Teach First to offer lesson in ‘name blind’ recruitment

The discussion will be led by Prime Minister David Cameron, and the charity will deliver insights into its name-blind recruitment scheme, which it has used for six years.

Under the system, Teach First removed application information such as: Name, date of birth, address, gender, ethnicity, disability, peer group, primary or secondary school and university.

Teach First have claimed that since they introduced name-blind recruitment, the diversity of staff has increased. Data shows that among this years recruits, 15 per cent are black and minority ethic graduates, double the proportion of the whole teaching workforce.

Other organisations attending the discussion will include multinational firm Deloitte, KPMG and HSBC, as well as representatives of the NHS, BBC and the civil services. Jointly, the organisations are responsible for employing 1.8 million people.

The Prime Minister spoke about discrimination in his speech to the Conservative Party conference. Cameron cited research which found that people with white-sounding names were nearly twice as likely to be called back for jobs than candidates with ethnic-sounding names.

He said: “I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country."

James Darley, Teach First’s executive director of graduate recruitment, praised the initiative, saying it signified a ‘great day’ for graduates.

He said: “We know our community of teachers needs to represent the communities they serve, so it is critical our processes are as fair as possible. At the same time we have made a concerted effort to ensure we are proactively recruiting from a bigger pool of potential leaders; together the impact has been profound.

“But we cannot be complacent. We are now researching a range of options to understand and recognise applicants who have faced significant educational barriers and still gone on to achieve success at degree level.”

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