Teachers face ' institutional racism claims'

Black and minority ethnic teachers face an "endemic culture of institutional racism" in schools, research found today.

About half of BME teachers say they have faced discrimination during their careers, according to a study by Manchester University and Education Data Surveys.



And seven in ten BME teachers and school heads believe it is harder for BME teachers to gain leaderships jobs in schools.



The study examined the experiences of more than 500 BME teachers working in state schools in England to analyse how discrimination affected their careers and chances of getting senior posts.



It concluded that the majority of BME teachers did not believe that the teaching profession was inclusive.



"Foremost, and most worrying, it is clear that the incidence of discrimination reported by BME teachers and leaders within the school system is indicative of an endemic culture of institutional racism," it said.



The findings show that male BME teachers cite discrimination as the greatest barrier to their leadership ambitions. Among women it was the sixth biggest barrier.



Almost two thirds (65%) of African teachers said they had been discriminated against, compared with two fifths (40%) of Pakistani teachers and a third (34%) of Indian and Caribbean teachers.



Four fifths of those questioned said they were "very" or "reasonably" ambitious, according to the report, which was commissioned by the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services and the NASUWT teaching union and first reported in the Times educational Supplement (TES) today.



The biggest barrier to promotion for both men and women was workload.



Steve Munby, chief executive of the National College, said: "While there is no doubt that some of those sampled had experienced discrimination, which is obviously unacceptable, this does not mean that the system is institutionally racist.



"Although discrimination on the grounds of race was cited by all as in the top ten barriers to achieving career aspirations, workload and confidence were the first and second most cited barriers overall."



NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: "This report reveals the true extent of the problem of racism and discrimination which, regrettably, is still all too pervasive in our schools.



"Systematic ethnic monitoring at local authority and national levels must be undertaken to enable BME teachers' career paths to be tracked and the barriers to their progress on the leadership scale to be identified and removed.



"This research is an important start in unlocking the way in which discrimination operates and should help in identifying what needs to be done to create greater fairness and transparency in the way that teachers' skills and potential are recognised and rewarded.



"Institutional discrimination must not be allowed to flourish. It is robbing the schools of too many talented and dedicated teachers and potential leaders."



A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "It is absolutely unacceptable for any teacher to be discriminated against because of their race, age, gender or religion - there's no place for it in any workplace. Local authorities and employers must deal with it by law - no ifs or buts.



"We know there is more to do to break down the barriers stopping black and minority ethnic teachers from achieving their full potential, as the report highlights.



"That is why we are, through the National College, developing training programmes to support promising BME teachers develop leadership skills and encourage them into leadership roles. With Ofsted, we have set up a scheme for BME school leaders to shadow Ofsted inspectors to help boost confidence and increase aspiration to progress to headship."

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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Senior Textiles / Fashion Technician

£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To contribute to the day-to-da...

Recruitment Genius: Health and Social Care NVQ Assessor

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: It is also essential that you p...

Recruitment Genius: ICT Infrastructure Manager

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre scho...

Recruitment Genius: Plumber

£30000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An independent boys' school sit...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high