In a recent BBC report, the news organization highlighted that an additional 68,000 minority teachers would be needed to reflect England’s student demographics. According to the article “Just 13% of state-funded schools’ teachers are currently from a BME background, compared to 27% of pupils.” While the issue has been a long standing one within England, as well as other countries, there may not be any near term solution.
Currently there is a big debate about the reasons behind the lack of minority teachers with organizations like the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) arguing that ethnic minority teachers “face discrimination and prejudice when applying for jobs”. The Department of Education for England does not agree with this, asserting that “the proportion of teachers with minority ethnic backgrounds has steadily increased” and that the department provides “a range of support to teachers from black and ethnic minority backgrounds such as the Leadership, Equality and Diversity Fund.”
Whatever explanation, the number of minority teachers is lacking with no clear solution in place. It is true that many minorities opt to other professions, but how to change this trend is an issue. Diversity is needed to create an atmosphere of cognitive diversity and without it, systems like education and others will continue to struggle.