Teacher is suspended after saying that his school 'has too many Asian pupils'

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The Independent Online

A teacher has been suspended after saying he did not want his son to attend the school where he works because it has too many Asians.

Richard Smith, a language teacher at Denbigh High School in Luton, was facing a formal investigation after making comments in a documentary about school admissions.

He told the School Days programme his son Daniel would not benefit from attending the school.

"Having to lay out the reasons why I wouldn't want my son to go there, and at the same time working there, is obviously a little bit tricky because I am not trying to bite the hand that feeds us, but there's far too much of a bias towards the Asian community within that school," he told the programme.

He added: "To be fair, our school does a very good job for the community it serves, but Daniel is not part of that community at all."

Denbigh's head teacher, Yasmin Bevan, wrote to all parents after the programme was screened last week.

The school said in a statement that Ms Bevan had written "expressing concern over the potential distress that may have been caused to staff, pupils and their families by the references to the school.

"She has assured parents that the matter is being taken very seriously and being dealt with through the school's agreed procedures."

Mr Smith's wife Anita said yesterday he had been advised not to speak about the affair. She said: "My husband is no racist. He has taught at the school for 21 years - how could he be?

"It is simply that we don't live in that community and are not part of it. It is wrong for the government to tell us there is choice. We don't have any."

A spokeswoman for Luton Borough Council said no date had been set for a disciplinary hearing. "This matter rests with school and the governing body to determine what if any disciplinary action should be taken," she said. "The suspension itself does not constitute a disciplinary sanction."