The UK government has been forced to apologize about questions regarding students’ ethnicity that were initially implemented to address special linguistic needs. According to the Independent, multiple families filed complaints to the embassy in London over the census. Italian ambassador Pasquale Terracciano criticized the census forms sent to parents that asked whether their children were “Italian”, “Italian-Sicilian” or “Italian-Neapolitan”, citing that Italy has been a unified country since 1861.
Officials from the Department for Education and Government Statistical Service apologized for the unnecessary categorization stating, “We…offer our apologies for any offense that may have been caused to the Italian people by the way in which the issue of the Italian language was dealt with in a recent data collection exercise by the Department for Education statisticians. Statisticians across government regularly collect information on language. We are mindful that this is a sensitive area, and endeavor to ensure that we collect that information in a respectful way. On this occasion we have failed to do so.”