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24 April 2024 - 24 April 2024

1:00PM - 2:00PM

This event will be in-person in room CB-0011 of the Confluence Building and online via Zoom. Contact for more details about how to take part.

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Part of the School of Education Research Seminar Series.

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School of Education Research Seminar Series

Stephen Gorard, Beng Huat See, Nadia Siddiqui, Yiyang Gao, Feyisa Demie and Antonina Tereshchenko


This work was funded by ESRC grant ES/X00208X/1


We present a taste of the emerging findings from this new project – based on three structured reviews of evidence, secondary data analyses of the School Workforce Census linked to the National Pupil Database, a national survey of teachers, and follow up interviews and case studies.


The story so far. There are many more ethnic minority pupils than ethnic minority teachers – whether due to differing ethnic age profiles, or an unrepresentative proportion of minorities entering teaching. It is clear that ethnic minority applicants are much less likely to be accepted for initial teacher training. And ethnic minority teachers are less likely to become school leaders, despite being somewhat older on average. There are dramatic regional variations. In the North East, for example, there are few ethnic minority teachers, and so the few ethnic minority pupils are unlikely ever to have a similar ethnicity teacher, and will never see an ethnic minority leader. In London, with the most ethnic minority teachers, the majority of pupils are not White, and so the disproportion here is greatest.


Pupil or teacher ethnicity, of itself, does not explain average differences in attainment or school exclusion by ethnic group, once poverty and SEND is accounted for. And congruence between teacher and pupil is not clearly linked to higher pupil attainment. However, where there is congruence, then minority pupils are less likely to be excluded, or punished, and to have higher teacher assessed grades, aspirations and expectations.


Much of the prior research in this area has been very weak. The strongest studies (usually from the US) suggest that giving ethnic minority staff specific responsibility for minority pupils can reduce staff turnover, and that congruence between the principal and the teacher is an attractor for ethnic minority staff. Our own survey paints a rather different and more nuanced picture, and also picks up racism as a factor in staff turnover. Our work on what difference this all makes, and what might be done about it, continues.