Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is launching a project that will support the recruitment of 150 black teachers in science, technology and maths (STEM) subjects in England.
The initiative follows the publication of a report by the Hamilton Commission earlier this year focusing on the lack of diversity within UK motorsport and “identifying the best way to attract black talent to STEM teaching roles”.
The initial two-year programme, in partnership with education charity Teach First, aims to “create a framework the wider education industry can implement”.
The Hamilton Commission report found that just two per cent of teachers in England are from black backgrounds and that almost half the schools in England had no racially diverse teachers at all.
Hamilton said the project “is another step towards addressing barriers preventing young black students’ engagement with STEM, as identified in the Hamilton Commission report”.
“I am incredibly proud to be announcing the first partnership from Mission 44 today,” Hamilton said. “We know representation and role models are important across all aspects of society, but especially when it comes to supporting young people’s development.
“By establishing this partnership, which focuses on identifying the best way to attract black talent to STEM teaching roles, we hope to create a framework the wider education industry can implement. It’s our hope other organisations recruiting teachers will support and join us on our mission to see more diversity in the classroom.”
Dame Vivian Hunt, chair of Teach First, added: “There is an urgent need for quality teachers as we address the educational disadvantage in the poorest communities across the UK.
“The teaching workforce does not reflect the diversity of our pupils and the country – and black teachers remain a significantly underrepresented group in our classroom, creating even more barriers for our black students. This partnership is an opportunity for this to change.
“Recruiting more black STEM teachers over the next two years sends a clear message for black students that they too can aspire to have a successful career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”