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Calls to protect Bucks' BAME teachers

Figures show 17% of teachers in the area identify at Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 1:56pm 6th July 2020. 3-minute read.

Calls to protect Bucks' BAME teachers

Campaigners want teachers in Buckinghamshire to be protected as they return to work. 

Figures show that this year 17% of teachers in Buckinghamshire schools identify as BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).

This is up from 10% in 2010-11, which is the first year records are available. 

Buckinghamshire is about the national average with currently stands at 14%. 

However, as figures from the Office for National Statistics show the risk of death involving Covid-19 is “significantly higher” among some ethnic groups than for white people

However, amid the concerns over coronavirus campaigners are calling for them to be prioritised when it comes to protective coronavirus measures. 

A report from BAMEed, a group which is attempting to diversify the teaching sector, says a “bespoke health and wellbeing offer” is needed for Bame workers:

 “Risk assessment should be carried out for all staff, but especially for BAME staff as a priority, so that a personalised risk mitigation plan can be put in place for each member of staff.

“Measures to reduce exposure to risk must be implemented as a priority to protect the lives of staff and students.”

Priority testing, relocation to lower risk areas and continuation of home working are some things they want considered.

A survey by the NASUWT teaching union found BAME teachers were more likely to say they did not feel safe about the reopening of schools.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of NASUWT, said the union has “serious concerns” about the racial disparities in Covid-19 deaths.

He said:

“This is the consequence of a failure by Government to put racial justice firmly on its agenda in response to the pandemic and the failure of school and college employers to recognise the need to race equality-proof their plans for keeping teachers and other school staff safe and to treat BAME teachers with sensitivity, dignity and respect.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said further guidance will be published in the coming days on a full return to school in September for all pupils.

She said:

“We have provided clear guidance for schools on measures to take to reduce risk of virus transmission when they begin welcoming back further pupils.

“Schools should be especially sensitive to the needs and worries of BAME members of staff, BAME parents and BAME pupils and should consider if any additional measures or reasonable adjustments may need to be put in place to mitigate concerns if helpful."

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