Lewis Hamilton launches scheme to increase number of black STEM teachers

F1 star Sir Lewis Hamilton is launching a partnership to boost the recruitment of black teachers in science, technology and maths (STEM) subjects.

The initiative follows the findings from the Hamilton Commission Report, which the seven-time F1 world champion compiled to address the lack of diversity in UK motorsport.

It concluded that from 500,000 teachers in England, only 2% of teachers were from black backgrounds and that 46% of schools in the country have no racially diverse teachers at all.

The new two-year programme, set-up by Hamilton's Mission 44 scheme, will run in partnership with education charity Teach First, and is designed to explore different methods to identify the best practices when recruiting black STEM teachers.

The goal of the scheme is to assist the recruitment and training of 150 black STEM teachers to work in schools serving disadvantaged communities in England.

In a released statement Hamilton, 36, said the project "is another step towards addressing barriers preventing young black students" engagement with STEM, as identified in the Hamilton Commission report.

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He continued: "We know representation and role models are important across all aspects of society, but especially when it comes to supporting young people's development."

The project has been launched today on UNESCO’s World Teachers Day and coincides with Black History Month, and the Mercedes driver hopes it will ultimately lead to more diversity in classrooms.

“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," he continued.

“It’s our hope other organisations recruiting teachers will support and join us on our mission to see more diversity in the classroom.”

Mission 44 was a foundation set-up by Hamilton in 2017 with the goal of supporting, championing and empowering young people from underrepresented groups in the UK to succeed.

The foundation's official Twitter account added: "There aren’t enough Black STEM teachers in England. Almost half of schools in England don’t have any ethnic minority teachers in their classrooms. We're delighted to be partnering with to recruit and train more Black STEM teachers."

In September, Hamilton footed the bill for several emerging young black designers to attend the 2021 Met Gala in New York, in an effort to shine the spotlight on their work.

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