Commenting on the Government’s audit into racial disparity in public services, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:
“The NASUWT welcomes the publication of this audit as a step to confirming the well-documented problem of racial discrimination at work and in our public life.
“This is one of a litany of review reports published over the course of the last 40 years to highlight the problem of racism and discrimination in access to jobs and fair treatment in the provision of goods and services.
“The NASUWT has been highlighting for many years the racial discrimination which is blighting the lives and careers of BME teachers.
“The stark facts remain that BME teachers are under-represented in the teaching profession particularly at the most senior levels, they are paid less than their white counterparts, they experience widespread discrimination when applying for jobs or promotion and often have to endure racist comments and abuse at work.
“Increased freedoms for schools have also resulted in heightened concerns about widening racial disparities affecting BME pupils, with black Caribbean pupils being three times more likely to be excluded from schools compared to white pupils.
“Whilst one in three primary pupils are from a BME background, just one in twenty teachers are BME.
“The Government is right to challenge employers and institutions to address these disparities, but it must also take responsibility for having created a system which has failed to ensure that employers act responsibly and lawfully in tackling discrimination and advancing equality for all groups.
“The NASUWT has invited the Government to work with us to root out racism and discrimination, as part of our continued work to Act for Racial Justice.
“The Government needs to take the lead in ensuring that across all schools no teacher or pupil is held back or denied the opportunity to succeed because of their colour or ethnic, cultural or religious background.”