Institutes – Minister pushes on ethnic data

Trade minister Ian McCartney is planning to review the ethnic monitoring policies of the institutes, and is pushing for ethnic data on students to be included in institute annual returns.

In a letter earlier this month, McCartney told Labour MP Austin Mitchell that his officials would be talking to the institutes about ways to expand their ethnic monitoring policy at their next meeting.

One proposal is to incorporate the ethnic background of members in institute’s annual returns to the DTI, alongside information on disciplinaries.

McCartney stressed, however, that the government could not force the institutes to include the information.

ACCA member Prem Sikka, professor of accounting at Essex university, welcomed the DTI’s plans. ‘It’s the first time they have looked into the issue. It puts ethnic monitoring on the institute’s agenda,’ he said.

ACCA chief executive Anthea Rose said the association already had a good record. ‘We are working with the Commission for Racial Equality on an ethnic monitoring survey of members. We will conduct monitoring when appropriate.’

The news follows CIMA’s announcement last week that it would look again at the need for an ethnic monitoring policy after fresh concerns were raised by the inquiry into the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

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