In May 2022, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) published a report on Racial Equality in the Teacher Workforce. This report provides an analysis of ethnic representativeness at all levels of the teaching workforce with a view to understanding where action to improve racial equality by the education sector is likely to be most effective.
The main findings of the NFER’s report were as follows:
- All ethnic groups except white are under-represented at all stages of the teaching profession, except for initial teacher training (ITT)
- Progression rates from one stage of the teacher career pipeline to the next between trainees and teachers from Asian, black, mixed and other ethnic minority backgrounds differ significantly to their counterparts from white backgrounds
- Disparities in progression rates between ethnic groups differ across geographical regions and training routes, and depend on the ethnic diversity of the senior leadership team.
The report goes on to make the following recommendations:
- Support is to be provided for leaders and decision-makers in ITT providers, schools and trusts to equip them to make equitable workforce decisions
- Progress is to be monitored across the education system in order to equalise the opportunities for progression in teaching for people from all ethnic groups
Progress in achieving racial equality is a concern in many fields and does not just concern the education sector. However, this report from the NFER is invaluable research that highlights the disparities that are evident in the education system. In particular, it recognises what a priority racial equality should be in recruitment and career progression in schools and the areas where action is required.