News and opinion


The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration held its first public meeting on Monday 23 May. The meeting marked 15 years since the publication of a report into community cohesion in 2001 and APPG members discussed whether the UK has become more or less socially segregated over the years.

Members, including APPG Chair Chuka Umunna, Vice-Chair James Berry and Oldham West MP Jim McMahon, were joined by Lord Ahmad, Louise Casey, and Professor Ted Cantle.


Congratulations to Sadiq Khan, London's new Mayor. Elected as the first Muslim to senior political office in Europe with the biggest personal mandate in UK history. This achievement is truly remarkable. But for Londoners the aftertaste of this campaign isn't so pleasant. 

From ‘posh boy’ to ‘extremist’, accusations of racism and anti-semitism - the insults have come thick and fast over the past few months. The truth is, whether you’re a Muslim or the son of a millionaire, you should be able to find your home in London.

London is one of the most diverse cities on the planet, and people from all walks of life think of themselves as Londoners. Despite its high levels of diversity, the Social Integration Commission reported last year that London is actually less integrated than the rest of the country. Research commissioned by The Challenge earlier this year also showed lower levels of trust between Londoners from different ethnicities and income backgrounds.


HeadStart, our socially integrated volunteering programme for 16-17 year olds, took home the award for Best Charity and Public Sector Partnership from last night’s Third Sector Charity Awards.

The programme, a joint project with the Greater London Authority, bridges the gap between school and employment while getting young people more active in their communities. Young people who volunteer for 16 or more hours with a local charity are rewarded with help in building their job-finding skills, and are guaranteed an interview with a corporate partner. This helps young people gain critical work-ready skills, gives partnering employers fantastic new staff, and increases social integration at a local level.


This morning, Chuka Umunna MP launched the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration, for which The Challenge will provide secretariat services.

The APPG will have members from a variety of political parties, as well as peers. It will focus on identifying ways to create shared experiences, to help people from different backgrounds develop shared identities and increase social integration.

You can read the full text of Chuka's speech below. Stay tuned for further updates!


On Monday, an article written by Jon Yates appeared in Schools Week, entitled: “Segregation is holding our children back”.

Jon takes issue with the New Schools Network’s recent suggestions that Faith Schools should be allowed to select 100% of their pupils by faith. (Previous reforms introduced by Michael Gove limited the ability of academies and free schools to select any more than 50% of their intake on the basis of faith).

Jon points to the Northern Ireland’s shared education model as a good example of integrated education. He also looks forward to the Casey review and sets out a few hopes around schools policy.

The full article can be accessed here.