Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce subgroup minutes: January 2024

Minutes of the subgroup's meeting on 24 January 2024.

Attendees and apologies


  • Asif Chishti (Co-Chair), Senior Education Officer (National Race Diversity Lead), General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS)

  • Kevin Brack, Lecturer in Educational Leadership, Moray House School of Education and Sport

  • Sara Medel Jiménez, NASUWT

  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland

  • Marla Baird, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Manager, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

  • Zara Khan, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)

  • Chereen Rain, Lead Specialist, Racial Literacy, Education Scotland

  • Selma Augestad, National Officer (Equality), Educational Institute of Scotland

  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)

  • Simon Cameron, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)

  • Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government

  • Scott Brand, Education Workforce Unit, Scottish Government

  • Judith Ballantine, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government

  • Emma Bunting, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government


  • Nuzhat Uthmani (Chair), Principal Teacher
  • Andrea Reid, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Judith Mohamed, Head Teacher
  • Jehan Al-Azzawi, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)

Items and actions

Agenda item 1 - welcome and apologies

Asif welcomed everyone to the 24th meeting of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DiTPEW) subgroup. He advised members that Chereen Rain would replace Mélina Valdelièvre as the Education Scotland representative on the group going forward and that Scott Brand would replace Keya Raksith as the Scottish Government’s Education Workforce Unit representative. 

Agenda item 2 - minutes and actions

There were no comments on the minutes from the November meeting and as such these were agreed as final and will be published on the Scottish Government’s website.

Actions update:

  • Emma to liaise with education analysts to ask the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) along to a future meeting. Action closed. The co-chairs and secretariat met with UCAS in December 2024 and outlined the additional data sets that the group were interested in obtaining for inclusion in the annual data report. Scottish Government analysts agreed to develop a specification that can then be sent to UCAS
  • secretariat to investigate discrepancies in the data from the Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education report and to work with Scottish Government teacher workforce colleagues in relation to Dr. Kennedy potentially attending a future meeting of the DiTPEW. Action remains open, Emma will now pick up with Scott Brand from Education Workforce on this
  • Emma to gather comments regarding offers of sponsoring from absent members at Nov meeting and add to GTCS Padlet. Action closed. Asif updated the group on progress with regards to the development of offers of sponsoring. The engagement phase has now finished and the drafting phase has begun, this will take place over the months of Feb and March. Asif will update members further at a future meeting

Agenda item 3 - update on anti-racism in education summit

Judith updated members on progress in planning for an upcoming summit on anti-racism in education. She advised that work is currently underway to ensure the optimum guestlist, noting the views of senior stakeholders that it is vital to engage individuals and organisations that are less familiar with and not generally actively engaged in anti-racist work. 

Judith outlined progress that has been made towards the development of a commitment document by key stakeholders. She explained that organisations will be asked to sign up to this at the summit. Members were interested in how implementation of the commitment would be measured. Judith explained that it was anticipated that organisations would reconvene 12 months after the summit to report on and discuss progress towards implementation.

Agenda item 4 - data

Members were advised that the current working assumption was that the 2024 iteration of the annual diversity in the teaching profession data report would be published on the 29 May. This is slightly later than normal and it was explained that the reason for this is that some of the necessary data will not be available until April. 

Asif updated members on the meeting that the group’s co-chairs and secretariat had with Scottish Government analysts and UCAS representatives in December. At this meeting there was a discussion around what additional data UCAS could provide to the group in order to further support their policy development, particularly in relation to the applications process to initial teacher education. The next steps are that Scottish Government analysts will draw up a specification of what the group would like, alongside the co-chairs, and submit this to UCAS who will then come back with a proposal. 

Agenda item 5 - update on early learning and childcare

Scott Sutherland updated the group on progress towards diversifying the early learning and childcare workforce. He explained that staffing capacity issues have meant that key pieces of work have been paused but that these are now being addressed and that work on the strategic workforce strategy is likely to recommence shortly. Scott explained that the workforce strategy will seek to address ethnic underrepresentation amongst a range of other issues. 

Agenda item 6 - update on implementation of SCDE's framework for anti-racism in initial teacher education (ITE)

Louise updated the group on progress made towards implementation of the national anti-racism framework for ITE. Almost all universities have recently completed anti-racist action plans that have now been shared on the SCDE Teams site. Those that haven’t are in the process of doing so. The actions within these plans are linked to all sections of the framework. 

The Anti-Racism in ITE (ARITE) group meets twice monthly. It has a range of visiting speakers that attend and this is followed by a question and answer session. The next meeting will focus on recruitment and admission processes. Building the racial literacy of teacher educators has been highlighted as a priority area by universities. Following this it is expected there will be a focus on the curriculum. In relation to students on placement, there is work underway to firm up guidance for students who experience racism whilst on placement. 
Asif updated members that a draft of the new requirements for entry should be going to the GTCS Council on 7th Feb. If approved it will go out to formal consultation. 

Action: Asif to circulate information on consultation related to GTCS review of its MoU

Agenda item 7 - update on development of anti-racist framework for employers

The need for an anti-racism framework for employers, similar to that developed by SCDE for ITE providers, has previously been discussed in this forum. Emma updated members on the fact that work is in the very early stages in terms of contracting an individual or organisation to develop such a document. It was advised that governance structures made up of members of ADES and the DiTPEW would be established and that the DiTPEW would have final sign off of the framework. 

Members asked questions around how the framework would sit alongside existing guidance and commitments. Careful consideration will be given to this to ensure that the framework is not a duplication of material that already exists.  Simon raised the important issue of ensuring that the framework is a support for Local Authorities to achieve their ambitions to diversify their workforce and does not become a tool to penalise. 

Agenda item 8 - transition planning for Asif's role

Asif’s current secondment to the GTCS ends in March 2024, after which he will move to a permanent role with the organisation. Ahead of this he and Scottish Government have been thinking about and mapping what work is ongoing, concluded or yet to begin ahead of the end of March. For example Asif’s work on models of sponsoring. Ahead of finishing in his secondment Asif will complete a report that outlines the work that he has done and suggested next steps. 

Agenda item 9 - any other business

Asif updated the group on the excellent engagement session that the co-chairs and secretariat had with the children and young people’s group facilitated by IYS. He explained that they asked challenging and thoughtful questions and said that the group looked forward to receiving the young people’s recommendations.

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