Black Teacher Network

Shaping Change for Black teachers in education

ACEN’s BTN is, first and foremost, a friendly space for Black teachers to network, to provide emotional and moral support for one another, and to share resources, teaching materials, job opportunities, and receive advice and counsel from the African and Caribbean Education Network.  Our network is open to all teachers of African Caribbean heritage up and down the country, and is fast growing into the largest & most connected network for Black teachers in the UK.
We are a solution-oriented group who remain committed to working with our schools, with our parent networks at ACEN, and with each other to secure better inclusion and belonging for Black teachers.
Working as a Black teacher in many schools in the United Kingdom can be a rewarding experience and the opportunity to make a huge difference in our schools and communities.
We also know that by championing Black teachers we champion anti-racism in schools because teachers are often at the frontline of anti-racism work. Similarly, we recognise that increasing representation of Black role models in education plays a part in this work.
However, we also know that for a Black teacher, the job can feel isolating and brings with it unique challenges, as well as opportunities. Many in our network recognise a shared experience of racism that affects our sense of belonging, inclusion, and wellbeing. Many of us also recognise that in addition to the normal challenges and demands of any professional teacher, Black teachers often bear an invisible burden in terms of having to navigate racism or help their students navigate racism, or in supporting their schools’ anti-racist work.
The network exists to remind teachers that they have friends and support and partners both inside and outside their schools.

 

WHAT WE DO

We organise informal meet-ups on at least a termly basis to network, socialise, and share. We remain in touch with each other through social media platforms.
The BTN is also piloting a new Black Teachers Leadership Programme to address the lack of black representation at Senior Leadership in the Independent Sector.
We are also piloting an NQT mentorship Scheme to secure better support and inclusion of newly qualified black teachers.
Members get discounted access to the ACEN’s annual Antiracism Conference and priority booking for ACEN’s sponsored Black Teachers’ Networking dinner.

 

THE BLACK TEACHERS’ SURVEY

The Black Teachers’ Survey can help ACEN secure better outcomes for Black students and teachers. Please take 10 mins to COMPLETE THE SURVEY.

 

MEMBERSHIP

Membership includes
– Discounted access to ACEN’s annual conference
– Invitation to all Black Teachers’ Network meetups
– Access to Black Teachers Leadership Programme for eligible candidates
– Access to Black NQT Mentorship Scheme  
– Early bird access to job postings that have been placed with ACEN 
– Access to resources on the Black Teachers Hub
Membership to the network is free. To sign up and access our WhatsApp group, newsletter please REGISTER HERE.
The ACEN Teacher Network is chaired by Dr. Malcolm Cocks. For any BTN inquiries please contact him at malcolm@aceducationnetwork.com.
He also sits on ACEN’s Advisory Board alongside Dr. Nick Dennis and Allana Gay, all advising on Black Teacher Initiatives, Research, Education, Training, and Policy.
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Dr Malcolm Cocks
Malcolm is an Inclusion expert and English Teacher with 15 years’ experience. He is on the advisory board for the African and Caribbean Education Network with a particular focus on Research, Policy, and Teaching & Learning.
He is also on the Steering Group for the Schools’ Inclusion Alliance and remains committed to helping schools foster anti-racist cultures and champions the inclusion of pupils and teachers with African and Caribbean heritage. 
Malcolm has worked as a teacher or Inclusion Lead in some of London’s most prominent Independent Schools. Educated in Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, he studied for his BA at Oxford and his PhD at King’s College, London. He has lectured in Literature and Visual Cultures at the University of London and in 2014, he was elected to a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Shakespeare’s Globe. 
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Allana Gay
Allana Gay is a teacher, education advisor, and speaker. She started teaching and leading within inner-city London secondary schools and is currently the Headmistress of Vita et Pax Preparatory School.
Allana cofounded BAMEed Network in 2017 with the aim of bringing attention and action to the issue of ethnic diversity throughout the education sector. As a recognisable figure for BAMEed, Allana works on the overarching strategy of normalising full ethnic presence through all areas and institutions of education.
Allana maintains keen interest and activity in the teaching profession. From deepening primary secondary partnership to improving recruitment to diversifying curricula, she has written for various publications, regularly presents these ideas at conferences and in the media. 
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Dr Nick Dennis
Nick Dennis is currently the Director of Studies and Head of Politics at St. Francis College, Letchworth.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Schools History Project and a co-presenter of a series of documentary films for the World History Project.
Nick has also authored a number of articles/resources on history education, diversity, and leadership. His blog can be found at www.nickdennis.com