US-Style 'Bussing' Needed to Tackle Segregation in London Schools, Says Head

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

US-Style 'Bussing' Needed to Tackle Segregation in London Schools, Says Head


Byline: Anna Davis Education Correspondent

AMERICAN-STYLE "bussing" should be introduced in London to break down the segregated school system, a leading headteacher said today.

Children from inner city estates would be driven to schools in wealthier areas in an effort to lessen divisions between communities and get children to mix.

The idea was put forward by David Levin, head of the [pounds sterling]13,000-a-year City of London School for boys, who said it would tackle "social segregation" that was blighting education.

It follows a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that found Britain's immigrant children are clustered in the most disadvantaged schools.

Bussing was introduced in America in the Sixties as a way of eliminating racial segregation in schools. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2007.

Mr Levin, a member of the Headmasters and Headmistresses' Conference group of private school heads, spoke on the first day of the HMC conference in Belfast. He said schools should only be able to take 85 per cent of pupils from one background. Pupils above that quota would be "bussed" to other schools to stop children growing up in a "monoculture".

He added: "I know I will be howled down but I think in the big cities we need to introduce bussing so people mix up... It wouldn't be popular I know, but I don't see how else you can integrate children from different backgrounds.

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