British schools have to face or deal with more than 40,000 cases of racism every year, a report published by the Manifesto Club, a civil liberties group, has claimed.
According to Adrian Hart, the author of the report, "The obligation on schools to report these incidents wastes teachers' time, interferes in children's space in the playground, and undermines teachers' ability to deal with problems in their classrooms.
Advertisement"Worse, such anti-racist policies can create divisions where none had existed, by turning everyday playground spats into 'race issues'.
"There are a small number of cases of sustained targeted bullying, and schools certainly need to deal with those. But most of these 'racist incidents' are just kids falling out. They don't need re-educating out of their prejudice - they and their teachers need to be left alone," he told The Telegraph.chools are obliged to monitor and report all racist incidents to their local authority. Primary school pupils and toddlers in nurseries are being punished for making racist insults.
Teachers are being treated like counter staff in police stations as they have to fill in forms detailing name-calling and jokes.
Martin Ward, deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Certainly any racist incident in schools should be dealt with swiftly but the definition of racism can be taken too far, especially with young children who clearly don't understand the connotation behind the words."
After the introduction of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, which put a duty on public bodies to eliminate discrimination, schools were told they had to monitor the impact of their policies on the educational attainment of pupils of different races.
The Government placed them under a duty in 2002 to monitor and report all racist incidents to their local authority.
Special forms were created that require teachers to name the alleged perpetrator and victim, and spell out what they did and how they were punished. Schools can keep details on file.
Any school that fails to investigate alleged racist incidents risks being seen as "condoning racism", according to the official TeacherNet website.