Children as young as three are being branded racists, homophobes and bigots over playground taunts.
Thousands of pupils are being reported for so-called hate crimes after using innocuous words such as ‘Chinese boy’, ‘Somalian’ or ‘gay’.
Teachers also log insults like ‘doughnut’ and ‘fat bucket of KFC’. Even calling a pupil a ‘girl’ can be classified as abuse.
Schools file the incidents for local education authorities. The details are also passed to Ofsted inspectors who are required to assess how teachers deal with bullying.
Records of a child’s ‘prejudice-related’ behaviour can be passed to their next school, potentially casting a shadow over their secondary education.
Alleged offences by more than 4,000 pupils were logged in just 13 council areas – meaning the national total may stretch into the tens of thousands.