Seven in ten (70%) BME teachers do not feel progress has been made in ensuring that BME teachers are treated fairly when applying for jobs or promotion, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard.
Hundreds of BME teachers from across the country gathered in Birmingham today (Saturday 28 November) for the NASUWT’s BME Teachers’ Consultation Conference to discuss the challenges facing them and to engage in professional development workshops.
The conference, which is the largest BME teachers’ conference in the UK, heard concerns about incidents of racism from colleagues and pupils and discrimination leading teachers to resign.
Further concerns were raised about the treatment of BME pupils, with less than a fifth (16%) of teachers saying they think schools and colleges treat BME pupils fairly and support them to fulfil their potential.
A real-time electronic poll of BME teachers attending the seminar found that:
- A third (32%) do not feel their views are listened to or welcomed, and a further 10% feel isolated and excluded at work;
- Around four-fifths (84%) don’t feel that schools and colleges treat BME pupils fairly and support them to fulfil their potential;
- In the last 12 months 73% of BME teachers said they had witnessed or been subject to racially derogatory views or behaviours from pupils, parents or colleagues;
- 7 in 10 (70%) do not feel that progress is being made in ensuring BME teachers are treated fairly when applying for jobs or promotion;
- Only 28% believe the problem of racism and racial prejudice in schools and colleges is taken more seriously than when they started their teaching career;
- 70% feel that BME people living in the UK are rarely or never treated fairly.
To tackle the issues facing BME teachers, pupils and community, NASUWT today launched a campaign to tackle racial injustice.
The NASUWT Act For Racial Justice campaign will gather evidence and raise awareness of the issues surrounding racial justice, with an overall goal of making informed recommendations to tackle this ongoing issue within schools and the wider community.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The experiences shared by BME teachers today demonstrate that discrimination and unfair treatment of BME teachers and pupils is rife.
“Discriminatory management practices and racial injustice within the education system flourish because government fails to secure compliance.
“In fact, the Government has created a climate in which equality and the rights of workers are seen as unimportant.
“It is for this reason NASUWT has launched the Act For Racial Justice campaign to expose and challenge these issues in schools, communities and the wider society.”