Black teachers often encounter a range of attitudes and behaviours from other teaching staff, pupils, parents and school leadership throughout their teaching careers. While many aspects of racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace have improved significantly over the years, research indicates that a number of concerning trends prevail particularly in relation to the career progression of black teachers.
A recent NUT survey of 362 members on leadership opportunities for black teachers shows that black teachers continue to perceive both direct and institutional racism affecting their chances of professional development and promotion. It is distressing to note that 87% of respondents said they felt that black teachers faced different challenges from white teachers, that 43% of respondents who had applied for promotion in the last year felt the interview process was unfair, largely due to concerns about earmarking and discrimination, and that 57% of respondents said there were no black teachers in a leadership position in their school.
The NUT seeks to support and represent its black members through a range of means and mechanisms, including casework on individual workplace issues, awareness-raising across the wider Union membership and through the media, advocacy through the NUT’s black member representative on the Executive and the Race Advisory Committee and responses to government proposals, and the provision of continuing professional development and conferences specifically for black teachers.