Minority staff still scarce

21st January 2005 at 00:00
Further education colleges are accused of having a worse record than the police in the recruitment and development of black and ethnic-minority staff.

Of the 400 chief superintendents in the police force, under fire for its institutional racism, 10 are black. Of the 480 FE colleges in the UK, only seven have black principals.

Robin Landman, executive director of the Network for Black Managers, said:

"FE has many lessons to learn from the police. It has a long way to go before it matches the police service in recruiting and developing black people.

"The police force has been exposed to more public scrutiny and responded appropriately when a compliance order was slapped on it by the Commission for Racial Equality.

"It would require the direct intervention of the CRE to have the same impact on our sector. We have still got a mountain to climb."

He said there are only 58 black and ethnic-minority staff in colleges who can reasonably expect to apply for principalships. "That is very poor," he added.

"The corporations of colleges in London and the West Midlands need to be challenged to see what they are doing in this respect. It is important for the Learning and Skills Council to take a more forthright role."

Stella Mbubaegbu, the UK's first black woman principal, said colleges outside the large conurbations are often more open about their appointment procedures.

"London colleges have had the longest history of race equality and equal opportunity policies, but often the politics of appointments are more complex in the cities.

"I am proud of Hampshire. It has appointed myself and June Jarrett as the only two black women principals in the country. I'm proud it has an openness in appointing the best people."

The remaining five black and minority ethnic principals are Wally Brown at Liverpool community college, Daniel Khan at Grimsby, Maxine Room at Swansea, Sujinder Sangha at Stockton Riverside college and Satnam Gill at the Working Men's college in London.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today