New audit to tackle racial disparity

Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered an audit into Whitehall departments to reveal any racial disparities in public services and force poor-performing services to improve.

All Whitehall departments will be required to identify and publish information showing how outcomes differ for people of different backgrounds, in a range of areas including health, education and employment.

Latest Equality and Human Rights Commission figures show that: you are three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than your peers if from a Black Caribbean background; you are seven times more likely to be detained under mental health legislation if you are a black woman; the employment rate for ethnic minorities is 10 percentage points lower than the national average; and people in ethnic minority households are almost twice as likely to live in relative poverty as white people.

May said: “I am launching an audit to look into racial disparities in our public services that stretches right across government. It will highlight the differences in outcomes for people of different backgrounds, in every area from health to education, childcare to welfare, employment, skills and criminal justice.

“This audit will reveal difficult truths, but we should not be apologetic about shining a light on injustices as never before. It is only by doing so we can make this country work for everyone, not just a privileged few.”