South East BME Project

Ethnic Diversity in Teaching

This collaboration between the Institute of Education at Reading and 15 other institutions targets ethnic diversity in the recruitment and retention of teachers. The project has focussed on how teaching is communicated and perceived and issues of fair access.

Specific activities

TickingBoxes_keith1Ticking Boxes. A flagship film providing a case study of three inspirational teachers and their navigation of the profession.  The film provides a potential recruitment tool, a discussion resource for existing trainee teachers and a way of promoting the hard work and rigour involved in teaching to general audiences. The film is free for educational purposes and wide use is encouraged. Short clips and the full film are available to view now. 

'No Greater Calling'.  A study focusing on the role of personal statements in written applications to teacher training and their potential role in disproportionately high rejection levels of ethnic minority applications. The work will inform admissions practice in the partnership.

Focus Groups.  An ongoing focus group study across three universities exploring how ethnic minority individuals studying shortage subjects in research intensive universities view teaching careers.  The research explore the views of people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds who are about to make choices of career direction and/or further study.  The work will inform inform strategies for widening participation in teaching.

Survey of School Experience.  An internal survey of 140 schools in the South East conducted in response to anecdotal evidence that minority candidates apply with less school experience than white candidates. Results confirmed the perception of BME under-participation in school experience. Respondents reported relatively small numbers of minority volunteers in their school's history and only a small proportion of those offering GTP had ever put forward a BME candidate. Results suggest that the possibility of structural filtering which sees BME candidates manage less access to school experience may be little considered by staff within schools; few schools have a written policy that guides the provision of access or monitor the spread of participation. A second section of the survey exploring attitudes to diversity training suggested that school staff were not always convinced of the efficacy of diversity training. Respondents displayed confusion about the provision of diversity training and most would welcome support for the provision of diversity training.

Participating Institutions

  1. Bromley Schools Collegiate
  2. Canterbury Christ Church University
  3. East Sussex Primary GTP
  4. Kent & Medway Training
  5. Kent County Council
  6. Oxford Brookes University
  7. Oxon-Bucks Partnership
  8. Primary Catholic Partnership
  9. University of Brighton (Chair of Steering Committee, contact Diana Brightling.)
  10. University of Chichester
  11. University of Oxford
  12. University of Portsmouth
  13. University of Reading (Host, contact Elizabeth McCrum /Joanna John.)
  14. University of Southampton
  15. University of Sussex
  16. University of Winchester


Things to do now

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