Teaching profession fails to reflect multi-cultural student population

The Guardian is reporting new analysis from youth employment charity Elevation Networks that suggests ethnic minority professionals are under-represented at every level of education.

The report, which analysed research on employment in UK state-funded primary and secondary schools, found that last year just 6% of state primary school teachers and 9.9% of qualified and unqualified teachers in maintained secondary schools were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

The research also analysed colleges, universities and higher education, where picture was equally disappointing: just 7% professors and 8% of senior lecturers were from BAME backgrounds.

This compares unfavourably with the UK population overall as a whole as the last UK census in 2011 showed that 13% of people identified as BAME. This percentage is even more pronounced in schools: 30.4% of primary students and 26.6% of secondary students in state schools are from minority ethnic groups, according to figures from the department for education (DfE).

The research, Race to the Top: 2, also highlights a long-standing lack of diversity in senior leadership in schools: just 3% of headteachers in state-funded primary schools and 3.6% in maintained secondary schools are from an ethnic minority groups.

Nicole Haynes, a headteacher at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls , says the gap at senior and middle leadership level is disappointing. She puts this in part down to the recruitment process, saying interview panels are often not ethnically or gender-balanced. 

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers , agrees: “It’s absolutely the case that ethnic minority teachers are unrepresented in the teaching profession, but more so in school leadership roles and that’s worrying in a multicultural society because children need to see teachers and school leaders from BAME role models to show the importance of education.”

A comparison of teacher workforce research with census data suggests there’s an over-representation of BAME teachers in outer London and the south-east. The West Midlands, however, suffers the worst shortfall: 6,613 ethnic minority teachers would be needed to ensure staff represent their student populations…

More at: Teaching profession fails to reflect multi-cultural student population


Read or download the report in full:



It seems like there are real issues here – and the report makes a number of recommendations – although it is perhaps a little bit unfair to compare the populations of children in schools now with the breakdown of teachers when there was a significantly lower proportion of BAME children when today’s teachers were themselves children. 

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Categories: Leadership and Teaching.


  1. tenpennethworth

    SchoolsImprove Do quotas really mean anything? If so, when will we take action over lack of male teachers in primary education + nursery?

  2. Busy Mum

    When you have articles like the one today regarding a headteacher’s suicide, all I can say is that the ethnic population is choosing very wisely when it comes to career paths. Who wants to be a teacher, yet alone a headteacher?
    Also, many ethnic minorities would be reluctant to teach in a school system that would require them to leave their sexual morals at home.

  3. louiseatkinso14

    SchoolsImprove lack of teachers from poor economic and social backgrounds is a problem too. Relate to parents and pupils.

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