IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Retention of teachers from minority ethnic groups in disadvantaged schools

Improving knowledge about the critical policy and practice issues of minority ethnic teacher retention.

The research focused on the under-researched area of minority ethnic teacher retention in disadvantaged schools that we know tend to have high numbers of minority ethnic students. 

This eighteen month project (2019-2020) was funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy through a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

Making progress? Employment and retention of BAME teachers in England

Making progress? Employment and retention of BAME teachers in England report cover. Image: courtesy of the project team.

This report presents the key findings of the research on employment and retention of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) teachers.

Download the report

Our research

Available research suggests that schools in urban deprived areas hire more minority ethnic and young teachers than affluent schools. However, these schools experience higher turnover rates amongst these teachers than with white British teachers.

This project investigated:

  • Where minority ethnic teachers tend to be employed.
  • Why minority ethnic teachers leave schools that employ high numbers of minority ethnic staff and enrol students from similar backgrounds.
  • What should be done to support the retention of minority ethnic teachers.

The research findings are published alongside actionable messages and good practice recommendations. 


This research used critical race methodology - which foregrounds race and racialised experiences in all aspects of the research process.

This methodology provided insight into how other social identities and forms of subordination intersect to affect the experiences of minority ethnic teachers in mainstream schools.

Critical race methodology recognises these experiences as sources of strength.

This methodology is manifest in our:

  • sampling approach
  • narrative and story-driven approach to interviews
  • effort to privilege the knowledge of these teachers by seeking their input in constructing a good practice framework for minority ethnic teacher retention.


Blog posts


Our research findings indicate that a racialised school climate has a significant, direct effect on the retention of minority ethnic teachers. We argue that school leaders and administrators should do more to improve the job satisfaction, well-being and retention of minority ethnic teachers.

We co-produced resources, in collaboration with ASCL Ethnic Diversity Network, to support all school leaders’ efforts to retain and develop BAME teachers in schools across England:

This impact project, funded and hosted by the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research, focused on reviewing and sharing the expertise of school leaders in retaining teachers from minority ethnic groups at different career stages.

Project team