The promise of evidence-based policy is that social scientific research can lead to rational planning that will lead to improved outcomes and life chances for people across the whole spectrum of social provision. This article argues that evidence is politically mobilised to legitimise the reproduction of racial and social advantage and construct racialised groups as targets for policy intervention. It is suggested that migration and education policy is refracted through a politically generated concern about the destabilising impact of new global flows of people; that this involves the construction of a new racial settlement; and that this racial settlement is articulated through a strategy of managing internal and external populations. Despite the weight of evidence in relation to the educational experience of minoritised communities, which demonstrates that racism is endemic and systemic, government-sponsored policy interventions continue to reproduce White middle-class racial and social advantage. Attempts to construct a discursive distinction between old and new migrations have simply made the situation worse. They have led to a failure to learn lessons from the history of racism and oppression faced by other minoritised groups. It means that the potential of the concept of institutional racism, so hard won, has not been used to understand the experience of new migrant communities. The conclusion is that the British education system is institutionally racist.