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L Lashley

International Journal of Educational Policy Research and Review
ISSN 2360-7076
Vol.5 (2), pp. 31-39 February, 2018
Available online at
Article ID:/18/EPRR/003/09 pages
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.

Original Research Article

A reflection on the professional and cultural experience of migrant teachers: The case of postcolonial Guyanese teachers in British mainstream primary schools

Lidon Lashley1,2

1Department of Foundation and Education Management, Faculty of Education and Humanities, University of Guyana.
2Commonwealth PhD Scholar 2017-2020/Research Student -University of Roehampton, UK

Author’s Email: lidon_lashley(at)

Tel.: + (592) 592 6091891/ + 44 7496187260

date Received: January 17, 2018     date Accepted: February 19, 2018     date Published: February 22, 2018


This study explored the professional and cultural experience of migrant postcolonial Guyanese teachers in British mainstream primary schools. It investigated the experiences of postcolonial Guyanese migrant teachers as they attempt to integrate into British mainstream primary schools. A descriptive survey approach was employed in this study. A qualitative approach was embraced to show new understandings of the lived experience of postcolonial Guyanese migrant teachers. It relied on the first person accounts obtained directly through participant unstructured interviews. The exponential non-discriminative snowball sampling was done to gather ten participants. The study revealed that postcolonial Guyanese mainstream teachers face a lot of bureaucratic hurdles to get into the mainstream systems in the United Kingdom. In addition, those who make it into the system face exploitation, marginalization, xenophobia, constant micromanagement, lost of professional identity, confusion among other stresses. These include having your professional practices constantly assessed by parents, learners and even newly qualified native teachers with less experience and lower qualifications. The professional and cultural experiences of postcolonial Guyanese migrant teachers in mainstream primary schools within the United Kingdom are very challenging. Their professional autonomy is challenged by the bureaucratic and cultural structures of the United Kingdom. Xenophobia has also contributed to some of the challenges postcolonial Guyanese migrant teachers face in mainstreams schools in the United Kingdom. It is recommended that postcolonial Guyanese migrant teachers capitalize on their unique skills and talents to become the most effective teachers with professional integrity and authenticity in practice. This should be backed by their qualification and experiences from postcolonial Guyana. This way, they will make a remarkable impact despite the challenges.

Key words: Postcolonial Guyanese migrant teachers, British mainstream primary schools, Xenophobia migrant teachers’ professional and cultural experiences