Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup minutes: August 2023

Minutes of the group's meeting on 23 August 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Nuzhat Uthmani (Chair), Principal Teacher
  • Selma Augestad, National Officer (Equality), EIS
  • Andrea Reid, ADES
  • Louise Barrett, SCDE
  • Jehan Al-Azzawi, SAMEE
  • Sara Medel Jiménez, NASUWT
  • Judith Mohamed, Head Teacher
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Professional Learning and Leadership (Race Equality), Education Scotland 
  • Keya Raksith, Workforce Planning, Scottish Government
  • Emma Bunting, (Secretariat) Scottish Government Equalities in Education Team
  • Judith Ballantine, Scottish Government Equalities in Education Team
  • Pauline Hendry, Scottish Government Equalities in Education Team


  • Asif Chishti (Co-Chair), Senior Education Officer (National Race Diversity Lead), General Teaching Council Scotland
  • Kevin Brack, Lecturer in Educational Leadership, Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Marla Baird, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Manager, SQA

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Nuzhat welcomed members to the meeting and noted apologies as above. She advised members that Navan Govender has asked to step down from the group due to capacity issues in the new academic year, including his work with the newly formed Anti-Racism in ITE group. 

Minutes and actions update

There were no comments on the minute of the June meeting of the subgroup and as such these were agreed as final.

Actions Update:

  • Chair and Secretariat to organise a small working group to develop a response to the GTCS consultation as it relates to the equivalence between ESOL and English Higher. – Action closed. The group met and have brought a draft submission to this meeting. It will be discussed in full under agenda item 3
  • Emma to liaise with Education Analysts to ask UCAS along to a future meeting – Action remains open. Emma met with Scottish Government analysts ahead of this meeting to discuss. UCAS attendance likely at October meeting 
  • Secretariat to ensure that review of actions is scheduled for 6 months’ time. Action closed. The Chairs and Secretariat will meet following this meeting to discuss and revise the actions grid. This will then be brought as a paper to the September meeting for full group discussion
  • Secretariat to redraft the FAQ to reflect members comments from June meeting of DiTPEW and circulate for comment. – Action closed. Nuzhat advised members that there had been no further comments since the June meeting. Emma agreed to speak with the Programme Board secretariat about disseminating further for comment
  • members to send comments in writing on the Theory of Change. - Action remains open. Andrea and Lesley met with Joanna to discuss the Professional Learning section. Nuzhat has asked members for additional comments ahead of the Sept meeting when the ToC will be discussed

GTCS Memorandum of Understanding Review - ESOL equivalence

Nuzhat advised members that the GTCS have revised the timeline for the review of their Memorandum of Understanding and that engagement related to the review will begin in Autumn 2023. She suggested that the group may wish to complete a more comprehensive return to the review, focusing on more than just the issue of ESOL equivalence. Members agreed. 
Action: Secretariat to circulate current memorandum of understanding and add discussion on DiTPEW response to its review to the September agenda. 
Nuzhat thanked members of the small working group that have developed the current draft response, related to ESOL equivalence. She shared the draft with members and asked for reflections:

  • there were some minor technical changes suggested, related to the wording used. Members suggested the need to be clear what is required within the English Higher and the ESOL (for example with regards to the requirement to pass sections related to speaking/listening)
  • members suggested that they would submit more structural suggestions by email 


This agenda item covered several sub-items.

Measuring Quality in ITE (MQuITE) Report

Nuzhat reminded members that there had been previous concerns raised about the lack of visibility of Black and minority ethnic voices within the MQuITE report. She told members that the Secretariat had met with Dr. Aileen Kennedy to discuss the data that was gathered related to the BME cohort. Dr. Kennedy had advised that the numbers were too small for publication or to draw meaningful conclusions but drafted a short paper for this meeting of the DiTPEW. 
Members reflected that it was interesting to see the difference in the response to research questions between Black and minority ethnic educators and their white counterparts. There were some questions raised related to how the data was presented that the secretariat agreed to take away. 
Action: Secretariat to investigate discrepancies in MQuITE data and to work with Scottish Government Teacher Workforce colleagues in relation to Dr. Kennedy potentially attending a future meeting of the DiTPEW.

UCAS application data

Nuzhat invited members to reflect on the paper that Scottish Government data analysts had prepared. It outlines the recent data released by UCAS as it relates to applications to ITE from Black and minority ethnic individuals. 
Members reflected that whilst the percentage proportion of ITE applicants identifying as Black and minority ethnic has increased this can be accounted for by the reduction in applications from those identifying as white. As such there is a need for caution when interpreting this data as it has the potential to paint a falsely positive picture of progress towards the 4% target. 
Members agreed that this data should be included in the annual data report going forward. 

UCAS attendance at DITPEW meeting

It is likely that UCAS representatives will attend the DiTPEW meeting scheduled for 18 October. 

General data issues

  • Nuzhat advised members that it looks likely that ethnicity data from the general census will not begin to emerge until at least Summer 2024
  • members are keen that the group start to look at data that relates to the wider education workforce (e.g. early learning and childcare

Action: Secretariat to speak with ELC colleagues about their work related to diversifying the workforce and find out what data they are currently collecting. 

  • members expressed an interest in gathering qualitative data related to why people drop out of ITE and leave the teaching profession. For example is there scope to carry out exit interviews or is this already being done? Other members reflected that some of this information is already collected but that it is not currently gathered centrally and able to be shared 

DITPEW priorities for next 6 months

Nuzhat introduced this agenda item by advising members that the Co-Chairs and Secretariat will meet ahead of the September meeting of the group to discuss and revise the action grid. She asked for members’ reflections on what they think the priority areas for action should be over the coming 6 months. 
Members felt that the past 12 months had seen a strong focus on the teacher recruitment pipeline as it relates to Black and minority ethnic individuals and that it would be good to pivot the focus towards retention. This was caveated with the point that this shouldn’t mean we lose focus on the importance of the work that has been started (e.g. on supporting the ITE framework). 
There was a sense that there is a need for greater collaboration between the four workstreams, particularly the Racism and Racist Incidents workstream now that it has been re-established. 
There was some discussion about the upcoming Behaviour in Schools Summit which the new Cabinet Secretary for Education has called for. Whilst members felt that there was scope for this to overlap with the work of the AREP there was some concerns raised around equating racism with bad behaviour. For example the work of the DiTPEW is broader than that – e.g. in looking at institutional racism in things like recruitment and retention practices. However there was agreement that there is a need to ensure that practitioners are equipped with the skills and empowered to tackle racism in the classroom. 
Action – Co-Chairs and Secretariat to invite chairs of other workstreams to meet and discuss areas of overlap and cooperation. 
The Secretariat flagged that Intercultural Youth Scotland’s new programme of engagement with children and young people will mean more input from them across he sub groups in the coming months and that this should be built into the group’s workplan. 

Any other business

There were no items of any other business raised. The next meeting of the DiTPEW is scheduled for 18 September 2023.

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