Hartlepool has one of the lowest proportions of ethnic minority teachers in the country

In the classroom.
In the classroom.
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Research has revealed that Hartlepool has one of the worst ratios in the country of ethnic minority teachers to students.

The statistics showed that the borough has the eighth greatest diversity gap in England ­ with the proportion of BME, black and ethnic minority, pupils being more than eight times the proportion of BME teachers.

The report, from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, found that across the country BME teachers are significantly under-represented across the country.

Figures obtained from the Department of Education show just 7.6% of teachers in state schools in England are people of colour compared with almost 25% of pupils.

In some local authorities the situation is so bad that there would need to be a more than tenfold increase in the number of BME teachers for staff to reflect their pupil populations.

When it comes to school leadership the gap widens even further ­ 97% of English state school headteachers are white.

In Hartlepool the percentage of children who are BME is 4.3%, however, just 0.5% of teachers are BME, putting the town in the top ten worst areas.

Responding to the findings, a spokesman for Hartlepool Council, said: “The council has a long standing commitment to ensure that equality prevails in all of the town’s schools.”

Talking about the national issue, Chris Keates, general secretary of teachers union NASUWT said: "It is clearly unacceptable and it is also disgraceful. Education is such a powerful determiner of life chances. All children and people working within education should be treated with dignity and with access to equality. That clearly is not happening."

The House of Commons is widely derided for being too white, but the Bureau’s analysis shows the racial diversity of teachers in England is almost identical.

The proportion of BME Members of Parliament serving English constituencies is 7.5%, just a tenth of a percentage point less than the proportion of BME teachers.

Keates said the data reinforced the organisation’s own research which showed a vast majority of BME teachers believed schools paid lip service to racial equality.

She said: "NASUWT has found evidence of everyday racism in schools and colleges, discrimination, harassment, ostracism, lack of pay progression, and BME teachers being held back from promotion.

"These issues remain deep-­rooted, endemic and institutionalised."