Tackling Racism on School Placements - T. Basit, A. Kenward and L. Roberts (Dec 2005)

Racism is still a reality in the life of some minority ethnic student teachers/trainees. HEIs and partnership schools have an equal opportunities policy, but not a separate antiracism policy.

The aims of this study were to:

  • Identify and report on student teachers'/trainees’ experiences of racism on school placements during teacher training.
  • Document school responses to racist incidences against the student teacher/trainee and the student teacher's/trainee’s views on how these were dealt with.
  • Identify examples of effective practice that tackle racism encountered by student teachers/trainees on school experience.

Minority ethnic student teachers/trainees, placement school mentors and heads of ITE programmes at the three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) were interviewed for this study.

Key findings include:

  • Minority ethnic student teachers/trainees do experience racism on school placements.
  • Racism in schools is frequently in the form of verbal abuse from pupils, though there are instances of physical violence as well.
  • Racism from mentors is usually in the form of lack of support for trainees, prejudice and low expectations.
  • Heads of programmes at HEIs are approachable and supportive when student teachers/trainees report instances of racism.
  • Most placement school mentors are supportive when student teachers/trainees report racist incidents, though some tend to trivialise them.

Tehmina Basit University of Leicester
Ann Kenward, University of Sussex
Lorna Roberts, Manchester Metropolitan University



mentor school experience anti racist policy

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