RACISM is still an issue in England’s schools, with pupils and teachers showing racist behaviour, research suggests.

More than four-fifths (83%) of teachers questioned said they had witnessed racist attitudes or behaviour amongst their students.

This included name calling, comments, jokes and stereotyping of different races.

And a researcher at the University of Huddersfield said studies locally had shown that such issues did occur in schools across West Yorkshire.

Elizabeth Hassem, who is working on a study of bullying in schools, knows first hand the problems.

She is the daughter of an Egyptian and was subjected to name-calling at school, even though she was born and brought up in the UK.

She said the new study highlighted problems she had come across in her research.

“At virtually every level in our schools, there is some sort of racism and bullying.

“It can be fairly low-key but those low-key incidents can add up to a bigger problem.

“I have spoken to many youngsters who have been subjected to mickey-taking or abuse because of their ethnic background.

“To tackle it we need to nip it in the bud much earlier. Those who are bullies or racists should be made fully aware of their responsibilities and the effects of their actions.

“Teachers need to ensure things are reported and tackled as they happen”.

The study, by anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card, is supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).