BRADFORD has been highlighted as an area where primary school children from ethnic minorities experience some of the country’s highest levels of segregation in new research from a think-tank.

The district is on a list of seven local authority regions, including Kirklees and Calderdale, with the highest levels of separation from the White British population.

New analysis published today by the Demos Integration Hub shows that ethnic minority children, who now represent 26 per cent of all school students in England, are substantially more likely than White British children to attend schools in which ethnic minorities are in the majority.

The data, which was processed by Professor Simon Burgess of the University of Bristol and analysed by Demos, exclusively for the Demos Integration Hub, show that children from Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black Caribbean communities are particularly likely to attend schools with a disproportionate level of other students sharing their ethnic background.

The research found that in London, 90 per cent of ethnic minority students begin school in ethnic minority-majority schools, and yet represent only 72 per cent of the student body. This compares to 49 per cent of White British students in London attending White British-majority schools, despite representing only 28 per cent of students.

The findings come as the Demos Integration Hub has identified that the level of segregation in English schools has remained stable or only somewhat declined as the nation’s diversity has increased substantially. This means that new population growth is not being spread equally throughout the country.

Certain English local authorities have particularly segregated primary schools, with ethnic minority children in Blackburn, Bradford, Birmingham, Oldham, Kirklees, Calderdale and Rochdale having the highest levels of separation from the White British population.

The data in the Demos Integration Hub show that there is not always a strong correlation between the level of segregation in schools and the size of the ethnic minority population, or the level of diversity in these towns.

The level of segregation appears to decline as children progress through school, as secondary schools tend to be much larger than primary schools, explaining why the number of ethnic minority majority schools is five percentage points lower overall between Year One and Year Seven students.

Dr Richard Norrie, Research Associate at Demos, said: "These data show a gradual decline over time in segregation levels in schools for all ethnic minority groups, which is to be welcomed. However, the rate of change is slower than the levels of population growth. While we couldn't expect these communities to spread out on a truly equal scale, we would hope for a much greater level of integration for students at the start of their education, given how important we know it is for children to be connected to a wide range of cultures and opportunities."

The Professor of Economics at Bristol University Simon Burgess said: “The pupil population in England’s schools is becoming more diverse. And at the same time, ethnic segregation in schools is generally declining, or is stable.

“It’s clear that segregation is certainly not zero, and some schools in some places remain highly segregated, but overall I feel that this is a situation that is improving.”

The Demos Integration Hub started in May 2015 and maps the changing dynamics between the UK’s increasing diversity, and the implications for social cohesion and social mobility.

Today is the start of the Hub’s research on education.

Its director David Goodhart said: “We want the Hub to be at the centre of the debate about integration and segregation issues in Britain, something that the Government made clear will be of central importance to its efforts to tackle extremism. To that end, we will be constantly updating and adapting the Hub as new research is published in this broad area and facts change in the real world.”