Black Teachers Connect was started as Rhia embarked into her training year as a teacher at the IOE. As she made my applications for ITT, she couldn’t find many Black teachers to share their experiences and to gain advice from. This surprised her but also gave her the motivation to investigate further. Figures obtained by the Department for Education (DfE) show just 7.6% of teachers in state schools in England are from an ethnic minority background compared with almost 25% of pupils. If we break down figures even further, Black teachers, specifically those from an African or Caribbean background, make up around 2.5% of the teacher workforce here in the UK. This has increased by around 0.5% since we began Black Teachers Connect. The statistics are shocking, but they also relate to why people may have had such few Black teachers growing up; Rhia only had two.
As a result of this Rhia started to think about how great it would be to have a safe space for Black teachers and those who work in education to come together, to speak, to vent, to share resources, and genuinely just have fun. So, she decided to create Black Teachers Connect. Black Teachers Connect is a community interest company for Black teachers and those that work in education. Although based in the UK, our community of teachers spans worldwide.
We focus on giving Black educators the space to connect, learn and inspire one another. Since starting, we have had the opportunities to work with the BBC and Huffington Post, raising the awareness of the lack of Black educators and the impact that this can have on students.
We have worked with trainee teachers and NQT’s through hosting our popular NQT webinar and we have had the pleasure of hosting an SEN workshop to help teachers with tailoring to the different needs of students in their classrooms. We host engaging and thought-provoking conversations via IGTV called the Leadership Series. We also continue to release our monthly newsletter. We continue to support teachers behind the scenes with issues and problems they may be facing in their schools whilst hosting a range of events to help support both the personal and professional development of Black teachers and staff.
We also offer a range of services to both schools and teachers. Look around our website to learn more.