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

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

Attendees and apologies


  • Selma Augestad, Chair, National Officer, Equality, EIS
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Primary School Teacher
  • Professor Rowena Arshad, former Head of Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Professional Learning and Leadership (Race Equality), Education Scotland 
  • Sara Medel Jiménez, NASUWT
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Years and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Navan Govendar, Anti-Racist Educator
  • Yasmeen Hussain, SAMEE 
  • Judith Mohamed, Headteacher, Old Machar, Aberdeen
  • Victoria Smith, Director of Education, Registration and Professional Learning, GTC Scotland
  • Simon Cameron, Employer’s team, COSLA
  • Andrea Reid, Glasgow City Council
  • Angela Felvus, Education Workforce, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Scottish Government
  • Judith Ballantine Equalities in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Emma Bunting, Equalities in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Pauline Hendry, Equalities in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Alan Sloan, Educational Analytical Services, Scottish Government
  • Lorna McDonald, Education Analytical Services, Scottish Government


  • Stephanie Walsh, Education Workforce, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Selma welcomed everyone to the meeting. 

Update on actions from previous meeting

Selma went through the actions from the last meeting and gave an update on progress:

  • Emma to invite SG analytical services colleagues to a meeting in Feb of the DITPEW subgroup to present a draft of the data publication
  • once we have draft data, group to consider where we see progress (no matter how small). Looking for 2 or 3 headline things that are good and can be drawn out (e.g. even a small rise in minority ethnic teachers). – Actions A & B taken together as linked. Analytical services colleagues have agreed to attend the March meeting and to present what data is available at that point. This will offer the opportunity to discuss the level of narrative the group wish to have behind the data and to highlight both successes and areas for continued improvement. Some further work will be required offline ahead of this meeting
  • Scott Sutherland to pick up with SDS to find out what action was taken around posters that were previously developed. – No update 
  • Emma to pick up with Fair Work colleagues to understand what they have done previously and see what, if anything, can be learnt from their experiences. – Too much to update in this section, Emma to provide an update by email 
  • Emma to contact Andrea Reid to understand what measures, relating to the increasing numbers of Black and minority ethnic teachers, are in place in Glasgow City Council - Action remains open
  • Nuzhat to send examples of good practice to the group. – Action closed. Nuzhat sent comprehensive information on how Black and minority ethnic individuals are included on recruitment panels. Selma asked a question about what training those individuals on panels. How is it ensured that lived experience and anti-racism expertise are not conflated? Response – Training was two-fold. 1) Exposure to recruitment process for head teachers/deputy-head teachers who go on to be on panels. Looked at what was in place at that point Looked at documentation, scoring process, forms etc. 2) HR wanted input to how this be updated to include an anti-racist element in the training. Has been asked to specifically include this in the training. Nuzhat produced some slides to be included in recruitment training sessions – these were considered by the pilot programme group. The new training will then be rolled out from Aug 21 including the anti-racist element

Discussion on subgroup actions

Selma introduced this item and then members were put into three smaller breakout rooms to discuss the actions grid in some depth. General, high level feedback from all groups is summarised below and incorporated into an update of the actions grid paper, alongside more granular points, which will be distributed with this minute.

  • all acronyms should be written in full to ensure accessibility
  • not sure that all of the drivers are correct, some additional consideration needs to be given as to the best person/organisation to genuinely take forward the action
  • language across the document needs to be consistent in terms of what the actions cover (e.g. is it just the teaching profession or does it also include the wider education workforce, including early learning and childcare?)
  • there was a general sense that theme 5 (currently entitled “Recruitment, Retention and Promotion Practices”) could be amalgamated into theme 1 (“Support the Black and minority ethnic education workforce”)
  • there could be scope for strengthening some of the language throughout the document, particularly around anti-racism

Update from data group and discussion about annual data publication

Alan and Lorna offered a brief reflection of the data group meeting that took place on 19 January 2022. 

Alan advised that we are likely to see the HESA data next week and that he will look at this new data and reflect on it. 

Analysts reflected that they really need the subgroup to consider where their priorities are in terms of additional data that they want to see gathered.

Action – Emma to get in touch offline with subgroup members to get a list of priorities and send them to Alan and Lorna. 

Lorna reflected on some of the subgroup’s previous requests:

  • looking at teacher census data there may be the ability, by considering the data around those completing probationers, to break down by sector what types of employment probationers go into if/when they leave teaching
  • independent schools do not currently collect ethnicity data
  • how much of the data from the last meeting’s presentation do the group want to see included in the April report (that isn’t already)

Analysts need to understand what level and type of narrative the group want to see around the data in the April report. A further discussion around this will be needed. 

Analysts will attend the March subgroup meeting. At that stage the April report will not be finalised but he group will be able to discuss narrative and how data should be framed.

Questions / points from group:

  • can the data be broken down further (e.g. by different protected characteristics )? A deep dive into the data may help to inform what support is needed. – Ethnicity and sex are the only protected characteristics collected in the teacher census. Other data can be broken down by protected characteristic including by ethnicity, sex, age, disability and sexual orientation however need to be mindful that further breakdown is likely to result in suppression of data due to very small numbers
  • is there the ability to collect the number of applications and those accepted into institutions for ITE? – HESA deals with students in University and UCAS deals with applications

Action – Alan to look at whether additional analysis could provide a more robust picture.

  • what is the deadline for deciding definitely what additional data the group want to see collected/analysed? Within the next 3-4 weeks ideally to allow analysts to establish a robust work plan
  • there needs to be some clarity around the deliverables of the GTCS National Post role. The individual will be liaising with universities/institutions/colleges etc and may be able to provide much more detailed data

Update on GTCS national post

Victoria updated the group on the progress of recruitment for the new Senior Education Officer (National Race Diversity Lead). She advised that recruitment is in its final stages, that a successful candidate has been identified and that GTCS are currently finalising a start date and working through the administration. 

The interview panel composition had been raised as an area of particular interest to the group. Victoria advised that the process was robust and that both Khadija Mohammed and Prof. Arshad sat on the panel. 

Any other business

Selma advised that Nuzhat had applied for the role of deputy chair of this group. There were no objections, she will take up this role from the next meeting.

There will be no Feb meeting, the next meeting is scheduled for the 10 March 2022. 

At next week’s meeting of the wider Stakeholder Network Meeting Victoria will report back on the subgroup’s actions. 

Selma suggested that future meetings should be framed around the themes in the action plan and that this should be pre-planned so far as possible to ensure that relevant speakers etc. can be scheduled. There was tacit agreement on this. 

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