Reported by The Herald – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
Racist behaviour by staff in Scottish schools is going unreported, according to the country’s national teaching watchdog. New figures from the General Teaching Council for Scotland show it only received one report of racist behaviour by a teacher in the past five years, despite growing concern over the issue.
Ken Muir, chief executive of the body, has now called on headteachers, teachers and council officials to urgently improve reporting procedures.
Earlier this year, a major report on the lack of teachers from black and ethnic minority (BME) backgrounds – called Teaching in a Diverse Scotland – highlighted shocking incidents of casual racism in schools.
In one example a white teacher who was mentoring a talented ethnic minority teaching student complained to her university that she smelled of curry.
In another case a teacher at a secondary school with pupils from Pakistan, India and Syria was overheard saying: “I think I am coming into a refugee camp”.
Recent figures show just two per cent of teachers are from BME backgrounds despite making up four per cent of the Scottish population. The figures are even lower for headteachers and deputy heads with 0.6 per cent of the total from BME backgrounds.
Mr Muir said: “In the past five years there has been one referral relating to racism and that didn’t even occur in a school. It involved the removal of a teacher from the register for racially abusing a nightclub bouncer on a Saturday night.