Discrimination: Teach First offers lesson in ‘name blind’ recruitment

Teach First is to share its experience of recruiting on a “name blind” basis with some of the country’s leading public and private sector organisations as they bid to tackle discrimination.

The charity will today attend a round-table discussion led by prime minister David Cameron to offer insights into name-blind recruitment, which it has used for six years.

Under its recruitment system Teach First removes the following:

  • Name, date of birth, address, gender, ethnicity, disability disclosure.
  • Peer group (student / finalist / recent graduate / career changer).
  • Primary or secondary school attended.
  • School type (fee-paying / non fee-paying).
  • University.

According to Teach First, since it introduced name-blind recruitment the diversity of staff has increased. Among this year’s cohort 15 per cent are black and minority ethnic graduates – double the proportion of the whole teaching workforce.

The organisations that will attend today’s discussion and hear from Teach First, include multinational firms Deloitte, KPMG and HSBC as well as the likes of the NHS, BBC and the civil service. Jointly, they are responsible for employing 1.8 million people.

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference, the prime minister cited research showing that people with white-sounding names were nearly twice as likely to be called back for jobs than candidates with ethnic-sounding names.

“I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country,” Mr Cameron said today.

James Darley, Teach First’s executive director of graduate recruitment, said this was “a great day” for graduates.

“We know our community of teachers needs to represent the communities they serve, so it is critical our processes are as fair as possible,” he said. “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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