There is a plethora of research evidence to suggest that Black and minority ethnic students remain disadvantaged in education; this takes place at all levels. Black pupils are more likely to be excluded in schools and when making the transition to higher education they are less likely to attend elite and Russell Group universities, less likely to gain a 2:1 or first class degree and are more likely to drop out of university than their peers. Racism has been identified as a key factor that affects student experiences both in schools and higher education. In order to address and challenge the manifestation and practices of racism, these must firstly be addressed at school level. Young people should be taught in environments which are open to challenge and address issues of inequality, marginalisation and exclusion. In this podcast I discuss how schools – notably teachers – can work to challenge and address racism. I suggest that it is every teacher’s responsibility – regardless of their ethnic background – to think about, teach about and understand issues of racism.
Kalwant Bhopal is professor of education and social justice in the Centre for Research in Race and Education, School of Education.