FE set to tackle “institutionalised racism”

The
Association of Colleges (AoC) says further education (FE) is the only part of
the education sector ready to tackle "institutionalised racism" by
putting itself forward for open self-examination.

A
new report, Further Education Colleges Leading the Way on Racial Equality,
launched by the Commission for Black Staff in Further Education, claims work is
already being done across FE colleges to end institutionalised racism and show
the way forward.

David
Gibson, CEO, Association of Colleges, said: "We know the FE sector takes
racism extremely seriously and is already actively addressing the issues.
Funding can’t be an excuse for not tackling racism but FE colleges can’t make
significant progress in black staffing levels unless backed by an increase in
finance from the Government."

He
added: "One of the commission’s immediate moves will be to establish a
pilot scheme for the professional development of black staff. That action is
greatly welcomed by the AoC."

Although
8 per cent of the population in England is from a minority ethnic group, the
report reveals black staff make up only 6.9 per cent of FE staff nationally.

The
report shows that while more than half of FE colleges have developed specific
equality procedures to address the recruitment, induction and progression of
staff, black staff are significantly under represented in senior management.

By Quentin Reade

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