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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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: MIS Officer - Further Education Sector

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Operating throughout London and...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there