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‘Being black in education does matter’

The fact that BAME teachers face barriers to taking up leadership positions should be a national scandal – but it isn’t, writes headteacher Angela Browne. It’s time for the education system as a whole to face up to the uncomfortable truth that unconscious bias is holding back teachers from minority groups

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I always resisted the idea that I could be of service to children just because I looked like them. As a black woman who grew up on Dartmoor, I had little in common with the children I taught in inner-city Bristol. It would have been presumptuous and inauthentic to assume an understanding of the context some of my pupils were growing up within, just because we had a similar skin colour.

Yet, there was always a quiet acknowledgement and an air of relief among certain pupils – the black pupils – when they knew it was me, rather than a non-black colleague, who would be intervening in a potentially ...

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