By: Shamimah Leara
According to research statistics, the current gap within the education sector falls with the lack of teachers from a BAME background. Judge Ray Singh (fellow member of the Race Relations Committee) say's there needs to be more encouragement to get more ethnic diversity within schools.
In 2020 a study found that almost half of schools across England and Wales do not have teachers from ethnic minorities. This study also found that BAME staff struggle to progress onto better positions within the sector itself. Data from the Department of Education have highlighted the gaps within the education sector.
Following the death of George Floyd, the BLM movement has been a promising cause to help education and bring attention to the issues many members of the BAME community face.
This despite creating awareness has done little for institutional problems aside from a few more diversity programmes and educating the workforce on BAME issues.
Around 13.8% of the UK population is from a minority ethnic background, therefore inclusion is crucial to help promote a better understanding of different cultures. Miller has written an article discussing the race inequality in school leadership, highlighting that from the 24,281 headteachers within the UK, only 277 of them are of a BAME background.
Progression is a key factor which many people consider when taking a new job. According to the CIPD, 2017, many BAME employees have felt that the career has not met their expectation. Mills has stated that progression should be tackled through policy agendas which focus on the high turnover and the loss of teachers from an ethnic background. This underrepresentation within leadership can play a part in why BAME teachers are more likely to move schools, and further less likely to progress as well. A majority of teachers from a BAME background also tend to work in disadvantaged schools. White British people accounted for 92.9 per cent of headteachers in 2018 and has only dropped to 92.7 in 2021.
The ‘hidden workload’ BAME teachers experience has diminished aspirations within the field. Unlike many of their counterparts, the overt and covert racism which teachers from an ethinic background has played a strong part in why their mental health, retention and overall wellbeing has been. Many have spoken out about their experiences stating that there needs to be more schemes not only to support BAME educators, but also encourage more people to enter into the workforce itself.