Black and Minority Ethnic Members
The NASUWT actively supports black and minority ethnic members within both the Union and the workplace. The National BME Advisory Committee informs policy development on issues of concern to BME members with advice on race equality legislation, Islamophobia and on strategies for recruiting and retaining BME members.
Events for BME Members
NASUWT Consultation Conferences
The annual BME Teachers’ Consultation Conferences have proved to be highly successful.
The most recent Conference took place on Saturday the 6th December 2014 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. The theme was 'Putting Race Equality in Education' and included workshop sessions on: key leadership skills; performance management; pensions and planning for the future; and access to employment. Approximately 330 members attended the conference making this the largest gathering of BME teachers in the UK, and our most successful BME conference to date.
The Union has produced a Conference Extra report on the 2014 Conference and a Conference Declaration (new page) which outlines the steps that will be taken on the issues raised at the Conference.
This year's BME Teachers’ Consultation Conference will take place on Saturday 28 November 2015 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, near the NEC. Members can book online. Please book early to avoid disappointment for this very popular event.
Development Courses 2015
The NASUWT also provides a development course specifically aimed at BME members interested in getting actively involved in the Union. The course covers the structure of the union and roles to be taken up by lay activists. It also incorporates confidence building sessions and encourages networking support following the course. The courses for the next academic year will be advertised shortly. Bookings can be made via the Equality and Training team on 0121 4536150 or on-line. All courses are free to members.
TUC Black Workers' Conference April 2015
This years conference was held as usual at the TUC, Congress House, London on the 17th - 19th April 2015. As always, the NASUWT sent a full and active delegation. The NASUWT submitted a motion on 'Tackling Extremism and Hate' which was a popular topic supported unanimously by other unions. Members commented that it was a lively and informative conference. If you would like to attend future conferences, please contact your local association for further details.
Have your say on issues affecting BME teachers.
News and Events
Black History Month
October is Black History Month and has been celebrated across the UK for over 30 years, each year growing from strength to strength. The aim of the month is to recognise significant contributions to society made by people with black heritage and how their history is integral to mainstream narratives.
The origins of Black History Month go back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson, editor of the Journal of Negro History established Negro History Week. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
During Black History Month the achievements of the black community are highlighted and celebrated and the hidden history about black communities is uncovered. A wide range of events are held throughout the UK. Black History Month UK (new window) has produced some teacher’s packs for Key Stage 2 and 3.
The NASUWT secured an advertisement in the official Black History Month Magazine for October 2014 which was distributed with the Guardian newspaper, giving it a wide audience.
London Schools and The Black Child Conference - 8th March 2014
The NASUWT sponsored the London Schools and the Black Child Conference in conjunction with Diane Abbott MP. The Conference, entitled 'British Schools and the Black Child: New Conversations', was the first of its kind to be held in Birmingham following the success of the previous London Schools and the Black Child events. It was held at the Centre for Research on Race in Education at the University of Birmingham. Approximately 300 people from across the country and education sectors attended the event.
The NASUWT General Secretary, Chris Keates, was invited to speak and was warmly received at the Conference. The event gave an opportunity to engage with parents, community organisations and other BME professionals. Look out for further events advertised for next year and book early to secure a place.
In 2014 Searchlight is celebrating 50 years of fighting fascism and racism. Searchlight is a non-profit organisation, which has effectively fought against fascism and racism in Britain and built up international alliances to combat this insidious threat. Gerry Gable founded Searchlight in 1964, and for 50 years the organisation has been a beacon of light for the anti-racist, anti-fascist movement. They produce a highly informative magazine which is an outstanding resource is the fight against racism. Over the past few years Searchlight has gained a new generation of supporters and is working with new writers, photographers and artists, as well as prominent activists in the anti-fascist movement and leading academic researchers. Searchlight run a website which is an active resource covering their work, events and offering useful resources. Through 'Trade Union Friends of Searchlight' they take their work to several trade union conferences and other events each year. NASUWT is proud to be associated with Searchlight. The work of Searchlight is crucial to the anti-fascist and anti-racist movement. however this work is also very costly, and Searchlight need your help.
How can you help in the fight against racism and fascism? Please visit the website and consider donating to allow Searchlight to build upon their success and become even more effective. Your branch could also affiliate to Searchlight, please suggest it at your next meeting. Contact Cathy Pound, Searchlight's trade union liaison officer, to get affiliation or donation details.
Supply survey reveals bleak picture for BME teachers
BME supply teachers are being disproportionately under paid, frozen out and discriminated against in schools, a new survey from the NASUWT has found.
The survey of nearly 900 supply teachers uncovered a depressing picture of inequality, with supply teachers being routinely treated as second class citizens in schools.
While the findings make grim reading, the responses of BME supply teachers are even more disturbing.
Research on the leadership aspirations and career paths of BME teachers
Over half of all black and minority ethnic (BME) teachers feel that they have been discriminated against during their careers, according to new research from the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, and the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services (the National College).
This video is embedded from the NASUWT YouTube channel. You may have difficulties viewing it if you have filters blocking the site.
The Report Leadership Aspirations and Careers of Black and Minority Ethnic Teachers, compiled by researchers from the University of Manchester and Education Data Surveys, looks at the career experiences of over 500 BME teachers and senior and middle leaders working in maintained schools across England. The report was launched in November 2009.
It found that while most are keen to progress into leadership positions and develop their careers, issues of workload, a lack of self-confidence and discrimination are blocking the paths of many aspiring teachers.
It is intended that this report will provide those supporting leadership development (including NCSL, NASUWT, local authorities and institutions) with recommendations on future actions and a range of strategies, tools and techniques to enable BME teachers to fulfil their aspirations.