Redbridge LBC has apologised after a spreadsheet containing the word ‘paki’ was distributed to staff.
The council said the document was an informal piece of work created by a Sure Start team member who did not speak English as a first language and had not appreciated the implications of the term until it was pointed out by colleagues.
It said all documents created for widespread use were proof-read by senior managers.
The council said in a statement: “Redbridge Council fully accepts that the use of this abbreviated term is wholly unacceptable and inappropriate and would never condone the use of such language…
“When this matter first came to light last year it was investigated by the Manager of the Sure Start programme who was satisfied that there was no intention to use insulting language. This was a combination of human and IT error.
“This is an issue which will be addressed through the department’s Equalities training.”
Sure Start staff have now been told not to generate their own ethnicity analyses but instead to rely on existing research using Department for Children Schools and Families ethnicity codes.