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Race and sex: teachers' views on who gets ahead in schools?

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  • Education

Abstract

Teachers who get ahead: the impact on teachers’ careers in 21st century England of age, gender, ethnicity and disability Teachers who get ahead: the impact of gender, ethnicity, age and disability on teachers’ careers. SUMMARY The research reported here is part of a large study of the impact of age, disability, ethnicity and gender on the teaching profession in England. Firstly we draw on published data about the statistical profile of serving teachers. Then we go on to outline how age, gender, ethnicity and disability and their interactions relate to promotional aspirations of a sample of teachers drawn from the nine regions of England. Case study respondents saw themselves first and foremost as teachers (rather than, for instance, from a particular minority group or gender or some combination of both). A large minority of postal survey respondents from ethnic minority groups believed ethnicity to have had a negative influence on their careers. Our research data link in with other reports in this field. Some ethnic minority staff in the case study schools, whose expertise was highly valued by their headteachers, pointed out that they had experienced the oft-cited barriers to appointment. When it came to chances of promotion, teacher informants agreed that important factors were gender and ethnicity. Nearly a quarter of postal respondents stated that they were not interested in promotion. Women and older male case study informants were quite likely to think this way for various reasons. However, further systematic study could shed light on different cultural perceptions about the importance of promotion in the diverse ethnic groups across England. Introduction The Department for Education and Skills is the third largest public sector employer in England and Wales (Bowers, 2000). It employs well over 400,000 teachers. Teaching is generally perceived to be an equitable career, open to all who

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