Unconscious bias training for all teaching staff
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Numerous studies confirm that unconscious bias affects the educational outcomes of children. Unconscious bias or implicit bias refers to the attitudes and stereotypes that unconsciously affect people’s perceptions, actions and decisions (Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity).
As these biases play out in our classrooms, they have devastating effects on the educational outcomes of children and young people, particularly Black children and young people, and contribute to the persistent attainment gap between these children and their [non-Black] peers:
Black Caribbean pupils were permanently excluded at three times the rate of White British pupils;
Black and Mixed pupils were the most likely to be permanently excluded and to have a fixed term exclusion;
Over 34,900 Black children/young people (including Mixed White/Black) were excluded during the 2016/2017 academic year
In addition to the disportionate rate of exclusion mentioned above, unconscious bias can impact:
Teacher beliefs - Underestimating the intellectual capacity of Black children and young people
Tracking - Black children placed in lower sets throughout their school careers.
The government says it wants to provide children’s services and education that ensure opportunity is equal for all, no matter what their background or family circumstances therefore it must start with ensuring that teachers are equipped to recognise their own biases and are supported to intervene when they see these biases play out in our classrooms.
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