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

Minutes from the group's meeting on 20 December 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Nuzhat Uthmani (Chair), Principal Teacher
  • Asif Chishti (Co-Chair), Senior Education Officer (National Race Diversity Lead), General Teaching Council Scotland
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Professional Learning and Leadership (Race Equality), Education Scotland 
  • Simon Cameron, COSLA
  • Selma Augestad, National Officer, Equality, EIS
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland
  • Zemeta Chefeke, SAMEE
  • Louise Barrett, SCDE
  • Emma Bunting, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Pauline Hendry, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Judith Ballantine, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government


  • Kevin Brack, Lecturer in Educational Leadership, Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Judith Mohamed, Head Teacher
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Nuzhat welcomed members to the meeting. She thanked members for all of their hard work over the past year and commented that the group had made good progress in a number of areas. 

Minutes and update on actions from the previous meeting

There were no comments to the minutes from the thirteenth meeting of the subgroup and as such those minutes were agreed as final. 

Actions Update:

  • Emma Bunting to send Simon Cameron letters issued following publication of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Annual Data Report. Closed. Simon advised that he has sent the letter on to heads of HR and will follow up with them on their response
  • secretariat to organise a small group to take forward organisation of the DYW session. Pauline Hendry advised members that she has been approached by Keya Raksith, Andrea Reid and Katie D’Souza to be involved. A probationary teacher is also likely to be involved. Pauline will set up an initial meeting of the small group for the new year
  • secretariat to circulate draft responses to Hayward Review and National Discussion for comment alongside minutes. Closed. National Discussion response has now been submitted. Hayward Review response will be recirculated for comment ahead of being submitted for the 13 Jan 2023 deadline
  • Asif to follow up with university ethnics committees around ethical data collection processes. Remains open, Asif to pick up with Navan

Update from Asif Chishti

Welsh Government Incentive Scheme

Following up from the discussion at the last meeting of the subgroup, Asif undertook to find out whether the Welsh Government incentive to encourage BME applicants into teacher training has been implemented. The feedback that he received is that the incentive hasn’t yet been implemented and was delayed following some concerns being raised relating to potential abuse of an incentive based on self-identification. Asif understands these concerns may now have been addressed and next steps are to understand what remedy has been implemented to avoid such abuse as this is a similar concern to that often raised in relation to the use of positive action. 

There were reflections that it is likely that Glasgow City Council and Edinburgh University will have considered similar concerns in regards to their positive action initiatives. 


Asif updated the group on progress on his work on sponsorship. He reiterated the importance of getting the operational definition of sponsorship right and advised that work around this is ongoing. Development of the models is reliant on a mutual understanding of what sponsorship is. 

Asif advised that the definition of sponsorship that he is using is that which is defined in Prof. Arshad’s Teaching in a Diverse Scotland (2021) report. One thing that has been raised is the comparison in that report with mentoring. Asif was clear that the intention is not to detract from mentoring, which is still important but, for these purposes, would be insufficient by itself, sponsorship is needed too. 

Some important principles that Asif is working on:

  • there can’t be a one size fits all model – there needs to be multiple options that can be used and adapted in order to work
  • employers and Local Authorities are vital in taking this work forward
  • potential collaboration with RICS will be important

Asif advised that he is at the stage now of doing scoping work. Part of the process of scoping is looking at how that matching process (e.g. between the sponsor and sponsoree is being done at the moment in mentoring and coaching in terms of logistics. 

Update on Diversity in the Early Teaching Career Group

Asif advised that this is a piece of work that was a relatively small strand of his workplan previously but is now more prominent due to the higher drop off that the group has been discussing following probation within the BME cohort as compared to the general teaching population. In considering the 2030 target, recruitment is currently a big pressure point, so there should be even more focus on retention. If it’s a struggle to recruit teachers it’s even more important to support those already in the system.

Within GTCS networks there has been convened a working group called Diversity in Early Career Teaching (DECT) – people on this group are people already part of the networks such as probationer manager network. Despite their titles this group is looking at both probation and earlier stages. They’re looking at a range of issues to enhance experience of early career teachers. These include:

  • how do we initiate the conversation?
  • data coming up as a recurring theme – discussion around what can be gathered and how it can be used. 
  • policies on racist incidents in schools – guidance on what trainee teachers should do if experiencing racism in schools
  • looking at mentor/mentee relationships
  • learning from lived experience
  • opportunity for affinity groups

In the new year the group will be putting together a plan that will be on the GTCS website that early career and probationer teacher managers will have access to. 

Reflecting on what Asif said, members were clear that there needs to be a real focus on early career teachers. It seems that this is the cohort most likely to be victims of discrimination and least likely to be equipped to deal with it. There needs to also be a recognition of how busy and overwhelmed probationers and newly qualified teachers are and how little additional capacity they have. Members felt that this should also extend to student teachers on placement. There needs to be action around equipping schools/employers to properly support student teachers/probationers and newly qualified teachers from a range of backgrounds. 

There was reflection that universities should take responsibility within their partnerships for supporting school mentors to be able to support ME student teachers should issues arise. It would be useful to discuss an approach across the ITE institutions and it was suggested that a potential network be created to support the implementation of the Anti-racism Framework. Louise Barrett advised that she had initially suggested such a network to a couple of colleagues at other universities with a similar role in ITE and they agreed this would be helpful. A consistent approach across universities would be helpful, due to placing many students out with local authority partners. 

Asif advised that he will write to the Deans of education for nominated links in their institution for the anti-racist work. 

Discussion on data

Nuzhat invited Emma Bunting to speak to the recently released ethnicity data, contained within the Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland 2022 publication. The data shows a very small increase in the total percentage of teachers identifying as minority ethnic, from 1.76% to 1.83%. There has also been a reduction in the percentage of cases where ethnicity is ‘not known’ from 4% in 2021 to 2.7% in 2022. Scottish Government analytical services have advised that this may be down to some work around data disclosure by a number of local authorities including Glasgow City and Moray. Asif suggested that he will pick up with these local authorities to understand better what they have been doing differently. 

Asif shared with the group a video produced by Edinburgh City Council relating to the importance of data disclosure. It can be found here - Equalities data - be counted. Edinburgh City Council have seen a 20% decrease in the use of ‘do not disclose’ when asked about ethnicity data across the council workforce. Members reflected that the video made clear that the data disclosed is confidential and treated as such, they suggested that this is a really important point. Some members said that they felt a question that really needs to be addressed in order to encourage disclosure is that of “what’s in it for me”. Simon Cameron said that he will pick up with the Scottish Council of Equality leads when they meet and will actively speak about this issue with them. 

Some members questioned why there is the option of “white – other” in questionnaires about ethnicity but not the option of “minority ethnic – other”. 

Action – Emma to speak to data colleagues about why there isn’t an “other” category in census for minority ethnic other.

Any other business

Theory of change model

Emma outlined that Joe Griffin, Scottish Government Director General for Education and Justice, has taken an interest in the work of the subgroup and particularly in progress made towards the 4% by 2030 target. He has asked that a Theory of Change Model be developed to outline how this target will be met. Emma advised that this will be developed by Scottish Government analytical colleagues but in collaboration with the subgroup. Further information will come in January 2023. 

Hayward Review and National Discussion

Emma Bunting updated members regarding the National Discussion and the Hayward Review. She advised members that the DITPEW response to the National Discussion was submitted alongside those from the ELPL and Curriculum Reform subgroups. She advised members that there was no overarching AREP return submitted. 

Emma updated the subgroup on discussions with the team leading on the National Discussion within Scottish Government. 5741 responses were received for the National Discussion, including over 200 group discussions. Responses were received in a range of formats including written text, mind maps, drawings and videos. Analysis of the consultation responses is currently underway and a “call to action” will be published in the Spring. This will be accompanied by a vision statement and short, medium and long term aims. 

The Hayward Review consultation closes on the 13th January 2023. The DITPEW response has already been drafted and will be recirculated following this meeting ahead of being submitted by the AREP secretariat. 

Action – Emma Bunting to recirculate Hayward Review response for comment.

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