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The representation and retention in the teaching profession is lower for people from all minority ethnic groups in England. The most significant ethnic disparities occur in the early career stages (Worth et al. 2022).

In this presentation, Dr Tereshchenko and Wiggins will share the findings of their research on PGCE students’ experiences of racial microaggressions while learning to teach and the implications for retention in the profession. Inter-racial encounters are prone to microaggressions defined as ‘subtle insults (verbal, non-verbal, and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously’ (Solorzano et al. 2000).

This presentation uses interview and survey data from school placements, as well as university elements of the programme, to illustrate how microaggressive experiences impair minority ethnic student teachers’ thoughts on viability in the teaching profession.

This research was funded by the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research at UCL, and involved a wider team of colleagues at UCL and Brunel University.


Dr Antonina Tereshchenko is Lecturer in Education on the MA Education at Brunel University London. Previously, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research at UCL Institute of Education.

Alison Wiggins is Subject Leader for both PGCE Social Sciences and PGCE Psychology at UCL, the race and inclusion lead on the Secondary PGCE programme, as well as a tutor on the MA Education.