The NEU is committed to working with The Hamilton Commission to support and empower young Black people through education, and to widen opportunities.
Commenting on Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport, a report by The Hamilton Commission published by Sir Lewis Hamilton MBE and the Royal Academy of Engineering, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“Sir Lewis Hamilton is one of the UK’s most extraordinarily talented and successful sports stars. His determination and passion to widen opportunities and access to motorsports and his commitment to making change in the industry, and to talking about and challenging racism, is admirable. There are 40,000 jobs across Formula 1 in the UK, and less than 1% are filled by Black people.
"The NEU is immensely proud to have worked alongside Lewis on this Commission. We welcome today’s vital report, with its focus on the support and empowerment of young Black people into engineering careers. The Commission calls for change within education to enable young Black people to visualise what a career in engineering might involve, and to see themselves in those roles.
"The report has insightful and incisive recommendations. There are good ideas about targeted support programmes and best practice guidance for STEM inspiration and outreach engagement with Black students in schools, and their teachers.
"The Commission has pointed to strategic challenges such as the lack of Black teacher role models in STEM subjects and lower entries for Black young people to STEM subjects, such as triple science GCSE - which is often required in order to take STEM subjects at A-Level.
"The NEU is committed to working with The Hamilton Commission to support and empower young Black people through education, and to widen opportunities. This requires us to identify the national policy changes and curriculum development needed across the education system – and to ensure we measure progress.
"We want to enable many more children and young people to study STEM subjects and go into engineering or motorsports if they wish and by showing the varied and rewarding roles on offer in that industry.
"We hope that the Department for Education will seriously consider the education recommendations within this report, including the call for a new exclusions innovation fund to address the factors that contribute to the high proportion of Black students who are being excluded from schools.
"We welcome the decision by the Commission to recommend the NEU Anti-Racism Charter to schools and hope to work with the DfE, other unions and STEM organisations. We think the DfE must provide strong, consistent leadership on race equality in order to raise outcomes and opportunities for young Black people.”
The NEU’s Anti-Racism Charter is available here