'˜Teach British values in schools'

BRITISH values should be promoted in schools and women helped to overcome 'cultural' abuse and control as part of a drive to improve community integration, a controversial report will recommend today.

Dame Louise Casey

In what will be seen as damning criticism of the Government, Dame Louise Casey will warn division has increased in some neighbourhoods despite the country as a whole becoming more diverse.

Her report, commissioned last year by then prime minister David Cameron, will be published today after reported attempts to water down its conclusions by Whitehall officials.

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It will warn division has been bad for Britain, particularly for women in some communities suffering “control, violence and criminal acts of abuse”.

The report will bring Dame Louise into conflict with the Government in a number of areas including calling for schools to be used to reduce segregation as Theresa May backs more religious schooling.

Dame Louise will also recommend more money should be spent on English language teaching, an area which has suffered significant funding cuts in recent years.

The report will recommend all public officials and new arrivals to the country should take an “oath of integration”.

Integration should also form a fundamental part of the immigration process, it will say, as part of an overhaul of routes to British citizenship and being given leave to remain in the UK.

Writing in the report, Dame Louise says: “Social integration is about closing the gaps that exist between people and communities.

“This report has found those gaps exist in terms of where people live but also in terms of the lives they lead and the opportunities they have to succeed.

“So it is about how we get on in life, as well as how we get along with each other.

“To help bind Britain together and tackle some of the division in our society we need more opportunities for those from disadvantaged communities, particularly women, and more mixing between people from different backgrounds.

“We need more effort to be put into integration policies to help communities cope with the pace and scale of immigration and population change in recent years.

“But we also need more of a spirit of unity, compassion and kindness that brings people together under our common British values of tolerance, democracy, equality and respect.”

The report will be published in full today, weeks after it was expected to be finished.

It has been reported the Government has been pressing Dame Louise to revise parts of her report over fears it reflects poorly on the Prime Minister’s time as Home Secretary.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This Government is building a democracy for everyone and our country has long been home to lots of different cultures and communities, but all of us have to be part of one society – British society.

“So while it’s right that we celebrate the positive contribution that diverse groups make to British life, we also need to continue making sure that nobody is excluded from it or left behind.

“To do that, we need to take a serious look at the facts and must not shy away from the challenges we face.”

Dame Louise authored a highly report into Rotherham Council last year which led to the Government stepping in to run it directly.