Prime Minister: addressing inequality and injustice

Government to publish Race Disparity Audit next week

Next week the Government will publish the results of an unprecedented audit of public services.  

The most extensive review of its kind ever undertaken, the Audit will examine how people of different backgrounds are treated across areas including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system. 

It reflects the Government’s world-leading commitment to transparency, openness and the use of Big Data.  The results will be published on a website, Ethnicity Facts and Figures, which will go live on Tuesday 10th October next week.  The Prime Minister has stipulated that this should be a permanent resource, with new datasets added over time, allowing people to see how services are performing in their communities and across every aspect of their lives.  

Ordered by the Prime Minister shortly after taking office, it forms a key part of the agenda she set out in her first speech on the steps of Downing Street to tackle injustices in society.  

Theresa May has been clear that tackling those long-standing injustices must begin first with exposing and then confronting what she will call “uncomfortable truths.”

Initial findings from the Audit, which will when published contain thousands of datasets for information and analysis, show –

The unemployment rate for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people of working age is nearly double that for white British groups (8 per cent compared to 4.6 per cent). 

Employment rates overall are far higher for white people (75.7 per cent) than BAME groups (63.9 per cent) across the country as a whole.

More than nine in ten Headteachers are white British. 

White pupils from state schools had the lowest university entry rate in 2016.

In 2016, almost a quarter of Chinese level 3 pupils attained 3 A grades or higher at A level and almost 3 out of 5 went to university, making them twice as likely to have gone to university compared with white pupils. 

Two in three white British householders own their home, though only two in five of householders from any other ethnic group do.

And while there are areas where outcomes for ethnic minorities have improved and where the gap is narrowing, the findings will remain a call to action.

Commenting ahead of the launch, the Prime Minister said:

“In doing this ground-breaking work we are holding a mirror up to our society. The idea itself is not new – Charles Booth’s maps of rich and poor areas in Victorian London drew attention to hardship that was too often hidden – but this focus on how ethnicity affects people’s lives will present findings that are uncomfortable. 

“My most fundamental political belief is that how far you go in life should be based on your talent and how hard you work - and nothing else. Britain has come a long way in my lifetime in spreading equality and opportunity, but this Audit will be definitive evidence of how far we must still go in order to truly build a country that works for everyone.”  

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