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Over half of BME teachers face racist abuse in Britain's schools, teaching union finds

The NASUWT finds 53 per cent of all BME teachers have reported receiving verbal abuse in the past year

MORE than half of all ethnic minority teachers have faced racist abuse in Britain’s schools, a teaching union has found.

Research by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), published at its BME Teachers’ Consultation Conference in Birmingham yesterday, found that 53 per cent of all BME teachers have reported receiving verbal abuse in the past year.

Of this number, 42 per cent say that they are not helped by senior management in dealing with unruly pupils.

The union claims that this displays a failure of bosses to legally care for their employees when faced with hurtful and confrontational situations.

Speaking at the conference, NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “BME teachers continue to be subjected to racist remarks, negative comments, and threats of disciplinary action because of their racial origin.

“Teachers are continuing to face misery, humiliation, ill-health, loss of confidence and blighted careers as a result of this abuse.

“Too often, schools are condoning behaviour that is leaving BME staff, and indeed pupils, isolated and vulnerable, setting an appalling example to our children and young people.”

Ms Keates argued that BME teachers were “buckling under the weight” of workload and administrative tasks, and maintained that a culture of excessive workloads is driving BME people away from the profession altogether.

“Teachers are being crushed by punitive assessment and working policies, designed to hold them to account rather than support pupil progress,” she added.

“They are trapped in the seemingly permanent revolution of curriculum change, invariably ill-thought-through, under-resourced, and badly executed.”

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