Nearly two-thirds (64%) of black teachers do not feel their school or college has done enough to address the specific and increased risks that black and minority ethnic staff face from Covid-19, a poll conducted by NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has found.
Nearly six in ten (59%) teachers polled today at the NASUWT’s Black Teachers Consultation Conference said they have not had an individual or school-wide covid risk assessment that takes ethnicity into account as a risk factor.
The poll took place as more than 500 black and minority ethnic teachers from across the UK gathered online for the Conference to discuss the challenges they face and to participate in professional development workshops.
Half (51%) of those polled said they are very worried about their safety on the full reopening of their school or college. A further 16% say they do not feel at all safe.
Over a quarter (28%) said they feel racism has got worse in their workplace since the Covid pandemic started.
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“This pandemic has created not just a public health emergency; it has also exacerbated and exposed the emergency of racial injustice and inequality which has contributed to disproportionate numbers of black people losing their lives to this virus and greater numbers of black workers losing their jobs than their white counterparts.
“These outcomes are not random. They were foreseeable and are the result of decades of structural racism and inequality that continues to pervade every area of our society and economy.
“The Prime Minister promised to ensure that employers across this country look after their workers and are Covid-secure and Covid-compliant. However, the evidence of racial disparities highlighted in our poll today and elsewhere throughout this pandemic point to the contrary.
“The NASUWT has been calling on the Government for many months to publish its assessment of the racial equality impact of its decisions on managing covid in schools, but the Government has refused to do so.
“Without clear, coherent and concrete actions by Government to address the racialised impact of this pandemic, the cycle of discrimination and racial injustice will continue.
“The Government must publish the race equality impact assessments it has undertaken and provide clear guidance to employers on the steps they can take to make workplaces safer places for black workers.”