England’s schools have a “chronic lack” of teachers from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds, research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found.
Analysis by the group found just 7.6 per cent of state school teachers in England came from BME backgrounds, compared to nearly a quarter of pupils.
The study found that 97 per cent of English state school headteachers were white.
It found that in some areas, teachers were particularly unrepresentative of their local communities. In Newcastle upon Tyne, two per cent of teachers and 23 per cent of pupils came from a BME background. In Liverpool the figures were two per cent and 17 per cent respectively.
The report said the teaching workforce was only slightly more diverse than MPs, with 7.6 per cent of teachers coming from a BME background compared to 7.5 per cent of MPs.
The Bureau’s figures show that only 13 per cent of postgraduate trainee teachers in the 2014-15 academic year were from BME backgrounds, compared with 35 per cent of people studying medicine, dentistry and law at higher education institutions.
Leora Cruddas, director of policy at the ASCL school leaders’ union, said: “Part of the solution is to actively encourage young people from BME backgrounds to consider teaching as a valuable profession and at the same time, to talent-spot and nurture BME teachers to consider taking up leadership positions.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We trust school leaders to recruit the right teachers for their classrooms but we are clear that good teams should reflect the diversity of their communities.
“The percentage of BME teachers is at its highest level on record, and the percentage of BME trainees on postgraduate training course continues to rise.”