Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup - minutes: August 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 24 August 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Nuzhat Uthmani (Chair), Acting Principal Teacher and EIS Chair Anti-Racist Sub Committee
  • Asif Chishti (Co-Chair), Senior Education Officer (National Race Diversity Lead), General Teaching Council Scotland
  • Louise Barrett, SCDE
  • Selma Augestad, National Officer, Equality, EIS
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Professional Learning and Leadership (Race Equality), Education Scotland 
  • Andrea Reid, Glasgow City Council and ADES
  • Zemeta Chefeke, SAMEE
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland
  • Judith Ballantine Equalities in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Emma Bunting, Equalities in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Pauline Hendry, Equalities in Education Team, Scottish Government


  • Judith Mohamed, Head teacher
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Years Workforce Team, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Nuzhat welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted apologies. 

Minutes and update on actions from the previous meeting

Nuzhat advised that there had been no comments to the minute of the June meeting. No comments were raised at the meeting and the minute was agreed. 

Action update:

  • actions 1 – 3 were taken together: (1) Scott Sutherland to circulate information relating to ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ (2) Emma to add Developing the Young Workforce session to the August agenda. (3) Scott Sutherland to speak with SDS about the practicalities of running a DYW session ahead of the August meeting. Pauline Hendry to link up with Scott and the DITPEW chair(s) ahead of the August meeting re the group’s input. – All closed, covered under agenda item 5
  • actions 4-7 were taken together: (4) DITPEW members to look into discussion with legal/HR reps around the legalities and practicalities of positive actions. (5) Asif to link in with Simon Cameron and ADES ahead of the August meeting to discuss what is required to deliver a session on the practicalities and legalities of positive action. (6) Emma to schedule meeting of mini working group (including Asif, Simon and Andrea) to organise HR/Legal session on positive actions. (7) Emma to add HR/Legal session on positive actions to the August agenda after Nuzhat’s item on GCC’s actions. – All closed, covered under agenda item 9
  • actions 8 – 13 were taken together: (8) Emma to draft reference to the whole school approach document and employers guidance to the DITPEW action grid. (9) Emma to update action grid to reflect the change in terminology from ‘good practice’ to ‘emerging practice’. (10) Emma to pick up, as secretariat, with Selma, Nuzhat and Asif to consider the best chairing arrangement and to discuss practicalities. (11) Emma to update ToR and circulate to members for comment. (12) Emma to put next 6 months’ worth of meetings into calendars. (13) Emma to invite SG data colleagues to future DITPEW meeting. – all closed. 
  • action 14 - Selma to update members at June meeting as to the progress of EIS posters/infographic related to underrepresentation. – remains open
  • action 16 - Nuzhat to share paper that she has compiled for Glasgow City Council on behalf of EIS’ Glasgow BAME network – Closed, covered under agenda item 8
  • action 17 - Emma to ask SG data colleagues whether we have ethnicity data for the teaching assistant population. – Closed, at present this information is not collected
  • action 18 - Mélina to gather and collate DITPEW members’ comments on the RRI whole school approach document and to take back to the RRI subgroup. – Remains open

Terms of reference and action grid

Nuzhat flagged the changes to the terms of reference and action grid that Emma has made since the June meeting. Members did not raise any concerns. 

Asif suggested that the action drivers under action 2(c) should be changed to ITE providers and SCDE.

Action – Emma to update action grid to amend drivers for action 2(c)

Update on engagement with children and young people

Nuzhat invited Judith Ballantine to update on the REAREP’s engagement with children and young people. 

Judith explained that that Scottish Government had provided funding to Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) to manage a contract for engaging with children and young people on behalf of the REAREP. Unfortunately SRtRC were unable to deliver the work as stipulated in the contract and as such it was brought to an end. Judith advised that the intellectual property and data from that contract remains the property of the REAREP and that we can continue to utilise it. 

Action – Emma to send members final minutes from contract with CRtRC and their engagement with children and young people. 

Members asked what the timeline is for future engagement with children and young people. Judith advised that the timeline is as soon as possible. Currently consideration is being given to what engagement is already ongoing with children and young people and whether there is scope for the REAREP to piggy back on this, given that we know that consultation fatigue amongst children and young people is a real issue. 

Update on developing the young workforce events

Nuzhat invited Pauline Hendry to update on the work that she and Scott Sutherland have been doing with regards to a potential DYW event(s).

Pauline and Scott met with the team that lead on the DYW and had a discussion around the mechanics of running a session on their platform. There seems to be lots of flexibility, there are no hard deadlines to submit an application. Scott’s team are looking into running a series of events focussing on early learning and childcare that will be aimed at a range of different ages, the focus being on career pathways into the profession. Pauline suggested that the DITPEW group might consider doing something similar. 

Pauline explained that the platform used is e-Sgoil. It was originally developed to address teacher shortage in the Western Isles but has since been used nation-wide. We, as session organisers, would engage directly with teachers who would then deliver the session to learners. The group would need to do communication around the session with local authorities and schools to encourage engagement with the session. 

Pauline gave an example of sessions that are run in the side-chat of the meeting.

Nuzhat reflected that 1 session could be considered tokenistic and not overly useful, would be better to consider a series of sessions. 

Asif suggested that the group needs to consider which parts of the system are responsible for encouraging young people into the profession. Operationally it’s quite complex, with there being a role for a number of bodies including but not limited to Scottish Government, GTCS and ITE providers. 

Pauline advised that there is no cost associated with running a session(s). 

Nuzhat advised that we need to think carefully about the content of any session to ensure that it addresses the issue of underrepresentation. Need to look at the benefits of a diverse workforce. 

Action – Pauline to set up a meeting with Scott, Nuzhat and Asif to discuss further. 

Scottish Learning Festival session update

Nuzhat invited Mélina Valdelièvre to update the group on progress with regards to the session being run as part of the Scottish Learning Festival, entitled “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See: Improving the Experience of Early Career Minority Ethnic Educators”. 

Mélina advised that several speakers have been agreed for the session, which will take place virtually on Wednesday 21 September at 14:00. 

The agreed purpose of the session is to act as a call for action. Asif and Nuzhat will co-chair the session. Khadija Mohamed will speak to her understanding of the applications process and the barriers that minority ethnic individuals face, as well as to her ITE framework. Asif will then speak about better support for probationers. Nuzhat will share information and examples of the positive action work in Glasgow City Council. The session will end with Asif and Nuzhat summarising the call to action and signposting support mechanisms. 

To date it has not been possible to find a probationer that is able and willing to speak to their experiences. Nuzhat suggested that she may have an individual within her own school that she can approach. 

Action – Nuzhat to engage with probationer teacher around the Scottish Learning Festival session. 

Khadija had been trying to identify an individual through SAMEE but there has been no update on this so far. 

Andrea suggested it might be worth linking in with the Early Careers Lead too, her name is Jill Haywood. 

EIS recruitment and selection survey

Nuzhat invited Selma Augestad to deliver a presentation on a recent EIS survey of local authorities’ recruitment practices pertaining to Black and minority ethnic teachers. Overall 26 local authorities responded. 

Selma outlined that the survey asked local authorities 5 key questions:

  • has an equality impact assessment of recruitment practices been carried out? 
  • what is the local authority’s process for appointing a recruitment panel and is any anti-racism or equality training required? 
  • what is the local authority’s process for selection and appointment? 
  • what is the local authority’s process for offering feedback to unsuccessful candidates?
  • does the local authority have any plans to address underrepresentation of Black and minority ethnic teachers, including within promoted posts? 

Selma summarised the high level findings. She has shared in greater detail the feedback from local authorities who appear to have emerging practice in this area, with Asif as part of his role, in order for him to follow up directly. 

13 local authorities responded that they are currently undergoing a review of, or have recently reviewed their recruitment practices. Eight suggested that they had done so specifically to seek to address the underrepresentation of Black and minority ethnic individuals or pertaining to the protected characteristic of ‘race’. Five were in the process of/had recently conducted a survey of Black and minority ethnic applicants or employees. Whilst seven had specific plans in place to address the barriers to recruitment for Black and minority ethnic people (most of these not specific to teaching but council-wide),19 had no specific plans in place. 

There is some indication that local authorities are considering the underrepresentation of Black and minority ethnic teachers under their wider equality commitment, this caused some concerns with members. It seems that disaggregated demographic data from the Teacher Census is not regularly used within improvement planning. 

It was considered positive that some local authorities appear to be engaging in emerging practice in this area, for example in collecting surveys of their Black and minority ethnic staff. Members are clear that a greater awareness of the benefits of diversity and the responsibility of all in achieving this would help. 

Selma advised that EIS are working on guidance for EIS Local Association Secretaries on how to follow up on this work and around what the role of EIS is with regards to encouraging emerging practice and how to use the available data to push for additional action and commitment (e.g. highlighting the benefits of a diverse workforce and raising awareness of lived experiences within the workplace and Scottish Government targets).

Asif reflected that this feedback from the EIS survey was very rich and informative data and he thanks EIS for carrying out this work. 

Update on the positive action measures taken by Glasgow City Council

Nuzhat spoke to the paper circulated ahead of the meeting relating to the positive action measures being taken by Glasgow City Council (GCC). 

EIS Glasgow BAME Network carried out a short survey on behalf of GCC to assess the effectiveness of the positive action measures that were put in place in session 2021-22. In total 26 responses were received. 

General messages were as below:

  • there was a lack of effective communication with regards to the measures, with many members being unaware of the initiative
  • there was insufficient groundwork around raising awareness of the need for positive action, this led to colleagues avoiding applying due to potential criticism from white colleagues who don’t fully understand the provisions in the Equality Act
  • there is considered to be a lack of progression in terms of moving from a Principal Teacher role towards Deputy Head/Headship roles

Nuzhat spoke to this last point. At present GCC only has one deputy head teacher who identifies as Black or minority ethnic. There is a real sense from Black and minority ethnic teachers that there is no route for progression after these posts. 

Nuzhat has recently met with Douglas Hutchison to discuss the initiative. He was very engaged and supportive of the positive action measures and seems to understand well the need for greater diversity within the workforce. He is keen that a communications strategy be developed to mitigate the risk of individuals being unaware of the scheme or the reason for the initiative. 

During the 2021-22 session, SAMEE had offered a workshop on interview techniques, Nuzhat was encouraged that a similar session was this time organised by Glasgow City Council’s HR dept for session 2022-23.

Some consideration is being given to ‘what next’ – mooted that there may be scope of a similar scheme within deputy headship roles. If not then there may be merit in a mentoring/sponsorship type scheme. 

Lesley Whelan asked whether it would be possible to share this information with other local authorities to provide some stimulus for them to consider their approaches? Andrea Reid suggested that conversations are taking place and that the key here will be to engage ADES as that will open up the conversation. 

Asif suggested that the work he is doing around a sponsorship offer would dovetail with all of this. He is considering the actions of GCC and ad hoc conversations are taking place but there is a need for a consistent position with regards to the advice that is being given out around positive action. 

Mélina suggested that Edinburgh University are currently looking at the teacher leadership programme, it would be good to join up the approaches and learn from one another. Need to consider if there are ways to address multiple barriers.

Update on practicalities and legalities of positive actions workshop

Nuzhat invited Asif to update the group on progress with regards to a workshop on the legalities and practicalities of positive actions.

There has been an initial meeting to discuss this session. The target audience is likely to include education senior officials with a remit for teacher recruitment, local authority lawyers, solicitors, ADES, SPDS and perhaps professional associations and unions. 

The speakers identified include – Andrea and/or Douglas from GCC to speak to what’s happening in Glasgow, an employment lawyer specialising in the Equality Act provisions. Asif suggested that feelers have been put out but that a legal expert has not yet been identified. Asif suggested perhaps approaching GTCS or EIS lawyers to see if they know of any suitable individuals/bodies. 

There is no date in mind at this stage, it is important to identify speakers first. 

Simon Cameron wasn’t at the meeting but Asif suggested that he may be able to update as he was planning to informally approach local authorities who were reticent of taking action similar to that of GCC to find out what their specific concerns are around positive actions. 

Mélina suggested that, whilst the event could be badged as a DITPEW event, it might be worth linking in with the other workstreams particularly those with strong leadership themes. 

Any other business


Asif has been working on a detailed workplan, in line with the group’s action grid. He has badged his activity under three headings:


This work will be informed by Khadija’s ITE framework and engaging with ITE institutions. He is also looking at self-evaluation and accreditation. 

He is doing work around the last set of data that came out, particularly looking at the key drop off point following probation. 


This bit of work is largely around raising awareness of the 4% by 2030 target and the actions that will be needed to meet this.


This focusses on positive action. He is currently developing a sponsorship approach, using the Glasgow model to inform this. Important to recognise however that this approach won’t work for everyone. He is clear that messaging around sponsorship needs to be clear. This is not a deficit model. It is not about upskilling minority ethnic teachers but rather about breaking down institutional barriers and creating opportunities. 

Andrea suggested that Asif get in touch with Alison Mitchell at Glasgow University. She may be able to offer some guidance around mentoring.

Mélina raised that in order to address the drop off after probation we need to be looking at workforce wellbeing. Lots of good work being done in this space by SAMEE. 

Lesley suggested that looking at Stepping Stones within the Supporting the Workforce Wellbeing Package.


Nuzhat raised the recent TES article on teacher recruitment.

The basic message is that only 50% of newly qualified teachers have a job at the end of their probation. The group should be considering what this means for Black and minority ethnic teachers and probationers. 

Action – Judith Ballantine to pick up with Education Workforce to see if we know the impact of these figures on BAME teachers/probationers. 

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