The NASUWT is alarmed by the incidence of far-right extremism and hate crimes in the UK.

Over the last decade, the Government has peddled a hostile environment agenda which has created the conditions for hatred to flourish.

Official numbers of reported hate crimes have risen to more than 124,000 a year across England and Wales. Nearly three-quarters of these hate crimes were racially motivated, increasing by 12% in just a year.

In Scotland, almost two thirds (or 64%) of race-aggravated hate crime had a victim from a visible minority ethnic (non-white) group. This compares to four per cent of Scotland’s population at the time of the last census in 2011.

An estimated eighteen per cent of race-aggravated hate crimes had a victim of African, Caribbean or Black ethnicity. This was followed by Polish or other white and Pakistani, Pakistani British or Pakistani Scottish. The words used or actions taken by the perpetrator suggested an anti-Black prejudice and in over a quarter of cases prejudice was shown towards the Pakistani community. [1]

Unfortunately, the statistics for Northern Ireland are not as easy to access, but indications suggest that the latest statistics published in June 2021 showed an increase in hate crime. The June report shows there were 1,142 racist incidents and 839 racist crimes recorded by the police in the last 12 months - an increase of 251 more racist incidents and 238 more racist crimes on the previous year, with almost half (511) of the race hate crimes taking place in Belfast.

Racist hate crimes outstripped all other forms of hate crime in Northern Ireland. [2]

Schools are not immune, as children and young people are often exposed to hate speech on social media and elsewhere. More needs to be done to examine and address the problem of extremism within schools and colleges.

We believe that concerted government-level action is urgently needed to support schools in tackling the problem and to support pupils' and teachers who have been targeted and victimised.

Anti-racism must be central to the curriculum and schools and colleges must also be supported and equipped to provide a curriculum that challenges all forms of bigotry, prejudice and hatred.

We are developing a programme of work to support teachers to tackle the rise of the far-right and extremist narratives both in the community and the classroom alongside the TUC, other trade unions both nationally and internationally, and anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations across the UK.

Related NASUWT materials

The NASUWT is committed to anti-racism and to challenging the hostile racist environment that our members face. We have developed tools and resources as part of the Union’s ongoing campaign for racial justice:

Other important links and helpful information

TUC resources and guides to Tackling the Far Right
TUC report on The Rise of the Far Right
Hope Not Hate’s Education Unit

[1] Police recorded hate crime - characteristics: updated study
[2] Amnesty International UK Northern Ireland: Concern at hate crime ‘epidemic’ as PSNI report figures rise