Diversity in the teaching profession minutes: February 2019

Short term working group on diversity in the teaching profession. This is a sub-group of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education.

Attendees and apologies

  • Professor Rowena Arshad, University of Edinburgh (Chair)
  • Maureen McKenna, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Elaine Napier, General Teaching Council Scotland
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Lise McCafferty, Education Scotland
  • Alison Weatherson, Education Scotland
  • Kathy Cameron, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) 
  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
  • Jatin Haria, Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Hakim Din, Calabar Education Consultants, former HMIE
  • Rami Ousta, BEMIS
  • Ken Edwards, Skills Development Scotland
  • Fearghal Kelly, Scottish Government
  • Kelly Ireland, Scottish Government (Secretariat)

Items and actions

The Chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the extended working group on Diversity in the Teaching Profession and noted the group had moved on from being a working group and would act as a monitoring group to ensure progress is made across the 17 recommendations of the Teaching in a Diverse Scotland Report. The Chair thanked the original members for their continued participation and extended her thanks to the new members who have committed their time to support this work going forward. 


The Chair reflected on the journey of the working group and noted the report had been formally endorsed by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

A paper from the Independent Panel on Career Pathways for Teachers was tabled for information. It was noted that the makeup of the career pathways panel lacked diverse representation.  Secretariat agreed to feed this back to the team working on Career Pathways.  

Remit of group 

The draft remit of the group was tabled for discussion.  The following comments were made:

  • in background section make reference to the Race Equality Framework for Scotland 
  • in background section make reference to the legal definition of race equality 
  • in the key functions section be more explicit on the expectations of the sectors’ responsibilities to lead, embed and monitor their recommendations 
  • in the key functions section change steering group to programme board 
  • add a review date to ensure reporting structure is aligned with SBTE
  • Black and Ethnic Minorities Infrastructure in Scotland to be referenced as BEMIS

Implementing the recommendations 

The group reviewed the progress of each recommendation and took time to discuss those which will require collaborative efforts from more than one sector. It was agreed those who had specific leads would provide a written update to populate the internal progress tracker. A summary of the discussion points is noted below, however the tracker will be updated by members to ensure a full record of activity is held:

  • Recommendation 1: a revised version of the Professional Standards will be available for the working group to comment on by June 2019
  • Recommendation 2: to date, no discussions have taken place on this however, it will be discussed at the next SBTE which Rowena has offered to attend if this would be helpful  
  • Recommendation 3: Education Scotland noted this recommendation was timely with the new and expanding team who are committed to supporting and driving this work with partner organisations. Education Scotland intend to revisit their programmes and the content within these 
  • Recommendation 4: COSLA noted although there was a limit to what they can do as an organisation but there was a good opportunity to raise awareness through various networks including ADES
  • Recommendation 5: ADES will provide a written update 
  • Recommendation 6: members discussed a wide range of actions which could be undertaken, including more up to date DVD resources, positive action, supporting careers advice and fairs, engaging families, parents, kids and schools, speaking to organisations about how they do promote teaching as career, modern apprentice opportunities. Agreed an offline discussion on this would be useful
  • Recommendation 7: work is ongoing between BEMIS and Education Scotland. Written update will be submitted to the secretariat 
  • Recommendation 8: all ITE providers to give thought to this. SCDE will coordinate on behalf of the council of deans and provide a written update to the secretariat   
  • Recommendation 9: all ITE providers to give thought to this. Louise will coordinate on behalf of the council of deans and provide a written update to the secretariat   
  • Recommendation 10: all ITE providers to give thought to this. Louise will coordinate on behalf of the council of deans and provide a written update to the secretariat. Members noted it would be helpful to track the number of BME applicants who have applied, secured an interview, successful at interview, accepted offer etc. 
  • Recommendation 11: all ITE providers to give thought to this. Louise will coordinate on behalf of the council of deans and provide a written update to the secretariat   
  • Recommendation 12: work in progress. GTCS will provide a written update to the secretariat 
  • Recommendation 13: Education Scotland happy to work with local authorities to ensure guidance is written and delivered through mentor training. Members asked when the next probationer mentor training session was taking place and if a member of the working group could attend. COSLA noted they would speak to the My Job Scotland team regarding the information currently held on that site 
  • Recommendation 14: Education Scotland and ADES will work together on this. A written update to be submitted to the secretariat
  • Recommendation 15: GTCS will provide a written update to the secretariat 
  • Recommendation 16: all members discussed and agreed all sectors should be focussing on this now, members should feedback to secretariat on positive examples which supports this recommendation
  • Recommendation 17: advice is being developed to ensure that when SG education related groups, committees and boards are being refreshed, secretariats are aware of the need to diversify group representation and understand the benefits of this. Members asked to be kept up to date with what particular groups had made changes to their membership following this advice being issued 

Other points raised during the discussion

  • members keen to discuss how progress, change and successes will be measured
  • when teachers are given new race equality materials they should be trained on how to deliver them

Any other business and date of next meeting 

There was no other business raised. The next meeting will take place in June.    

Summary of actions arising from the meeting

  1. Secretariat to feedback comments on makeup of the career pathways panel to their secretariat 
  2. Secretariat to redraft remit of group 
  3. Secretariat to set up sub meeting to discussion recommendation 6 
  4. GTCS to share dates of next probationer mentor training
  5. COSLA to feedback on positive action within local authorities
  6. All - Where sector specific updates can be provided, a written update should be sent to secretariat by Friday 19 April
  7. Secretariat to add agenda item to next working group meeting to discuss measuring success 
  8. Secretariat to secure date for next meeting  

Diversity in the teaching profession: minutes index


Email: Kelly.Ireland@gov.scot

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