Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“The report into the serious mishandling of the Windrush Scandal found there was ‘profound institutional failure’ and that race ‘clearly played a part in what occurred.’ It turned lives upside down and betrayed an intentional hostile environment.   

“It is appalling that four years on from the Windrush scandal coming to light, many victims are still waiting on justice. The Home Office must acknowledge the wrong which has been done and it must open itself up to greater external scrutiny. It must change its culture to recognise that migration policy and wider Home Office policy is about people and that public policy must be based on a respect for human rights. 

“The continuation of the government’s hostile environment and the curtailment of vital civil liberties through measures such as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, demonstrate that those in power hold no remorse for the scandal. We must recognise the extraordinary contribution that the Windrush generation have made across British society. The NEU will continue to champion the voices of those campaigning for justice to ensure their struggle is not forgotten.

“The NEU will commission a teaching pack around Windrush drawing on the existing good work by teachers and schools. We will campaign for a curriculum which supports the ideas in the Windrush report, identifying the need for a culture and paradigm shift in the way this country frames migration and migrants. That is why we need to completely dismantle the philosophy of a hostile environment and end the ‘blame the victim’, pathologising narrative around race in Britain.”

ENDS

Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

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  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.