Commenting on the Government’s audit into racial disparity in public services, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT welcomes the publication of this audit as a step to confirming the well-documented problem of racial discrimination at work and in our public life.

“This is one of a litany of review reports published over the course of the last 40 years to highlight the problem of racism and discrimination in access to jobs and fair treatment in the provision of goods and services.

“The NASUWT has been highlighting for many years the racial discrimination which is blighting the lives and careers of BME teachers.

“The stark facts remain that BME teachers are under-represented in the teaching profession particularly at the most senior levels, they are paid less than their white counterparts, they experience widespread discrimination when applying for jobs or promotion and often have to endure racist comments and abuse at work.

“Increased freedoms for schools have also resulted in heightened concerns about widening racial disparities affecting BME pupils, with black Caribbean pupils being three times more likely to be excluded from schools compared to white pupils.

“Whilst one in three primary pupils are from a BME background, just one in twenty teachers are BME.

“The Government is right to challenge employers and institutions to address these disparities, but it must also take responsibility for having created a system which has failed to ensure that employers act responsibly and lawfully in tackling discrimination and advancing equality for all groups.

“The NASUWT has invited the Government to work with us to root out racism and discrimination, as part of our continued work to Act for Racial Justice.

“The Government needs to take the lead in ensuring that across all schools no teacher or pupil is held back or denied the opportunity to succeed because of their colour or ethnic, cultural or religious background.”


On World Teachers’ Day the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has called on UK Governments and administrations to take the steps to ensure every child is taught by a qualified teacher who has the pay, working conditions, training and support they need to make the fullest possible use of their professional talents, knowledge and expertise.

The Union is setting out the principles it believes must be in place to ensure our education systems across the UK recognise and develop teachers as professionals.

The Union believes this requires:

  • high-quality initial teacher training;
  • all teachers working in state-funded schools to be in possession of qualified teacher status (QTS);
  • senior leaders in schools who are qualified and accredited as teachers;
  • career-long continuous professional development for all teachers and school leaders;
  • a move towards teaching as a Masters-level profession; and
  • a commitment to ensuring that teachers are remunerated appropriately.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT said:

“Qualified teacher status represents the means by which parents and the public can be assured that children are receiving a guaranteed standard of teaching and learning. It is the entitlement of all children and young people to be taught by a qualified teacher.

“Respect for the professionalism of teachers is a hallmark of an education system that is genuinely committed to raising standards and extending educational opportunities for all learners.

“A national framework of professional requirements and standards, underpinned by a framework of professional terms and conditions of service, is critical to ensuring quality for all children and young people.

“Yet when we look across the UK, we see in every administration, year-on-year cuts to teachers’ pay, spiralling workloads and the undermining at school and national level of teachers’ professionalism, skills and knowledge, exacerbated by the demands of the high-stakes accountability system.

“This is leading to an exodus from the profession, a scandalous waste of talent which is damaging children and young people’s entitlement to a world class education.

“On World Teachers’ Day, which this year is dedicated to the theme of empowering teachers, the NASUWT is calling on governments and administrations to recognise that this world class education starts with creating the conditions by which teaching is a high status, attractive profession where teachers have an entitlement to ongoing training and pedagogical development and working conditions which support them to focus on teaching and raising standards for every child.”

The Strengthening QTS position statement is attached.

World Teachers’ Day takes place annually on 5 October to highlight the vital work that teachers across the globe carry out every day to inspire, empower and support children and young people to achieve their potential. This year’s theme is ‘Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers’.

Strengthening QTS.PDF