Trainee teachers’ perceptions of race, culture and equality in education. One Page Summary

13th November 2016

Halliwell and Gray’s small scale research project looked at trainee teachers’ perceptions of race, culture and equality in education. Trainee teachers are entering a profession that is disproportionately white and where there has been a reluctance to discuss issues of race ethnicity and culture for fear of causing offence. Analysis from the research includes the following conclusions:

  • There is a lack of consensus around terms used to construct identities. Race and Ethnicity are seen as interchangeable. For some, questions around identity are divisive.
  • Perceptions of diversity can be divided between the importance of the promotion of equality and a desire to celebrate differences as part of children’s wider educational development.
  • The use of the word ‘British’ to describe fundamental values in the Teachers’ Standards may be creating a division between trainee teachers’ personal and professional identities as they begin their careers.
  • The move to increased school-based training across all routes has led to a perception that there is insufficient time to discuss issues of race, culture and equality on QTS courses.
  • There is a need for further research to unpick how trainee teachers’, teachers’ and pupils’ perceptions impact on experiences and learning beyond SATs and GCSE results.
  • The barriers to the profession and within the profession for teachers from ethnic minority communities need to be addressed to end underrepresentation.


The researchers will be available to discuss their work on Monday 28th November from 18:30 in Birmingham. The venue (TBC) will be a pub of café and all interested are welcome to attend, regardless of their role in education.

If you would like further information, please contact the researchers at:

Justin Gray –

Or on Twitter @HopeStreetBlues and @Ezzy_Moon


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