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Friday, March 19, 1999 Published at 18:59 GMT


Black teachers will face racism, says head

Ofsted says some schools are not serving black pupils well

Teachers from the ethnic minorities will face racism in the classroom and the staffroom, says Britain's first black headteacher.

Carlton Duncan, who is about to retire from his post at George Dixon School in Edgbaston, Birmingham, said that black people entering teaching will "definitely encounter racism. But don't let that put you off, you have got to come into this profession. It needs you".

Mr Duncan, who is ending a 30-year career in education says that he has encountered racism in schools, including the refusal of a white teacher to accept instructions from a black headteacher.

"Racism comes in many forms, subtle and blatant, overt and covert. In some ways the overt incidents are easier to deal with.

"I can cope with overt incidents better than the underhand ones, such as sabotage, resistance, the nice laughter to your face and the back stabbing that goes on afterwards," said Mr Duncan.

Mr Duncan, who was appointed to a headship only after he had applied for 120 posts, regretted that there had not been greater steps taken to reducing racism.

"There is so much more that needs to be done. The government has all the reports with the necessary recommendations, all they need to do now is implement them.

"There is racism in teaching, but it is no worse or better than anywhere else."

The claim follows a recent report from the Office for Standards in Education saying that some schools are "institutionally racist" and are not adequately responding to the needs of ethnic minority pupils.

It also comes in the wake of the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report which called for the introduction of anti-racist education in the curriculum.

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