Diversity in the teaching profession minutes: November 2017
- Learning Directorate
Short term working group on diversity in the teaching profession.
Attendees and apologies
- Professor Rowena Arshad, University of Edinburgh (Chair)
- Ken Muir, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
- Khadija Mohammad, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
- Hakim Din, Calabar Education Consultants, former HMIE
- Maureen McKenna, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
- David Roy, Scottish Government
- Kelly Ireland, Scottish Government (SG, Secretariat)
- Eloise Nutbrown, Migration Population and Diversity (COSLA)
- Dr Morag Redford, Scottish Council of Deans of Education
Items and actions
Rowena Arshad welcomed members to the first meeting of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession working group and noted their representation on this group reflected their proactive interest in this area of work. She also thanked Glasgow City Council for the use of their facilities.
The draft remit was tabled and members discussed their views on the common issues and perceptions affecting students from Black and Minority Ethnic Groups (BME) across the teaching profession in Scotland.
Members discussed the wording and agreed the short term working group will focus efforts on:
- Whether Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes and associated recruitment activity are attractive and relevant to students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds
- Whether university admissions processes are sufficiently enabling to capture the range of possible applicants from diverse backgrounds
- Student placement experiences and the on-going support for students from minority backgrounds; and
- The retention of student teachers and teachers from minority backgrounds
Action 1 – Kelly Ireland to reword and re-order the remit and circulate to members for final sign off.
Context – Paper on Teacher Characteristics
Rowena tabled the extract of the teacher census data that presented ethnic minority groups and teacher figures. Members equally agreed that the data was static and numbers of teachers from minority backgrounds had changed very little in nearly two decades. Members also noted the particularly high figure of teachers who fell within the ‘not disclosed’ category of the teacher census data but similarly agreed that this was an area that was out with their control and remit.
Work Programme – Areas to focus and stakeholder engagement
It was agreed that while this group was new, there are pockets of diversity activity happening across the teaching profession and this work should be captured and fed into the overall work of this group, for example the EIS diversity group, which Khadija Mohammad is a member of.
The group agreed a number of other interested parties would play a vital role in the development of the working group’s final recommendations; these are listed in Annex A.
The following actions were agreed:
Rowena will write an article on the establishment of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group to raise the profile of the group, using the 2017 teacher census data and the announcement of the race equality action plan to champion the work of this group and to pose a question to readers asking them to contribute their views on this issue. The article will be shared across a number of journals such as TES, Teaching Scotland Magazine and possibly Union publications.
A number of stakeholders will be engaged during the life of the working group. The group agreed two key stakeholder groups would have a general interest and real impact on the work of this group.
Group 1: Predominately the key influencers who have the ability and authority to make change happen.
Group 2: Other interested parties who could provide further evidence based information and data. The group agreed they would be keen to visit stakeholders within this group to gather their views and meet the people on the ground.
A full list of these stakeholders can be viewed in Annex A of this minute.
- A letter will be issued to group one stakeholders seeking their views on two points: To what extent is racial diversity on your agenda in relation to diversifying the teaching workforce and, what are currently doing to address these issues within their authorities/ institutions? This letter will be issued the week commencing the 4 December, with a view to collating returns before Christmas.
The data will be useful in surfacing practice that could be shared more widely but also in identifying issues from the perspective of Stakeholder group 1.
Action 2 – Rowena Arshad to contact TES to discuss a potential article, agree the timing of this and discuss the option of sharing the article more widely with GTCS and EIS publications.
Action 3 – SG to provide bullets on what could be included in the article, including input from stats team on teacher census data.
Action 4 – Rowena Arshad to draft article.
Action 5 – Kelly Ireland to draft letter to send to group 1 stakeholders on behalf of Rowena Arshad.
Another other business
The lifespan and outcome of the group was discussed. David Roy suggested that once the group had agreed a number of recommendations, the next steps would be to seek sign off from the Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE), and then to present the recommendations to the Deputy First Minister and possibly Angela Constance, for final sign off.
The group agreed six months should be an adequate amount of time to fulfil this task; however there was an appetite to meet later in the year to take stock and review the progress of the recommendations.
Action 6 – Maureen McKenna to share output of the Glasgow city council survey on diversity in the profession.
Action 7 – Hakim Din to share research paper mentioned during any other business discussion.
Agree date of next meeting
The group agreed to meet again on Tuesday 23 January at 2pm in Glasgow City Chambers.
Summary of Actions
- Kelly to reword and re-order the remit and circulate to members for final sign off.
- Rowena to contact TES to discuss a potential article, agree the timing of this and discuss the option of sharing the article more widely with GTCS and EIS publications.
- SG to provide bullets on what could be included in the article, including input from stats team on teacher census data.
- Rowena to draft article.
- Rowena to sign off group 1 stakeholder letter.
- Maureen to share output of survey money on diversity in the profession.
- Hakim to share research paper mentioned during any other business discussion.
Stakeholder Group 1
Teacher unions – EIS, SSTA, NASWAT, AHDS, VOICE, SLS
Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)
General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS)
9 ITE providers (including Royal Conservatoire)
32 Local Authorities
University Admissions Group
College Development Network
Stakeholder Group 2
Regional l Equality Councils
Scottish Association of Minority Educators (SAMEE)
Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
Scottish Trade Unions Congress (STUC)
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Individuals who have researched or have a proactive interest in this area
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