There have been thousands of exclusions from English schools because because of racial abuse, it has been revealed.
Latest Department for Education figures show as many as 20 children per school day are excluded for racially abusing peers.
In the 2014-15 academic year, there were 4,000 cases of racist abuse which warranted a permanent or fixed exclusion, and there have been 27,000 such cases in 2008-9.This is despite a drop in the overall number of exclusions generally since 2009.
Around one in 10 cases, which included derogatory racist statements, racist bullying or graffiti, and swearing that can be attributed to racist characteristics, took place in primary schools, according to the statistics, with the remainder in secondary schools.
The figures also indicate Northern, Midlands and coastal towns saw the highest number of incidents.
An analysis of the figures analysis was carried out by free schools charity the New Schools Network, which has argued for a new category of “social need” to be part of the free school application criteria.
Sarah Pearson, interim Director of New Schools Network, said: “Free schools are already doing great work in their communities to break down barriers between children of different classes, ethnicities, and cultures.
"The addition of a ‘social need’ category in the free school criteria opens the door further for schools, charities and other community organisations to come forward with ideas to create schools designed to build community cohesion.”