Submission to the Education Committee Inquiry into Teacher Recruitment, Training, and Retention

This inquiry allows us to highlight current difficulties in the recruitment, training, and retention of Muslim teachers and the resultant consequences for Muslim pupils. BAME and particularly Muslim teachers face unique challenges centring on their ethnic, racial, and religious identities, meaning that it is imperative to explore such challenges. Likewise, Muslim pupils are impacted by various challenges underpinned by structural Islamophobia within education and compounded by the lack of Muslim teachers in UK schools. Considering our expertise, we feel that we can provide valuable insights and recommendations to the inquiry pertaining specifically to the experiences of Muslim teachers and pupils.

Muslim communities have the youngest age profile of any demographic group in the UK. Muslims have the youngest average age (27) of any religious group in England and Wales, as roughly one-third of Muslims (33%) are aged below 15 and almost half (48%) below 25. It is reasonable, therefore, to assume that the proportion of Muslims in primary and secondary education will be higher than that of the general population. Consequently, policies that are ineffective in tackling structural inequalities in terms of ethnicity and/or religion across the education system will disproportionately impact Muslim communities due to their over-representation, meaning it is especially important that the nuances of their experiences are considered.

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