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The disproportionality of ethnic minority teachers in England: trends, patterns, and problems

Gorard, S.; Chen, W.; Tan, Y.; Gazmuri, C.; See, B.H.; Tereshchenko, A.; Demie, F.; Siddiqui, N.

The disproportionality of ethnic minority teachers in England: trends, patterns, and problems Thumbnail


Yiyi Tan
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

A. Tereshchenko


Background: England has an ethnically diverse population; reflected in the teacher workforce, and the student body in schools. However, it is not clear that these figures are in proportion to each other. This paper examines the ethnic profile of students and their teachers and considers their geographical distribution. Methods: This paper uses existing aggregated official publicly available datasets to describe the patterns and trends in the proportion of ethnic minority teachers compared to ethnic minority pupils in England 2015-2021. Data comes from the Department for Education (DfE), the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD/TALIS), and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Results: Compared to the student intakes to schools, we found that there are more White British teachers than expected. This disproportion (where there are more White British teachers among teachers than there are White British pupils among pupils) is worse for promoted school leaders like deputies and headteachers than it is for classroom teachers. In London, due to the exceptional number of ethnic minority students, the disproportion (or mismatch) is worse in London than anywhere else. Areas with the fewest ethnic minority pupils (and teachers), like the North East, have the most proportionate workforce (in this limited sense). Conclusions: A student lacking any teachers of the same ethnic group might be treated differently at school, and there is some evidence that this might affect their attainment outcomes. The lack of ethnic diversity in some schools and areas, regardless of proportions, may impoverish the diversity of the whole school system. Several possible reasons for these patterns are noted in the paper, but it is clear that ethnic minority applicants to teacher training are less likely to be accepted, and less likely to obtain qualified teacher status or an eventual teaching post.


Gorard, S., Chen, W., Tan, Y., Gazmuri, C., See, B., Tereshchenko, A., …Siddiqui, N. (2023). The disproportionality of ethnic minority teachers in England: trends, patterns, and problems. Routledge Open Research, 2(13),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2023
Online Publication Date Apr 21, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 22, 2023
Journal Routledge Open Research
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 13


Published Journal Article (6.3 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2023 Gorard S et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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