Recent Work at Runnymede
In the recent Runnymede Perspectives paper, Why Preferential Policies Can Be Fair:
Achieving Equality for Members of Disadvantaged Groups Omar Khan explains the
form and extent of preferential policies in India and the historical background that led
to their particular structure, before turning to their justification. This paper was
presented at the CRE Race Convention on 28 November as part of a Law and
Integration workshop session entitled, ‘Breaking the Law or Acting Affirmatively?’
Runnymede’s new report, Equal Respect: ASBOs and Race Equality was launched in
the House of Lords on the 2 November. The report, by Sarah Isal, outlines severe
shortcomings in the data collection practices on the ethnicity of ASBO recipients and
shows that little is known on how ASBOs might be used to tackle racial harassment.
Given the recognition by Government of the levels of institutional racism in different
parts of the criminal justice system, these findings will no doubt raise concerns
amongst ethnic minorities and lend further weight to calls for a complete review of
At UKREN’s most recent roundtable held on 20 October 2006, titled Round Table on
the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All 2007, a wide range of voluntary
organisations discussed the challenges and opportunities the implementation of the
European Year 2007 might bring. To read the briefing paper for this round table,
please follow the link.
On 11 September 2006 the Government's White Paper on Pension Reform, Security in
Retirement: Towards a new pensions system was published. Runnymede
commissioned the Policy Studies Institute to assess the potential impact of proposals
for changes to the pensions system made by the Pensions Commission (2005) and the
Pensions Reform White Paper (2006) on black and minority ethnic groups. To
supplement this assessment, Runnymede then commissioned the Pensions Policy
Institute to produce a series of case studies illustrating the potential impact of the
reforms on the amount of state pension income received by individuals with
characteristics similar to those seen in many BME households. Together, these two
pieces of work constitute Runnymede’s formal response to the public consultation on
the Pensions Reform White Paper, Proposals for Pension Reform: Implications for
Black and Minority Ethnic Communities.
Runnymede has also made responses to the government’s consultations on Race
Equality in Further and Higher Education, and the Root and Branch Review for Race
and CJS Statistics.
Work in Progress
The Community Studies programme is beginning to take off with the upcoming
launch of its first two studies. The first study on the Vietnamese Community looks at
the key challenges facing the Vietnamese community in Britain, with a specific
emphasis on intergenerational identity. The second project focuses on Bolivians in
London, and explores the main issues identified and faced by Bolivians living in
London, how they perceive their place in Britain, and how being a ‘Bolivian in
London’ is experienced in day to day life.
The Real Histories Directory has begun a new series of news items for schools and
teachers. RHD has initiated a regular Topic of the Month page with an accompanying
page giving advice on how to use the Directory. The first two topics were 'Black
History Month' and 'Migration'. This month’s topic is ‘Festivals’ with 'Slavery' the
focus for January to mark the start of the commemoration of the parliamentary
abolition of trans-Atlantic slavery.
Preliminary work on Runnymede’s project on faith schools and community cohesion
has begun with the subject being regularly debated in the media and parliament.
Nonetheless, Runnymede is dedicated to stimulating local conversations around the
contributions that faith schools make to community cohesion and how they prepare
young people for life in a multi-ethnic and multi-faith society. In the coming months,
Runnymede aims to create an innovative dialogue between local equality
organisations, faith networks, parents, pupils, and school staff.
The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Parents Project, which looks into how to best
help BME, Gypsy/Roma/Traveller, refugee and asylum seeking parents to support
their children’s education, is drawing to a close. The forthcoming publication will
start with basic information about the schooling system in England, and include the
concerns and difficulties that parents and schools experience in working together with
suggestions for the way forward. To complement this, the publication will also feature
best practice examples of parental involvement from local education authorities and
schools around the country.
Also part of Runnymede’s education programme is the ongoing work for the School
Choice & Ethnic Segregation research project, which will be completed and launched
early in 2007. The research has looked at the impact of the emphasis on choice within
current educational reform, on the way that BME parents choose schools for their
children, and has assessed the relationship between this and the occurrence of ethnic
segregation within schools across the country. The report will highlight the difficulties
experienced by parents when attempting to exercise actual and informed choice and
discuss where BME children are currently being educated and whether this reflects
Runnymede is working with the Northern Ireland Office of the First Minister and
Deputy First Minister and Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities to support
the development of the cross departmental action plan on race equality. Papers from
the Working Together project will be published on the Runnymede website early in
the New Year.
Runnymede will be hosting a lecture by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on
December 8th. This lecture is the fifth in a series of lectures around the country by the
Prime Minister under the theme of Our Nation’s Future. The lecture will address
integration and diversity in a multi-cultural society. The text of the Prime Minister’s
speech, as well as other speeches on the day, will be posted on the Runnymede
UKREN is involved in the European Programme on Migration and Integration
programme, an initiative of the Network of European Foundations, which aims to
encourage positive attitudes towards investment in integration policies. Together with
the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, UKREN is organising a consultation to
increase the level of understanding of integration issues in the UK, from the
perspective of European policy and funding. The event will bring together around 50
participants, including Migrant Community Organisations, and develop understanding
amongst key NGO and civil society stakeholders of how Europe can relate to the UK
UKREN is planning to organise their 4th UKREN Annual General Meeting in the
first half of 2007 followed by a seminar, building on the success of the last AGM
which was held together with a seminar entitled, Burning Cities: Lessons from the
French Uprisings for the UK and Europe.
The Runnymede Trust is an independent policy research organisation focusing on
equality and justice through the promotion of a successful multi-ethnic society.
Founded as a Charitable Educational Trust, Runnymede has a long track record in
policy research, working in close collaboration with eminent thinks and policymakers
in the public, private and voluntary sectors. We believe that the way ahead lies in
building effective partnerships, and we are continually developing these with the
voluntary sector, the government, local authorities and companies in the UK and
Europe. We stimulate debate and suggest forward-looking strategies in areas of public
policy such as education, the criminal justice system, employment and citizenship.
Since 1968, the date of Runnymede’s foundation, we have worked to establish and
maintain a positive image of what it means to live affirmatively within a society that
is both multi-ethnic and culturally diverse. Runnymede continues to speak with a
thoughtful and independent public voice on these issues today.
The Runnymede Trust
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London EC2A 3LP
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