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

Minutes from the group's meeting on 22 November 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
  • Judith Mohamed, Head teacher
  • Navan Govender, Anti-Racist Educator 
  • Kevin Brack, Lecturer in Educational Leadership, Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Lesley Whelan, Head of Professional Learning and Leadership, Education Scotland
  • Keya Raksith, Workforce Planning, Scottish Government
  • Khadija Mohammed, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland
  • Emma Bunting, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Pauline Hendry, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government
  • Judith Ballantine, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government


  • Zemeta Chefeke, SAMEE
  • Andrea Reid, Glasgow City Council and ADES
  • Louise Barrett, SCDE
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Nuzhat welcomed members to the meeting. She introduced Kevin Brack as a new member of the subgroup, he will represent Moray House School of Education and Sport going forward. 

Nuzhat advised that the agenda would be reordered slightly to allow for Khadija Mohammed to present her work to the group later in the agenda than anticipated. 

There were several apologies for the meeting.

Minutes and update on actions from the previous meeting

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

Actions Update:

  • Simon Cameron to pick up on feedback from Local Authorities to the data report at regular meeting with HR reps. Action closed. Simon updated that several of his contacts had not had sight of the letter issued following the publication of the last Diversity in the Teaching Profession Annual Data Report

Action: Emma Bunting to send Simon Cameron letters issued following publication of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Annual Data Report. 

  • Emma Bunting to speak with the Scottish Government team that coordinated the general census to see if there has been any learning on how to increase disclosure. Action remains open, Emma is awaiting feedback
  • Asif Chishti to feed back to subgroup on research that he has been doing regarding why people may choose not to disclose their ethnicity. Emma Bunting to add to Nov agenda of this meeting. Action closed
  • Nuzhat to pick up with Selma as to whether the EIS BAME network have any indication, or are able to find out, why individuals choose not to disclose their ethnicity when asked. Action closed. Selma updated the group that there was nothing specifically within the recent survey around ethnicity disclosure. She suggested that there may be scope for further action in the future
  • chairs and Secretariat to meet and discuss a return to the Hayward Review with a view to bringing a draft to the November meeting of the subgroup. Action closed
  • chairs and Secretariat to meet and discuss a return to the National Conversation consultation with a view to bringing a draft to the November meeting of the subgroup. Action closed
  • chairs and Secretariat to liaise with REAREP members more broadly and to consider meeting with Prof. Haywards and/or Prof. Harris. Action closed
  • secretariat to circulate facilitation packs for the National Conversation to members. Action closed
  • secretariat to organise a small group to take forward organisation of the DYW session. Action remains open, still looking for volunteers

Action: Pauline Hendry to pick up with Nuzhat around a call to action for the DYW session and to consider options out with the DITPEW membership for taking forward work on the session.

National Discussion and Hayward Review

Nuzhat shared the group’s draft response to both the Hayward Review and National Discussion. She explained that this had been co-drafted by the subgroup’s chairs and the secretariat and contains quotes from the children and young people that worked with Show Racism the Red Card on behalf of the programme. She invited members’ comments. 

Members reflected that it may be helpful to break the contribution down to reflect the questions asked as part of the commissions. Feedback from the Scottish Government teams leading on these commissions was that this would be the best approach to take. 

It was decided that it would be helpful to include more around the experiences of learners within the response to the National Discussion and that the ELPL workstream’s response would support this. 

In relation to the Hayward Review response members felt it might be helpful to strengthen the language slightly, for example by saying “diversity of perspective is likely to reduce bias in assessment questions and marking”. 

Next steps are that this will be discussed at the REAREP Programme Board. 

Action: Secretariat to circulate draft responses to Hayward Review and National Discussion for comment alongside minutes. 

Welsh Government BAME recruitment plan and anti-racist Wales action plan

Nuzhat shared a summary of the Welsh Government (WG) documents and invited comments from members. 

Members reflected the interesting similarities between the WG BAME Recruitment Plan and the actions of this subgroup. The Betty Campbell Award referenced is similar to the Soraj Lal award in Scotland. 

There was discussion around the financial incentive referenced in the recruitment plan. Members felt that something similar, if budgets allowed, would be a quick win. It was however raised that since this document was published in 2021 there appears to have been no further progress on the incentive.

Members felt that the WG target of getting a 5% BME intake into ITE doesn’t feel as holistic as the 4% target that the Scottish Government are working towards as it addresses intake but not reasons for poor retention.

Some members considered elements of the recruitment plan to be potentially difficult to achieve, for example “ITE Partnerships should also give due consideration to the selection of appropriate placement schools for ethnic minority students to ensure that these students are fully supported during school experience placements." This would be difficult due to limited school placement options. 

There was also a sense that some commitments felt lacking in detail, for example the plan talks about “supporting student teachers” without elaborating on what that support would or should look like. 

Members reflected that its helpful that the plan recognises the lack of diversity within the university workforce.

Another area flagged as important was the commitment to supporting students before entry, for example by offering in-depth feedback on unsuccessful interviews. Members reflected that this is an important action to take in order to encourage those unsuccessful applicants to re-apply. 

It was flagged as interesting that Wales have a much smaller population than Scotland and are already at 3% of the workforce being BME. 

Feedback on research around lack of ethnicity data disclosure

Asif shared a PowerPoint presentation with members relating to research that he has undertaken on the reasons for non-disclosure of ethnicity data. The presentation has been circulated alongside this minute. 
Asif invited comments from members. 

Members asked whether there has been anything in the research that indicates whether ethnicity options/categories in surveys are an issue as, anecdotally, there has been concern around individuals boycotting ethnicity questions on the basis that the categories or options do not reflect their identify. Asif advised this has not thus far come up in his reading. Members reflected that an option for self-identifying is vital.

Members considered the key overarching theme of all this research to be the issue of trust, or lack of. It is clear that communication around why ethnicity data is collected, what is done with it and why disclosure is beneficial is essential. 

There was a suggestion that individual universities typically have an ethics committee that consider and approve data collection processes. It might be worth getting in touch with these to see if there is anything that we can learn. 

Action: Asif to follow up with university ethnics committees around ethical data collection processes. 

The British Educational Research Association also have guidance available relating to ethnical data collection. It can be found here - Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research, fourth edition (2018)

ITE framework update and discussion

Nuzhat invited Khadija to share information relating to the Anti-Racism framework that she is developing on behalf of the Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE). 

Khadija thanked those members that have acted as critical friends throughout the development process. She is conscious that there are elements of this framework that will lead to institutions needing help in implementation and there is likely to be a role for members of this subgroup in this. There may be a need for a further working group to consider implementation and collective action. 

In terms of next steps Khadija is meeting with developers next week for further discussions relating to formatting and layout. 

Khadija invited comments from members. 

Members reflected that this is an excellent and considered piece of work. It is clear that this is a document that will need to be worked through in detail. 

There were suggestions that consideration is needed with regards to whether anti-racism within the ITE curriculum can be made a mandatory element of the programme, this is reflected within the framework. 

Members suggested that it may be helpful to have a digitised version of the framework to enhance engagement with it. 

There were questions raised around the role of SCDE in taking this work forward following launch. Members were clear that the launch will be key in raising awareness and visibility, particularly with those HEIs who were less engaged with the original Teaching in a Diverse Scotland report. 

Any other business

No AOB was raised. The next meeting of this forum is scheduled for the 20 December 2022 at 16:00. 

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