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Ethnic disproportionality in the school teaching workforce in England

Demie, Feyisa; See, Beng Huat

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The disproportionality in the school workforce in England’s schools has drawn little interest from policymakers and education practitioners. This article addresses the noted gap in the literature and provides trends empirical evidence in England’s teachers workforce by ethnic background and its disproportionality when compared to the pupils they teach. Our main data source was the School Workforce Census, the largest and most comprehensive source of data on teachers available in England. It used the diversity gap and the teacher- student parity index, for comparing the proportions of teachers and students from different ethnic groups to gain an understanding of the demographic reality of today’s schools. The main findings of the research confirm without doubt the education system in England is characterised by ethnic disproportionality in the school teaching workforce and the ethnic background of the teaching staff does not mirror the profile of the pupils. The evidence clearly shows that there is a growing mismatch between the ethnic diversity of the pupil population and that of the teachers in their schools. This is detrimental to the growth and learning of students. Conclusions and policy implications are given in the final section of the research article.


Demie, F., & See, B. H. (2023). Ethnic disproportionality in the school teaching workforce in England. Equity in education & society, 2(1), 3-27.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 17, 2022
Publication Date 2023-04
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 23, 2023
Journal Equity in Education & Society
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 3-27


Accepted Journal Article (565 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This contribution has been accepted for publication in Equity in Education & Society.

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