18 May 2022 Member Newsletter (259)

Q: What do creative industries and education have in common?

A: Inequity

Last week, the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex shared early analysis of data from the School Workforce Census. Their analysis confirms that we have a workforce that does not represent the UK population - and that things are getting worse. Government data tells us that teaching does not attract minority ethnic graduates, and also, that male teachers are choosing not to stay in the profession. At the same time the pay gap is widening, and both minority ethnic and female teachers are conspicuously absent from leadership positions. And we know that lack of representation in our profession cuts across all characteristics. The latest statistics are sobering. Just 35 percent of secondary classroom teachers are male – whilst 60% of head teachers are male. In primary 13 percent of teaching staff are male, compared to 26% of headteachers. Nationally, 87.8 percent of schools do not have a minority ethnic senior leader.

In the north-east and south-west, 81 percent and 80 percent of schools respectively do not have any minority ethnic teachers. 

This does not reflect the diversity of university graduates, but it does reflect the lack of diversity in the creative industries, where we also see a gender gap in leadership and workforce representation.

Let’s be clear, lack of representation is a particularly big issue for art education. In 2017 the Runnymede Trust reported that only 6 percent of art and design teachers were from ethnically diverse communities, which compared to 31 percent of the student population. This compared to 14 percent of the workforce in the same year. We see the gender gap in Art and Design GCSE entries, as fewer boys opt to study our subject.

We must work together to change the face of education, of teaching in our subject, for the good of all. Too many young people are not seeing themselves in the curriculum, or in those they trust to lead their learning – at all levels. Is it any surprise that the patterns of inequity that we see in the profession continue into the industries that we prepare our learners to enter?

All those who work to support teachers know that for many, over the last three years, education has become an even more challenging environment. Pay has been eroded, with a 9 percent decrease in real terms over the last decade, and we hear directly from you, our members, about the reality of education in a pandemic era. But, be assured, NSEAD is here to represent every member, to improve your conditions in the workplace - helping you to keep doing the job that you love.

Michele Gregson

General Secretary


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