Lewis Hamilton’s charity is launching a partnership aimed at increasing the pool of black science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers in England.
Mission 44, launched by the seven-time Formula 1 world champion earlier this year, has partnered with Teach First to work on research, mentoring and marketing campaigns designed to help recruit 150 black STEM teachers to work in disadvantaged communities across the country.
The hope is that the framework the partnership creates can then be adopted by other educational bodies to further improve diversity in the profession.
The project, which is launched on UNESCO’s World Teachers Day and during Black History Month, follows findings from The Hamilton Commission that highlighted the lack of black STEM teachers as a barrier to students engaging with these subjects.
Mercedes driver Hamilton is keen to help improve diversity in STEM after noting it had been a “lonely path” as a black individual in the F1 industry.
Speaking about the new partnership, Hamilton said: “We know representation and role models are important across all aspects of society, but especially when it comes to supporting young people’s development.
“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.
“It’s our hope other organisations recruiting teachers will support and join us on our mission to see more diversity in the classroom.”
The Hamilton Commission identified that of 500,000 teachers in England, just two per cent were from black backgrounds and that 46 per cent of schools had no racially diverse teachers at all.
The partnership is the first set up by Mission 44. It aims to support, champion and empower young people from underserved groups to succeed through narrowing opportunity gaps in education, employment and wider society.
Its chief executive Jason Arthur said: “Black students deserve to be able to explore the world of possibilities that studying STEM can lead to and, by having more representative teachers in the classroom, we believe that they will be inspired to engage with subjects they are currently underrepresented in.
“Teach First has a proven track record of tackling educational inequality in schools across England and Wales and Mission 44 is grateful to be able to rely on their wealth of experience.