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Understanding School Segregation in England 2011-2016

Understanding-School Segregation in England 2011-2016 (Cantle et al 2017)

This new report,  written by Ted Cantle, with SchoolDash and The Challenge, reveals increasing school segregation is increasing and, more especially, that school segregation now exceeds the segregation in the local area. It suggests that we now need to put a premium on mixed schools and develop a strategy to achieve that aim.

Responding to the report, Jon Yates, Director of The Challenge, said:

“This study shows far more needs to be done to make sure school intakes are representative of local communities. As the government’s Casey Review pointed out, segregation is at a “worrying level” in parts of the country. At a local and national level, Government needs to commit to doing much more to reduce school segregation. We know that when communities live separately, anxiety and prejudice flourish, whereas when people from different backgrounds mix, it leads to more trusting and cohesive communities and opens up opportunities for social mobility.

“We urge local authorities, faith schools and academy chains to consider the impact admissions policies have upon neighbouring schools and put policies in place that encourage better school and community integration.

Professor Ted Cantle said: “Children need to grow up with others of different backgrounds especially where their communities are segregated and they have no experience of difference. We know that contact between groups improves tolerance and breaks down prejudice – and will even contribute to tackling extremism. But we appear to be going in the opposite direction.

Tackling residential segregation is more difficult – people cannot simply be moved from one area to another. So schools are our best chance for integration;  they can be the bridges between communities. But instead, schools appear to be compounding the problem and slowly dismantling the bridges.”







Faith Schools: Consultation to Remove the 50% Cap and Reduce Integration

The Government launched a consultation (ends on the 12th December) which will reverse the policy espoused by David Cameron and will remove the obligation to offer 50% of places  to other faith children in over-subscribed faith free schools.

Ted Cantle’s response (below) to this consultation views this as a very retrograde step and asks that it should be withdrawn


Note: the on line consultation process is found here: though the section on faith schools is tucked away at the back of the questions


Is Segregation Increasing in the UK?

My article with Eric Kaufmann published by Open Democracy:

And  the Foreword kindly provided by Chuka Umunna MP in his capacity as Chair of th All Party Group on Integration: 

Press Release about the above article

Research published by leading integration experts Professor Ted Cantle and Professor Eric Kaufmann reveals that while England as a whole is more ethnically mixed, we are allowing white and ethnic minority populations to become more isolated from each other.

The research, published on openDemocracy, presents census data in an entirely new way and comes as the government prepares to publish its major review into integration, segregation and extremism, led by Integration Tsar Dame Louise Casey.

This also follows the national debate about immigration in the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the surge in hate crime. Professor Cantle commented “the antipathy towards some communities may have been much less if we were more integrated and actually lived in mixed areas – all the evidence suggests that prejudice and intolerance is broken down by contact”.

The research finds that while generally society is becoming more diverse, another trend is emerging – the strong shift towards the polarisation of White British and minority groups is mainly in our urban areas.

Key findings:

  • Ethnic minorities in many towns and cities across England – from North to South – such as Slough, Birmingham, Leicester, Luton and Bradford, as well London Boroughs, are living in areas with an increasingly dwindling White British population and growing minorities.
  • Ethnic minorities are increasing in many areas but this trend has not kept pace with the overall change and is further away from a proportionality.
  • The trend towards isolation is even greater in smaller geographic areas, for example at ward level.
  • The pace of change is striking, and most prominent in urban ‘pockets of diversity’, many showing a decrease in the white population of over 50 percentage points from 1991-2011.

Professor Cantle, who carried out a report into community cohesion in the wake of a series of race riots in 2001, said: “Analysis of the census data on ethnicity has to date been very broad and has concealed some of the trends and findings this research unveils.

This research shows what is happening on a local level and that there is increasing polarisation between the White majority population and minorities across England, particularly in our urban areas. This has gone under the radar, but it is time this became a national priority because cohesion is at stake”

“The focus of policy needs to shift, this is not just about minorities, politicians and policy-makers need to encourage White British residents to remain in diverse areas too; and to choose, rather than avoid, diverse areas when they do re-locate, encouraging similar choices with respect to schools; in other words to create a positive choice for mixed areas and a shared society for all communities.”

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration, said: “During a year in which our country has seemed more divided than at any point in modern history, there are few questions which require investigation more urgently than the matter of how well we are living together. Equally, however – at a time in which our political debate has become yet more polarised and media headlines yet more fraught – there are few questions which it can seem harder to get to the bottom of.

“It’s clear that, whilst the UK is becoming increasingly diverse, levels of integration are not keeping pace. This has real implications for community cohesion – with social segregation having been shown to undermine trust between neighbours, to grow the fear of crime and bolster the prejudice which fuels the politics of recrimination and blame.”

For more information on the All Party Parliamentary Group, see


It’s Time for Dangerous Conversations

Ted Cantle argues that schools should be prepared to discuss contentious issues – It’s time for ‘dangerous conversations’ in which extremist views are debated. Instead of banning extremists, they should be robustly challenged and young people should be helped to acquire critical thinking skills so that they are more resilient to extremist ideology.

And, in particular, schools should ensure that all students develop a fully fledged religious education – or ‘religious literacy’ – and state schools should not be allowed to just offer instruction in one faith, they should provide a critical analysis of all faiths and non-faith beliefs.

This means a both change in school policy and a change in the Government’s approach to Prevent, Ted suggests

Ted’s article in RE Today, September 2015

It's Time for Dangerous Conversations REtoday 2015 Vol 33.1 p1 001











It's Time for Dangerous Conversations REtoday 2015 Vol33.1 p2 001New Book ‘Interculturalism in Cities’ 2015 from Elgar Publishing with a contribution by Ted Cantle

Interculturalism in Cities 2015 flyer


Open Democracy Article: Time to Get Serious About Right Wing Extremism, October 2014

This article, by Paul Thomas and myself, sets out the pressing need to challenge far right extremist views

Link to the article:

Paul and I are also working with EYST in Swansea on an innovative programme with young people to confront this views and we will be supporting a confernece in London on the 12th November. You can book here:


The Daily Telegraph, 11th June 2014

My article in the Telegraph says that schoolchildren are still leading ‘parallel lives’ and we need to reverse the balkanisation of our school

system in favour of more inclusive schools to enable children to learn about others

Link to the article:


‘Think Project’ Report Launched 18th March 2014

Ted Cantle and Paul Thomas have co-authored this report on The Think Report‘. It was launched in the House of Commons on the

18th March at a special reception. It has been widely welcomed as a new way of addressing Far Right extremism and prejudice.

‘In the past, we have been content to just denounce these extreme views as ‘ignorant’ and ‘racist’’ said Professor Ted Cantle (ICoCo) and Professor Paul Thomas (University of Huddersfield), who have co-authored the report. ‘Now, for the first time, we know we can challenge extreme views through the direct engagement pioneered by EYST. All local areas need to learn from this success – and help young people counter the appeal of racist ideology and bigotry’.


Interculturalism moves forward – with the support of the Council of Europe

This new book examines the relationship between interculturalism and multiculturalism

Ted Cantle’s chapter sets out the strong case for interculturalism – already supported by the Council of Europe

Published December 2013 by the Council of Europe

ISBN 978-92-871-7692-9 €29,00/$58.00, Paperback, 188 pages

Order online at:



New Book: Negotiating Cohesion, Inequality and Change: Uncomfortable Positions in Local Government

by Hannah Jones, published by Policy Press

This interesting new book published towards the end of 2013 shows the reality of community cohesion – and how robust the

concept really is – Ted Cantle’s full book review will be ready soon


Revealing Map of Faith School Segregation is Launched

My ‘Comment is Free’ piece in the Guardian 3rd December 2013:

See My Blog today (3rd December 2013) for further details of the Fair Admissions research and campaign



New Ideas to Reconnect Our Political Class. Published by Open Democracy

The warning signs for democracy are clear: the decline of mainstream political parties and voter turnout, growth of Far Right and Popular Extremist Parties, the lack of trust in politicians hit by scandals, and a political elite, locked into a Westminster ‘bubble’, seemingly detached from the everyday concerns of the people they represent.

So, now that the party conferences are over it is time to ask ‘How do we reconnect the political class? My ideas are published by Open Democracy.

Radical ideas include a limiting politicians’ terms of office; working on line from High Street offices rather than staying within the ‘Westminster Bubble’; removing Government/Opposition formalised positions in favour of a collaborative culture; a completely new system of appointments to the House of Lords and; developing systems of  political plurality.


Interculturalism Gaining International Support

Support for the idea of interculturalism is expanding and developing and is fast becoming an alternative progressive perspective to that of multiculturalism. In this new academic paper , Professor Ricard Zapata Barrero (Zapata-Barrero, 2013; Departament de Ciències Polítiques i Socials, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ) reviews Gerard Bouchard’s L’interculturalisme: un point de vue quebecois, and Ted Cantle’s Interculturalism: The New Era of Cohesion and Diversity.

A range of other publications, including those setting out policy and practical frameworks, will be published shortly, reflecting the view that multiculturalism has been locked in to a series of single countries who only see diversity as an accommodation between their majority and minority populations rather than an unfolding pattern of diversity on a global scale.


Launch of Fair Admissions Campaign for Schools

I am helping this new campaign which was launched in London recently. It is long overdue, why do we stand for state funded schools discriminating against our

children on the basis of their parent’s religion? We are almost alone in Europe in allowing religious selection. Children are being divided into different schools

and this compounds segregation within communities – no opportunities for parents from different backgrounds to meet at the school gate and no

shared sporting or cultural activities. And most of all, the opportunities for students to learn about people who are different from themselves, to build cross-cultural

friendships and to become more tolerant and respectful of ‘others’ are completely lost.

Here are my Fair Admissions Campaign Speaking Notes

See the full story and sign up for the campaign on the Fair Admissions website


The Fair Admissions Campaign’s research has revealed just how faith schools have lost sight of their original purpose. They are not only segregating children by faith

and ethnicity but have now been found to be excluding poorer pupils too!

The recent coverage in the Telegraph is at

Plus they’ve listed the 50 schools that are most exclusive at

Jonathan Romain’s challenging article is at


Guardian On Line Publishes my ‘Expert Advice’ on Holding Communities Together (After Woolwich)

27th May 2013

….but as the Government has cut back community cohesion resources so much, will it be heeded?


My letter in The Times challenges Matt Ridley’s contrarian views on climate change

Letter in The Times    23rd  May 2013


Matt Ridley’s contrarian views (Earth to Met Office: Check your climate facts, May 20th, 2013) have to be set against the weight of mainstream scientific evidence. Granted that no science can ever exclude the ‘possibility that climate change will be slow and harmless’, the risks of accepting Ridley’s hunches are so immense that we cannot afford to stop taking immediate action and insuring against irreversible longer term damage. Appealing though it is, we should not allow ourselves to take comfort from his ‘rational optimist’ ideology.

We should also recognise that de-carbonising the economy has other benefits – the substantial health risks and environmental degradations resulting from the use of fossil fuels would be reduced as a result. Further, the UK would also be able to decrease its dependency on energy imports and improve energy security – again a very significant problem. These other drivers of change have recently gained credence in the United States. Meanwhile, this Government like the last has accepted carbon reduction targets. Achieving those will not be easy as the debate about wind farms shows. But we do need to show a real resolve to protect the planet for the benefit of future generations and Ridley’s  highly selective use of data and his focus on the short term must be firmly rejected.

Professor Ted Cantle CBE,


New article examines the changing nature of national and global identities

published by  Open Democracy on 16th April 2013

The state remains a very powerful force in the lives of many people and is the most significant unit of democracy in the developed world. For many, being a citizen of a particular state, having absorbed the traditions and cultures, being subject to its laws and economic regulation and taking part in the polity, a sense of belonging is still very evident. But the role of the state has changed profoundly in recent years and it is under threat from above and below.

Consequently, Ted Cantle argues that national identity has also been weakened and is now just one of a number of significant ways in which people think about themselves. ‘We have to learn to live with plurality, people no longer have just one way of seeing themselves’, he said

School segregation – divided children and divided communities

The campaign for more mixed and inclusive schools is gathering pace. Faith schools in particular are being challenged – see for example the Richmond inclusive schools campaign ( which was set up in opposition to a new Catholic secondary school in the Borough.

Similar campaigns are being mounted against applications for new religious schools, most recently the proposed evangelical Christian school in Oxford

Ted Cantle’s paper to a series of recent conferences outlines the way in which school segregation contributes to divided communities (see ‘publications’) and points out that the problems are becoming more acute, with the potential for our schools to be balkanised by approval of more and more minority faith schools.  ‘We have to change course’ says Ted ‘ rather than imprison children in a limited world of their own like-minded communities, we need intercultural education and experiences for our children, they need the skills to understand and relate to the globalised world in which they live’. He also asks ‘why, if David Cameron opposes ‘state multiculturalism, does he persist with  state support for separation of children and their families?’

Ted is a Distinguished Supporter of the Accord Coalition’ campaign – see 28th November story below.

The Spirit of Togetherness

Ted Cantle’s article on ‘the spirit of togetherness’ asks how we can sustain and build upon the remarkable intercultural ethos engendered by the Olympics

 A 2013 New Year’s message to business leaders and wider civil society  

 “We all know we face huge challenges, economically, socially and environmentally. We recognise that we need to harness all our talent and capabilities to meet these challenges. To do this, we need to be the very best version of ourselves. What was wonderful about the Olympics and then the Paralympics is that they showed us that we can achieve this, and how to make it happen. We believed in ourselves, as a nation and as a community of nations. We leveraged difference and recognised our shared purpose and humanity. For Tomorrow’s Company the further challenge but also tremendous opportunity is to understand and help realise what this means for business, as an integral part of strong communities, for the benefit of people, planet and profit.”

 – Tony Manwaring, Chief Executive, Tomorrow’s Company

“We are now firmly in an era of super-diversity and globalisation. The Olympics and Paralympics helped us to recognise this new reality. It created a new spirit of togetherness that transcended ethnicity, faith, nationality and disability. We must sustain this legacy and develop an intercultural future, embracing difference rather than fearing it.”

– Professor Ted Cantle CBE, Chair iCoCo Foundation

Click here for PDF

Political Insight Magazine publishes Ted Cantle’ critique of Meer and Modood

Political Insight Magazine publishes Ted Cantle’s critique of Nasar Meer and Tariq Modood’s earlier defence of multicultural policies. Ted sets out the arguments for interculturalism  and contends that it now offers the only effective progressive framework for diversity in an increasingly globalised world.

Click here for PDF

28th November 2012

Ted Cantle spoke at the Accord Coalition’s event in London in support of the campaign for inclusive education. Ted said ‘We live in a multi-faith and multi-ethnic community, but if we want a shared society our schools have to become shared too. The evidence suggests that they are moving in the opposite direction with increasing segregation. Now  is the time for faith schools to accept change’

The Accord Coalition is a wide coalition of organisations, including religious groups, humanists, teachers, trade unionists, educationalists and civil rights activists, working together for inclusive education. Although Accord’s supporters derive inspiration for their values from different sources, they are united in wanting to ensure that state funded schools respect and uphold human rights and promote mutual understanding. Accord has a very useful website with a great portfolio of evidence in support of its campaign – go to

The Accord Coalition, Ted Cantle, and others subsequently wrote to the Guardian and called for an end to the segregation by faith schools – go to:  published by the Guardian 16 December 2012

Faith organisations should adopt an ethical code

Faith organisations should adopt an ethical code of practice to govern the unacceptable way they deal with inter-faith relationships, says Ted Cantle. Speaking to the Faith and Civil Societies Unit in London, he says that faiths are creating impossible choices, particularly for parents of mixed faith children and in some instances their behaviour is oppressive and represents an assault on human rights’  For more details Click here.

Ted Cantle urges an end to single identity funding

Ted Cantle urges an end to single identity funding for religious and ethnic groups and proposes that the money should be spent on needs across all groups to enable them to work together and to share experiences rather than compete with each other. See Daily Telegraph article at

First Review of Ted Cantle’s New Book

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Interculturalism - Community Cohesion