Margaret Mulholland, Inclusion Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report from the National Foundation For Educational Research (NFER), which explores the barriers and solutions to achieving a more ethnically diverse teaching workforce.
“It is pretty depressing that teachers of colour continue to encounter barriers to leadership and headship such as lack of encouragement, racism and preconceptions linked to their culture or faith. It’s not good enough that there is not a single government initiative to encourage and to nurture teachers of colour to ensure a sense of belonging and success within the teaching profession. This has to be a priority, particularly at a time when recruitment and retention is so challenging.
“A diverse workforce enriches pupils, schools and colleges, and wider society and we support NFER’s call to make sure schools are supported in improving ethnic diversity among teachers and leaders. We’re committed to making school and college leadership more diverse, and have set up equalities networks to help members in these groups to support and empower each other and raise the issues affecting them. However, this report starkly demonstrates that there are problems throughout the pipeline from training onwards and all of us with a stake in education, including the government, need to redouble our efforts.”