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EDITIONS
Monday, 17 June, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Boost for ethnic minority teachers
students
It is hoped more black students will come forward
A pilot scheme to help black and Asian teachers get into senior and management positions in schools has proved so successful, it is to be expanded.

Dozens of teachers from ethnic minority groups will be offered special training from the autumn under a partnership scheme between the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

For too long, too many minority ethnic teachers have hit the glass ceiling when they have sought promotion

Doug McAvoy, NUT
Last year 28 teachers - in positions such as departmental or subject head - from all over England took part in a trial programme to find out more about the specific professional development needs of this group of teachers.

The feedback was so positive, the Equal Access to Promotion scheme will now be offered to 150 teachers at centres in London, Bristol, Nottingham, Newcastle and Grantham.

London primary school teacher Delphine Finney, a primary school teacher in London, said the trial scheme had helped her to be more focussed and assertive in taking decisions.

"It made me feel more positive about my progression in leadership," she said.

Robert Piper, a secondary school teacher from Surrey said: "The course overall has been excellent. It has helped me to focus on my future career development."

Commitment to change

One of the most prominent black head teachers in England is William Atkinson, of Phoenix High School in Fulham, south-west London.

But it is still rare to see figures like Mr Atkinson in schools.

NCSL chief executive Heather Du Quesnay said the college was "committed to addressing the issue of under-representation of minority ethnic teachers in senior management and leadership positions".

"This course will provide participants with a unique opportunity to seek advice and support and to discuss their personal views and experiences with colleague," she said.

Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the NUT said: "For too long, too many minority ethnic teachers have hit the glass ceiling when they have sought promotion. Our partnership will help."

Black role models

The Equal Access to Promotion scheme is part of a wider programme of work the NCSL is carrying out to assess how it can encourage more black and minority ethnic school teachers into leadership roles and support them once they are in post.

The initiative comes as concerned parties fear a lack of teacher role models for ethnic minority pupils is leading to underachievement.

The Labour MP Dianne Abbott is campaigning for more black male role models in schools.

Ms Abbott believes the underachievement of black boys at school could be more effectively tackled if there were more black and male teachers and mentors.

See also:

16 Mar 02 | Education
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16 Mar 02 | Mike Baker
07 Jan 02 | Education
27 Oct 00 | Education
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