Risks of Covid-19 for Bame teachers in Doncaster significantly higher

Fewer than one in 20 teachers in Doncaster are Bame, new figures show, as campaigners call for them to be prioritised for coronavirus risks assessments because of the increased danger they face.
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Of the 2,569 teachers in Doncaster who provided their ethnicity to the School Workforce Census this year, three per cent identified as Bame, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

But this means the area’s education staff has become less ethnically diverse since 2010-11, the first year for which records are available, when four per cent of it was Bame.

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In contrast, the proportion of Bame teachers has risen across England over this time, from 11 per cent to 14 per cent.

A BAME teacher prepares a classroom for social distancing lessonsA BAME teacher prepares a classroom for social distancing lessons
A BAME teacher prepares a classroom for social distancing lessons

Separate data from the ONS has shown the risk of death involving Covid-19 is “significantly higher” among some ethnic groups than for white people, with black men and women more than four times as likely to die from the disease.

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.

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He added: “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."

Doncaster Council was approached for a comment on the matter.

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