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BME teacher highlights importance of role

26/03/2009 Joanna
The importance of having black and minority ethnic (BME) people in teaching jobs has been highlighted by a member of school staff.

Speaking to the Independent, Ameer Sheikh, who is the only black teacher at a secondary school in Sunderland, explained that he is "constantly aware" of his role, when ten per cent of the pupils are from BME backgrounds.

"For the black students, I feel I need to be a role model and for the white students, I feel I need to do my bit in helping them cope in a diverse society," he said.

According to the paper, the number of new entrants from non-white ethnicities in primary and secondary teaching dropped by 12 per cent last year.

And providers are aware of the issue, organising initiatives in an attempt to boost this figure.

One such campaign is at Manchester Metropolitan University, where young teenagers from BME backgrounds are encouraged to consider entering the teaching profession.

In an interview with the Voice recently, Viv Grant, founder of consultancy organisation Integrity Coaching, argued that more career progression support should be offered to BME teachers.
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