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All opinions/knowledge welcome! and gratefully received.

(51 Posts)
Fran1 Tue 26-Jul-05 23:37:41

Sorry that this is so long, but would love to hear views on ethnicity monitoring. I am trying to update my works forms and below is a list recommended by my council (and i am told i have to stick to) with my addition for travellers and gypsy's.

White
British
Irish
Traveller of Irish Heritage
Gypsy / Roma
Any other White background.
Mixed
White and black Caribbean
White and black African
White and Asian
Any other mixed background.
*Asian or Asian British*
Indian
Pakistani
Bangladeshi
Any other Asian Background
*Black or Black British*
Caribbean
African
Any other Black background
Chinese*

Any other background*

What bugs me is it misses loads of people. E.g mixed - black caribbean / Asian

Black caribbean / Irish.
Where does someone from Mauritius fit in??

The list could go on and on and on. I need to collect statistics and there obviously has to be limits.
I would like to just have one single line which asks what is your ethnic background and for people to complete as they wish. But this i am told is not allowed - and i appreciate would make collecting statistics impossible.
I would love to hear what you feel about this and whether you've seen it done any differently on forms you have had to complete.

It is driving me insane thinking about it!

Thank you if you've stayed this long and i look forward to seeing views!

Fran1 Tue 26-Jul-05 23:46:40

I meant to say, although i have been told to stick to this, i'm hoping if i think up marvellous solutions (with the help of mumsnet) i could persuade change!

QueenOfQuotes Wed 27-Jul-05 00:00:07

Oh - poo - the one we had from DS1 new primary school he starts in September was on of the best I've seen.....but I took it back a week ago.

I guess it's tricky one.....I guess you have to drawn the line somewhere or you could end up of pages of descriptions lol

CountessDracula Wed 27-Jul-05 00:10:09

have an "other" section that they can complete

WideWebWitch Wed 27-Jul-05 07:36:21

Oh it's hard isn't it? Ds's dad is British Indian so technically ds is British white (me) mixed with British Indian (ex dh). But there's never a box for that so I always end up ticking mixed Brit/Indian box. Sorry no other advice except an other box.

katymac Wed 27-Jul-05 07:39:08

Yep but don't call the box Other it really used to annoy me whne I had to fill in for DD (now we have mixed)

I quite like
Mixed.............Please specify................
But it's not great is it

CountessDracula Wed 27-Jul-05 08:14:34

Don't have any categorisations, just ask what is your ethnic origin or whatever the phrase is.

I must say I usually refuse to fill these in except in cases of medical nature (where your ethnicity may be useful in their stats of who is most prone to what)

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 08:55:07

Thanks everyone.

Katy - i prefer please specify

CD- that is i wanted, to scrap categories, but i was told no because people could use all sorts of different terms and make statistics impossible.

I too used to tick other on these forms - but now i am in this job i realise the importance

I am carrying out research to ensure our services reach and meet the needs of the whole community. IF i can gather some good statistics of our clients, then i can compare with the census figures of whose living in our borough and spot any significant community groups which may be missing out on our services.

WWW how does that make you feel that your son doesn't "fit" into a category?
lol after writing that i'm thinking its quite nice not to fit into a category! but in all seriousness does it bug you?

Raspberry Wed 27-Jul-05 09:03:36

There seems to be loads of holes in the list (e.g. where is white European) and if it really is from the council, I don't personally rate your council much. Why not use the list they use on the National Census? That would seem to be the definative way of defining ethnicity in the UK presumably. No point re-inventing the wheel.

WideWebWitch Wed 27-Jul-05 09:10:15

It bugs me a bit, not loads, it's not the end of the world of course but I do think in the case of ex dh the British part describes his nationality and the Indian part describes his ethnic origin so they are different. And ds isn't white British, he is a mixute of white Brit and Brit Indian. There never does seem to be a box for the latter, I wonder why?

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 09:15:01

Raspberry - as far as i was aware this is this list has been taken from the census, excluding traveller/gypsy.

Please let me know if you know a website that includes a different list from the census?

Hausfrau Wed 27-Jul-05 09:18:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hausfrau Wed 27-Jul-05 09:19:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 09:20:09

Here is the list I and my council have been using.

census list

Hausfrau, that is exactly what i want to do, but i've been told people could use different terms to mean the same thing and then statistics are impossible.

CountessDracula Wed 27-Jul-05 09:21:57

Hang on if British is nationality then surely Indian is too!

CountessDracula Wed 27-Jul-05 09:22:10

(IYKWIM)

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 09:27:50

yes but i think in www's case she is saying her dh's nationality IS British and he has an Indian ethnic background.

Alternatively you could be of Indian nationality with a British ethnic background. All though you would probably say white/black/chinese.

Does that make any sense whatsoever?

Raspberry Wed 27-Jul-05 09:36:40

Ethnicity is not to be confused with nationality, but some people do. (e.g. my dp is of British nationality BUT white european ethnicity).

As some people do confuse the two then the statistics created from such a question will be flawed anyway, so I wouldn't loose too much sleep over it.

(P.S. I am genuinely staggered the National Census list is that vague!)

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 09:45:52

Will you take back what you said about my council now i felt quite offended

Raspberry Wed 27-Jul-05 09:55:08

Absolutely... ...I don't think much of Whitehall instead now, nothing changes there then!

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 09:56:53



I guess i need to get a grip and stop fretting over this, i can hardly change a nationally agreed method of collecting statistics can i!

Thank you for everyones help!

albert Wed 27-Jul-05 10:16:09

DH is Brazilian, where would he fit in? And also DS who is half white British and half Brazilian. It seems that the entire continent of South America has been overlooked here, unless you count it as white (which it isn't really). Sorry, just being picky here, can see why it's driving you mad!

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 11:20:23

Don't be sorry.

This is exactly what i mean!!

Offer me suggestions please.

I'm thinking maybe the categories picked for the census were a collation of the largest groups of ethnic backgrounds based in Britain and as a line has to be drawn somewhere, but it is still unfair not to cover all groups and also is not providing good statistics. But i suppose the assumption is your husband will write White British/Brazilian in the any other background section, and this will ensure it does get included in stats.

There is going to come a time where most people will have such a mixture of ethnicitiy in them that it will be impossible to list them all!

Kelly1978 Wed 27-Jul-05 11:55:46

The thing that bugs me is that there is distinction between with and black carribean and black african, but all white and asian mixed are lumped together. I would prefer to be able to state my dts as white/indian mixed.
Also shouldn't there be seperate categories for chinese/japanese asian, for example?

Fran1 Wed 27-Jul-05 12:01:50

Asian is divided into Indian,pakistani,Bangladeshi and Asian other is that what you mean Kelly?

and i'm not sure why Chinese is out there on its own. I thought maybe there was some geographical difference i was not aware of

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