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Windrush review


Professor Dame Sandra Dawson, Advisory Board member and former Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School, advised government review into the Windrush scandal.

Close up of a man in a suit making notes at a meeting.

Professor Dame Sandra Dawson, a member of the Advisory Board and former Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School, was part of an expert Independent Advisory Group (IAG) that supported the recent review into the Windrush scandal of immigration decisions taken by the British government, mostly in the years 2008-18.

The Windrush Lessons Learned Review, which examined reports of illegal detention and deportation, was undertaken by Wendy Williams, an inspector with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, who worked with a team drawn mostly from the Home Office of the UK.

Professor Dame Sandra Dawson.
Professor Dame Sandra Dawson

The nine-member IAG was set up to bring a diverse range of expertise and perspectives to the review on areas such as immigration law, equality, diversity and inclusion, and was described by the review as “an important mechanism in helping to ensure that key issues were fully considered during the review.”

“During the synthesis stage of the review, the review team drew heavily on the expertise of Independent Advisory Group (IAG) members – both collectively and individually,” the report said. “The IAG meetings were used as a forum for testing the emerging themes, findings, lessons and recommendations.”

The review’s report, issued in March, was strongly critical of decisions taken by the UK Home Office regarding citizenship issues of many people whose families were part of the “Windrush generation” of migrants to the UK from Caribbean countries in the postwar years, including those who arrived on the Empire Windrush vessel in 1948.

“Members of the Windrush generation and their children have been poorly served by this country,” said the review’s executive summary. “They had every right to be here and should never have been caught in the immigration net.”

“This report makes 30 recommendations for change and improvement which can be boiled down to three elements: the Home Office must acknowledge the wrong which has been done; it must open itself up to greater external scrutiny; and it must change its culture to recognise that migration and wider Home Office policy is about people and, whatever its objective, should be rooted in humanity.”