Custom Search 1

‘Shocking’ lack of black teachers in Bristol schools

DISPROPORTINATE: Black teachers in Bristol

A NEW BBC documentary has found there are just 26 black teachers working in Bristol's secondary schools, out of more than 1,300 teachers, which equates to just 1.9% of teachers currently employed in the city.

The documentary Inside Out West findings, resulted in the investigation concluding that the lack of black teachers in Bristol as "shocking" and "terrible".

Despite focusing on Bristol, the shortage of black teachers is a national issue. According to official Government figures, just 13 percent of state-funded schools’ teachers are currently from black and other minority backgrounds (BME), compared to 27 percent of pupils.

Furthermore, a study released last year by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Runnymede Trust found black teachers were often given ‘stereotypical’ roles such as hosting Black History events rather than wider teaching and learning responsibilities.

The study which surveyed over 1,000 teachers from BME backgrounds saw many express concerns over a ‘glass ceiling’ which limited opportunities for progress as well as feelings of isolation leading to NUT general secretary Kevin Courtney calling for significant action;

“These findings remind us that (racism) is a defining feature of BME teachers’ lives and deeply affects the experience of young Black people. This report shows us the cost of the gap between the proportion of BME teachers and BME pupils, which is getting wider because diversity in teaching is not keeping pace with pupil demographics.

"Alongside a proper strategy to recruit and retain enough teachers, Government needs a credible strategy for attracting sufficient BME teachers,” he said.

“Schools don’t realise that ethnic minority children need role models from their own group,” one black secondary school teacher said, giving evidence for the report. “If the children see SMT [the senior management team] as being all white and the cleaning staff from ethnic minorities, that is all they aspire to be."

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.