Miller, Paul (2016) ‘White sanction’, institutional, group & individual interaction in the promotion, progression of BME academics and teachers in England. Power and Education, 8 (3). pp. 205-221. ISSN 1757-7438

The participation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) teachers and academics in the UK’s education system has been a source of much research and debate. Similarly, the progression of BME teachers and academics in senior roles in educational institutions has been a source for much research and debate. Despite debates and research evidence however, the progression for BME teachers and academics remains a deep rooted and continuing struggle at the individual and group levels. Put differently, BME teachers and academics are far more likely to occupy entry level and junior roles in schools (Earley et al, 2012) and universities (Bhopal & Jackson, 2009; Equality Challenge Unit, 2014) for what appear to be no other reason but their ethnic/ racial profiles.
In any educational institution, the promotion, progression of staff is arguably a complex affair4 subject to much speculation about why and how some individuals progress and why and how others do not. Nevertheless, the progression, promotion of BME staff is a simultaneously complex and fraught issue – underpinned by decades and histories of racial inequality in the United Kingdom and in its education system. On the one hand, the struggle for promotion, progression among all teachers and academics, is a personal one, associated with each individual’s quest to be successful in life and in their careers. On the other hand, however, the struggle for promotion, progression among BME staff is a struggle not only for their success but also for mutual recognition at individual and group levels, and for equality. The continuing struggle for mutual recognition and equality in terms of promotion, progression among BME teachers and academics have led them question the usefulness of national and institutional apparatuses believed to be in place genuinely advancing
equality and diversity, when in fact, evidence continues to confirm that whereas White teachers and academics continue to progress in their careers, the promotion, progression of BME teachers and academics has remained more or less flatlined. This paper examines, in an integrated analysis, BME promotion, progression among school teachers and university academics in England.

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