Diversity in primary and early years teaching has barely progressed in the last five years, new figures have revealed.
Just 11.4% of state-funded nursery and primary teachers identified as coming from Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
The figure is way below that for the national population, which is 14% - and has increased by just 1% in the last five years.
The stats were released to Acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey in response to a Parliamentary Question.
They also revealed just 2.6% of state-funded nursery and primary teachers identified as black.
Nationally, 3.3% of the population identify as black.
Sir Ed said: “Progress on diversity in teaching young children is moving at a snail’s pace. Young children need to see teachers in their school’s that reflect the diverse Britain that we know and love.
“We have rightly seen calls to diversify the curriculum and to teach some of the past racial injustices that have occurred.
“However, we must also recognise the injustices that still occur and that BAME and particularly black teachers are struggling to be recruited into nursery and primary education.
“The Education Secretary needs to jump-start a recruitment drive that brings diversity into the classroom of our youngest children.”
The Department for Education said the figures were based only on teachers who provided their ethnicity, so the sample size may have been smaller than expected for the population.
A spokesperson said: “We are working to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce and have improved pathways into the profession, increasing the proportion of teacher trainees from minority ethnic groups.
“We know there is more to do and will continue our work to further increase diversity in the profession.”