Nearly half of ethnic minority teachers feel 'racial discrimination has stopped them progressing'

 

Nearly half of teachers who are black or ethnic minority (BME) feel that racial discrimination has stopped them from progressing in their careers, a conference organised by a teacher union has heard.

The annual NASUWT Black and Minority Ethnic Teacher’s Conference saw teachers from across the country meet in Birmingham on Saturday.

Participants took part in a real-time electronic poll aimed at uncovering their views on a series of issues relating to work in education.

The question “Do you feel that you are being held back in your career as a result of racial discrimination?” was posed to around 350 teachers.

Almost half said yes, a quarter said no, while 25 per cent said they did not know or were not sure.

More than three quarters of BME teachers defined themselves as ambitious, yet stated they are being held back by racial discrimination and the attitudes of senior colleagues.

One per cent short of all BME teachers felt that the Government does not respect and value teachers and does not understand the day-to-day realities of teaching.

Over half of the teachers polled agreed that mental health was an issue and that employers were not committed to protecting their mental and physical well-being at work, with workload cited as the single most negative part of the job.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, said: “BME teachers have told us that racial discrimination is an endemic feature of the education system.

“Holding back the potential and talent of teachers on grounds of their race or colour also damages the prospects of pupils.

"The coalition Government's reforms to the teachers' pay system, which give more freedoms to individual schools to determine teachers' pay, has been overwhelmingly rejected by BME teachers who fear it will exacerbate discrimination against BME teachers.

“All of the issues raised today will be taken forward by the NASUWT as we continue to press the Government for a fair national framework of pay and conditions for all teachers.”

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “Teaching is a highly attractive profession which is critical to the success of our education system, and we are making sure this is properly recognised. We are reforming teacher training to attract the best graduates and professionals, investing £4 million in development and training for existing teachers, and reforming pay so schools can attract and retain the best teachers who have the greatest impact on their pupils’ achievements. This will ensure that every school has a clear system for teacher appraisal that is fair and consistent.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: DT/Design and Technology Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school in Cambridgesh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Daily, short and long term Supply Teachers urgently required.

£115 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Supply teachers required throughou...

Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate - Newly Qualified Teachers Required For Sept 2015

£21000 - £50000 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Graduate Teachers/ Newly Qua...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks