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Multiculturalism in Secondary Schools Report

Multiculturalism in Secondary Schools:
Managing Conflicting Demands

Report on a Pilot Project

Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Working Lives Research Institute, Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters
December 2006

This report presents the key findings from a pilot research project conducted jointly by the Working Lives Research Institute and Southall Black Sisters between 1st July 2006 and 1st January 2007. The Commission for Racial Equality funded the project under its ‘Getting Results Funding Programme 2006/07’.

The overall purpose of the project was to improve the knowledge, skills and abilities of secondary school teachers in one London borough in promoting and managing multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism with some variations has been the dominant approach towards race relations in the UK. It emphasises tolerance and respect for diversity, but it is infact a vast and contentious discourse and an even more hotly contested practice. Until the London bombings, there was a general acceptance in official thinking at least, that Britain is a mulitucltural society in which different cultures and religions co-exist peacefully.

Following the London bombings and civil unrest in the northern cities of England, that peace was considered to have been shattered and multiculturalism as a concept and practice came under intense scrutiny leading many to question its viability in the maintenance of good race relations.

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