New research conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and education charities Ambition Institute and Teach First has found significant disparities in progression rates for teachers from ethnic minorities.
The most significant disparity is at the point of acceptance onto initial teacher training courses. Prospective teachers from mixed ethnic, Asian, black and other ethnic backgrounds are respectively 9, 13 and 21% less likely to be accepted than white applicants.
These issues persist as careers develop with teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds less likely to be promoted to middle leadership than white counterparts. The disparities are especially startling amongst senior leaders: for instance, 96% of headteachers are white, compared to 83% of the population.
What’s being done to rectify the issue?
There is already an increased focus on the ethnicity pay gap with many organisations choosing voluntarily to publish their data on this alongside the gender pay gap reporting which is compulsory for organisations with 250 or more employees.
Schools are likely to want to consider carefully how ethnically diverse their own teaching body is, any barriers to improved diversity and how these can be addressed at all stages of the teaching life cycle, from training through to headship.