not what was said and more how it was perceived.

 

Just taking itva stage or maybe a couple of stages further----

You cannot give offence.

Only take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find compo culture at 15 both tragic and implausible

 

And as there is still no exact wording from the school, no actual legal opinion can be given. What is expedient, however, is not always the same as what is right, or required.

 

I hope she gets useful experience from her placement.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must correct one word in my last post, it should read INDUCEMENT where I have used settlement. settlement does make it sound as though some acceptance of culpability has been argeed and money handed over where what thy have done is made a proposal for the future that is likely to be beneficial so the matter is settled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you got an outcome you were happy with without having to go through formal complaints procedures. Just my curiosity, as a school governor, how much is the financial settlement/inducement they gave to your gd? Paid in actual cash or something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All is well that ends well

 

 

Having said that, a few notes

 

 

Direct discrimination is when a person is targetted because of a protected characteristic (eg race, sex etc)

 

It is illegal

 

Indirect discrimination is when there is a PCP that causes a person to suffer because of his/her protected characteristic

 

PCP means policy, criterion or procedure

 

Indirect discrimination is a blanket action that affects everyone that is of that protected characteristic

 

This case would have fallen under indirect rather than direct

 

Positive action is a defence for indirect discrimination

 

In such a case the burden would have been on the Claimant to show that the Positive Action is based on wrong stats

 

I can't comment on the likelihood of success of such action as I'm not a legal adviser

 

I would think that it would be a tough task

 

Finally, on the comment made to the daughter/parent

 

I believe such a comment was made

 

I also believe that it was made by a junior staff

 

They would claim that the staff lacks training and would offer to provide training to the staff

 

My bet, however, is that it would have been denied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My reason for posting was to ask what sort of action would be appropriate to take if any. this was to help a 15 year old who has been disappointed by an action that was most likely to be illegal and then insulted by an accusation of rascism for questioning that action and furhter insult added by the communication to her mother with this accusation.

It doenst matter whether I am happy with the outcome or not, she wants to forget about it and get back to her studies. As said an offer of an outcome has been made and I suspect that this will be accepted. It is not some giant cash payout and I wouldnt class it as compensation for the wrong done but the matter is ended.

 

Thank you for your input, yes it is difficult to give advice when you are doing chinese whispers as I often tell people over on the parking threads but sometimes more damage can be done by trying to push the person into engaging with others when they dont want to. being called a rascist is a stigma for most young people and hurts more than most other labels or insults as it is a "when did you stop beating your wife" type slippery slope argument that cant be won regardless of what you say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please fill in your quit date here

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Tweets

  • Our picks

    • This is a bit of a lengthy one but I’ll summerise best as possible.
       
      THIS IS HOW THE PHONECALL WENT 
       
      I was contacted by future comms by phone, they stated that they could beat any phone contract I have , (I am a limited company but just myself that needs a business phone and I am the only worker) 
      I told future comms my deal, £110 per month with a phone and a virtual landline, they confirmed that they could beat that, £90 per month with a phone , virtual landline  they also confirmed they would pay Vodafone (previous provider) the termination fee. As I am in business, naturally I was open to making a deal. So we proceeded. 
      Future comms then revealed that the contract would be with PLAN.COM and the airtime would be provided by 02, I instantly told them that this would break the deal as I have poor 02 signal in the house where I live as my partner is on 02 and constantly complaining about bad signal
      the salesman assured me he would send a signal booster box out with the phone so I would have perfect signal.
      so far so good.....
      i then explained this is the only mobile phone I use for business and pleasure, so therefore I didn’t want any disconnection time in the slightest between the switchover from Vodafone to 02
      the salesman then confirmed that the existing phone would only be disconnected once the new phone was switched on.
      so far so good....
      • 14 replies
    • I was talked into signing up with Future Comms (future-comms.co.uk) who cold-called me to change my mobile contract to them, via 02, rather than EE. I have a small business (only me!) and it's a business contract. True, the 4G network is better for my area. This company seemed to be a marketing set-up for various telecoms companies, so I assumed anything I signed would be with 02 and didn't think it might be a problem.
       
      They sent an email whilst I was on the phone to set up the direct debit mandate with my bank which I signed electronically. That was the first, of many, problems I found. Apparently THAT was my contract, binding me to 3 years and no 'cooling off' period, because I was a 'business' (meaning any consumer rights did not apply). When I subsequently asked in writing for a copy of my contract, that is what they sent - when I argued it was a DD mandate they insisted it was my contract!
       
      2 days later they asked for my phone details to get it unlocked which I sent. 10 days later, EE closed my account, so I changed the SIM card to 02 that had come a few days before. No network! They had done nothing about unlocking it. Fortunately I was lucky with EE who managed to give me the right codes, rather than the usual 10 days to go through Samsung.
       
      By this time I was suspicious of their set-up and wanted to cancel. As I said earlier, I found myself trapped into a 3 year contract with no 14 day cooling off period (they don't offer that). Promises to deal with my complaints never happened, promised return calls neither....and on and on.
       
      Ofcom's rules apply to consumers and small businesses (under 10 employees), yet this shower don't acknowledge that. They just repeat and repeat that I am a business so it doesn't apply. To cancel the contract I have to pay the full 3 year's fees!!
       
      I would like to know if others have had similar experiences? Or does anyone know how I can maybe declare the 'contract' unenforceable? I have never before been locked into something without a clear written contract, with t&c's! And, yes, I have asked, and yes, I have been ignored.
      • 84 replies
    • Future comms!. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/415706-future-comms/
      • 10 replies
    • A shocking story of domestic and economic abuse compounded by @BarclaysUKHelp ‏ bank complicity – coming soon @A_Gentle_Woman. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/415737-a-shocking-story-of-domestic-and-economic-abuse-compounded-by-barclaysukhelp-%E2%80%8F-bank-complicity-%E2%80%93-coming-soon-a_gentle_woman/
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...