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

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

Attendees and apologies


  • Selma Augestad, Chair, National Officer, Equality, EIS
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Primary School Teacher
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Professional Learning and Leadership (Race Equality), Education Scotland 
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Years and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Yasmeen Hussain, SAMEE 
  • Judith Mohamed, Head teacher
  • Andrea Reid, Glasgow City Council and ADES
  • Richard Bell, GTC Scotland
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, 
  • Stephanie Walsh, Education Workforce, Learning Directorate, 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


  • Professor Rowena Arshad, former Head of Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Victoria Smith, Director of Education, Registration and Professional Learning, GTC Scotland
  • Simon Cameron, Employer’s team, COSLA

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Selma welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were a number of apologies this month. Selma welcomed Richard Bell to the meeting who attended in place of Victoria Smith. 

Minutes and update on actions from the previous meeting

No comments received on the January minute, as such this was agreed to be finalised and signed off.

Selma gave an update on the following actions:

  • action A and B taken together: Emma to invite SG analytical services colleagues to a meeting in February of the DITPEW subgroup to present a draft of the data publication. Action closed. Alan Sloan is attending this meeting and the data publication will be covered under agenda item 4
  • Scott Sutherland to pick up with SDS to find out what action was taken around posters that were previously developed. Action remains open. Scott has been in touch with SDS and hopes to have an update soon 
  • 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. Action closed. Email was circulated following the January meeting
  • Emma to contact Andrea Reid to understand what measures to increase numbers of Black and minority ethnic teachers, are in place in Glasgow City Council. Action closed, Andrea helpfully supplied some resources that have been attached to the agenda for this meeting
  • Emma to get in touch offline with subgroup members to get a list of priorities and send them to Alan and Lorna. Action closed. The suggestions, where possible, have been incorporated into the draft data report as attached to the agenda for this meeting
  • Alan to look at whether additional analysis could provide a more robust picture. Action closed. As above, incorporated where possible into this year’s report

Action grid and milestones

Selma thanked members for all of their work on the actions grid. She noted that the document remains live and is currently in a good place. Next steps are to consider potential milestones for each of the actions. There is recognition that some of the action owners do not sit on this group and that it would be inappropriate for the subgroup to set strict timelines for the work of other organisations. It is however important that the group set timescales around the actions specifically of the group. 

The group considered each of the thematic areas in turn, reflections on the timelines around these are below:

Theme 1 - supporting the BME workforce

  • there are clear links here to the Building Racial Literacy (BRL) Programme, run by Mélina. The group would find it helpful to have the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the BRL programme and what it means for our actions

Action: Emma to arrange meeting in June to focus on Theme 1, including an agenda item relating to reflections on the BRL programme.

  • work needs to be done here around the interaction with the work of the Racism and Racist Incidents subgroup. Mélina reflected that they are currently looking at the whole school approach

Action: Mélina to develop a paper that can be brought to the June meeting of this subgroup regarding the RRI subgroup’s whole school approach.

Theme 2 - GTCS national post

  • members would find it helpful, once known, to have a short bio of the person in the role and the work that they will be doing. GTCS confirmed that they are considering comms around the successful applicant taking up post 
  • milestone - Hope is that the person will be in post in time to attend the April meeting of this subgroup 

Action: GTCS to share professional bio/remit on post holder and their role ahead of the April meeting
Action: Emma to invite post-holder to the April meeting

Theme 3 - ITE framework

  • milestone – Khadija Mohammad doing much of the work in this area. Have agreed that she will attend the May meeting of this subgroup to update us on her work and how it interacts with our other 3 actions. She hopes to have something that can be shared ahead of that meeting with members for their consideration
  • questions from members around whether this action relates specifically to ITE or whether it should be broader than that and include ELC, support workers etc. Members reflected that given Khadija’s ELC expertise she would be well placed to advise on embedding the ambitions of the sector in this action. Some reflection that the access routes to ELC are not as clear cut as into teaching so consideration needs to be given to that

Action: Scott Sutherland to consider whether there is scope for including ELC ambitions as part of this action. 
Action: Emma to add agenda item to May meeting that relates to how ELC can be incorporated into this action. 
Action: Emma to link up with Support Staff Working Group ahead of May meeting to see if there is anything that we can learn from them, whether there is scope for joint work. 

Theme 4 - data

  • milestone – next step is publication of the data report on 6th May 2022

Reflection on draft annual data report 2022

Selma welcomed reflections on the draft data paper, these will be captured and circulated in a further version after the meeting. Selma reminded members that this paper is confidential until after publication on the 6th May. 

Initial reflections:

  • members asked what new data had been added since the last publication. Alan agreed to take the question away
  • members asked if there is any data on part-time teachers. Could be included potentially from next year
  • members reflected that the data related to the University of Aberdeen seemed to be incorrect

Action: Alan to quality assess the data and correct any discrepancies. 

Comments related to future iterations of the publication:

  • members would like to see the data sets widened to cover more than just teachers. Scott Sutherland suggested that ELC data sets could be considered for next year’s iteration

Comments relating to communications around the data report:

  • need to consider how to raise awareness, and with whom, around just how underrepresented minority ethnic groups are in ITE and teaching. For example the data comes from universities but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t benefit from seeing it in this format, and seeing it compared against other institutions
  • need to be considering how this information is utilised during early careers advice conversations with young people. Are teachers aware of the data? What about career counsellors etc?
  • members reflected that we must be mindful in any communications about the sensitive nature of the data. We should think about how to offer support alongside raising awareness. Some potential to signpost towards support (e.g. SAMEE etc.) Should also highlight the work being done to correct the issue of underrepresentation eg the actions of this group creating the conditions to increase the numbers of minority ethnic teachers

Action - members to comment on the draft data report within next week.
Action - members to scan report and identify comms requirements and where there is a need for support/what that signposting should look like. 

Update on GTCS national post

Richard updated in Victoria’s absence. Hopeful that the successful applicant will be in post from 18th April 2022. There are GTCS communications planned around them starting (including relating to who they are, the remit of the role etc.) Will liaise closely with this group regarding these. 

Any other business

No AOB was raised. Next meeting of this group is scheduled for 25 April 2022.

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