Nav: Home

Racism still rife against black and minority ethnic teachers in England

October 28, 2016

A UNIVERSITY of Huddersfield professor has developed a theory that black and minority ethnic (BME) teachers and academics in England depend on "white sanction" in order to fulfil their potential.

Professor Paul Miller has published a new article that analyses official statistics plus evidence culled from a series of interviews, and he demonstrates that BME educationalists require endorsement from white colleagues if they are to climb the career ladder. Now, he plans further research on the role played by race in English education, and his "white sanction" concept will be explored at a special seminar to take place at the University of Huddersfield in 2017.

In his article - published by the journal Power and Education - Professor Miller writes that "BME academics and teachers should not need to rely on a 'white sanction' to legitimise and enable them".

"In 21st Century England, a multi-racial and multi-cultural country, any suggestion of ethnic and/or racial superiority should be vigorously pushed back and talents, skills and voices from all ethnicities legitimised and respected."

He calls for robust monitoring of existing policies to see that they are being followed.

"For example, there are many provisions in the Equalities Act which place a duty upon organisations to be more inclusive. What I want is greater policy accountability," he said, and one of the conclusions of his article is that "white sanction will prevail in contexts where government policies lack enforcement and monitoring".

Professor Miller argues that "the promotion and prospects of BME teachers and academics has more or less flatlined". He includes statistics, such as the fact that of the 8.4 million pupils at English state schools, more than 25 per cent have minority ethnic origins. Yet 87 per cent of the country's 454,900 teachers are white British.

There are approximately 18,000 qualified BME teachers, with 1,000 in leadership roles, but only 104 of them are head teachers. The professor found equivalent patterns in Higher Education.

During his research, Professor Miller conducted interviews with BME academics and teachers at a variety of universities and schools. Some felt that racial discrimination had held back their career progression. Also, "several of the participants expressed that white colleagues were like 'gatekeepers', and there was no way you could get a job without first impressing and/or forming an alliance with them".

It was to describe this need to gain endorsement that Professor Miller coined the term "white sanction". The article described the different forms that it can take, and states that white sanction "occurs where the skills and capabilities of a BME individual are, first, acknowledged and, second, endorsed/promoted by a white individual, who is positioned as a broker and/or mediator acting on behalf of or in the interests of the BME individual".

One of the conclusions is that BME academics and teachers are "consciously and purposefully taking matters into their own hands by rallying and supporting each other through mentoring and networking".

Jamaican-born Professor Miller has widespread experience of lecturing and research within UK Higher Education. His appointment at the University of Huddersfield earlier in 2016 meant he became the first black academic to be appointed to a Professorship in Educational Leadership and Management at any British university.

His research and publications have dealt with topics such as teacher identity and migration, and corruption in education. He is co-convenor of the Race and Leadership Research Interest Group at the British Educational Leadership and Educational Research Society (BELMAS).
-end-
Professor Miller will now build on the work that led to his latest article and aims to carry out research on race and leadership in secondary schools and universities. BELMAS has provided funding for a seminar dealing with white sanction which will take place at the University of Huddersfield on 31 March, 2017.

* The article 'White sanction', institutional, group and individual interaction in the promotion and progression of black and minority ethnic academics and teachers in England, by Paul Miller, is in Power and Education, first published on October 17, 2016.

University of Huddersfield

Related Education Articles:

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.
Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.
How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.
Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.
Education interventions improve economic rationality
This study proves that education can be leveraged as a tool to help enhance an individual's economic decision-making quality, or economic rationality.
More Education News and Education Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...