Inclusion and diversity in UK ELT: our survey results
25 August 2022

Inclusion and diversity in UK ELT: our survey results

The headline points from our inclusion and diversity survey, conducted in 2021, show that while many respondents describe a positive, inclusive and fair UK ELT sector, there is work to be done.

A positive picture

  • 95% of survey respondents agree or strongly agree that people of all cultures, backgrounds and ages are respected and valued at their ELT organisation.
  • 93% agree that overt or extreme racism is, or would be, addressed in their workplace.
  • Three quarters of respondents report rarely or never experiencing nor witnessing racism or discrimination in the UK ELT sector, and no one describes any form of discrimination as frequent in their workplace.

Work to be done

The survey revealed that over one in ten respondents have witnessed or experienced racism, at least sometimes, at their organisation, rising to almost one in four experiencing racism in the sector.

  • One in five respondents report sometimes, often or frequently experiencing or witnessing some form of discrimination in UK ELT – especially native speakerism, sexism and classism. 
  • More than one in five do not agree that staff are treated equally. 
  • 27% to 40% of respondents report unfairness at work – whether it's favouritism, biased treatment, unfair salaries or in recruitment. 
  • Almost half of respondents think the UK ELT sector is "cliquey."

A divided experience

While one third of survey respondents think racism is 'on the agenda' in the sector, almost just as many disagree. Respondents are almost equally divided on whether they have heard or seen racist or prejudiced language, opinions or behaviour working in UK ELT.

It is clear that, while many find UK ELT positive and supportive, this is not everyone's experience. Some of our UK ELT colleagues experience isolation and face exclusion, prejudice and discrimination.

Taking action

We have made inclusivity one of our core values for the first time and we look forward to working with our members and UK ELT colleagues to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our sector.

Our survey results provide important insights into the specific challenges UK ELT faces, invaluable feedback on our antiracism action plan and thoughtful suggestions and input on our next steps. 


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