Diversity in the teaching profession minutes: October 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


  • Prof Rowena Arshad, Chair
  • Siân Balfour, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
  • Khadija Mohammed, University of the West of Scotland/SAMEE
  • Debbie Walls, COSLA
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Ken Muir, GTCS
  • Sharon Smith, GTCS
  • Morag Redford, Scottish Council of Deans of Education 
  • Louise Barret, Scottish Council of Deans of Education 
  • Mary Osei Oppong, EIS
  • Carol Young, CRER
  • Maureen McKenna, ADES 
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, NASUWT
  • Ken Edwards, Skills Development Scotland
  • Fearghal Kelly, Scottish Government 

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed everyone to the third meeting of the extended working group, including those attending for the first time – Debbie Walls,  COSLA and Mary Osei Oppong, EIS.  Sharon Smith, GTCS joined the meeting and Carol Young attended in place of Jatin Haria, CRER, who sent apologies. Apologies were also received from Hakim Din (Calabar Education Consultants) 

Siân Balfour was introduced as the new secretariat to the group.  

Approval and actions arising from previous minutes

Some small changes to the minutes of the meeting of 26 June 2019 were noted.  Subject to these changes, the group were happy to approve the minutes as an accurate record and agreed that they should now be made available on the Scottish Government website.     

It was agreed that actions from the previous minutes would be covered under item 5, using the new action log that had been distributed to the group members beforehand. 


  • Secretariat to publish minute of the June meeting on the Scottish Government website. 

Prioritisation of recommendations 

With the working group moving into its second year, Rowena spoke about the need to now prioritise those recommendations that can potentially make the most impact/progress.  Some initial work to assign a high, medium or low status to the recommendations had been done prior to the meeting which Rowena shared with the group.   The group agreed with this assessment and are happy to move forward on this basis.   There was a general view that some of those recommendations identified as low priority for the time being,  will naturally find traction through focusing on some of the higher priority areas. 

Recommendations – updates on progress, actions and next steps

The progress, actions and next steps discussed against each recommendations are captured within the action log. 

Any other business and date of next meeting(s)

No any other business was raised. 

A proposal for three further meetings of the working group for 2020, was agreed by the group – Mid/Late Feb, Early June, Late October. 

Maureen McKenna confirmed she is happy to stay on the group as the ADES representative.      


  • Secretariat to book venues and confirm exact times and dates with members in due course 

Summary of actions - October 2019

Recommendation Action Owner(s) Due date
1 Morag, Louise and Khadija to review and submit suggestions to the group on how the introductory section of the draft standards could be strengthened by 22 November Morag, Louise and Khadija 22nd Nov 2019
  Group also encouraged to feed in their own organisation's feedback - consultation closes on 20th December.   20th Dec 2019
2 Further discussion to be held offline with Andrea Bradley and Mary - re potential proposal for the EIS to share their existing work in this area with the group. Rowena/Mary By next meeting
3 Lesley to provide written summary for the group - evidencing how ES programmes are changing, who is involved and outlining progress both for those programmes that have been reviewed and those still to be revised. There could be potential to share this wider i.e. with Local Authorities on what they should be considering and including in their leadership training programmes?      Lesley Mid- January 2020
  Maureen to link in to ES work around the online resource being developed and push out to Local Authorities for inclusion in their leadership programmes. Maureen Report on progress to group by February meeting
4 Debbie to talk to her digital team about some of  the quick wins around messaging on MyJobScotland, perhaps mirroring a similar approach as the Scotland is Now website, and encouraging LAs as employers, to be more consistent.   Debbie  By  next meeting
  Debbie will use attendance at the quarterly heads of HR meeting to help influence and keep diversity issues on the agenda e.g.  encouraging LAs to consider the ability to speak "a community language spoken by minority ethnic groups” to become a desirable criteria within job adverts.  Debbie   
  CRER have done research (FOI request made to all LAs)  in to workforce profiles  - CRER are happy to share this information with Debbie.  Debbie and CRER to liaise.   CRER/Debbie  
  Maureen to share her paper on the new role with the group. Maureen Complete
5 No actions at this time    
6 Rowena to contact Nina Munday (Fife Centre for Equalities) to discuss possibility of a Fife pilot  which will provide a different geographical area to the work already being done/piloted within the West Partnership Rowena/Sian Report on progress to group in February
7 No actions at this time    
8 No actions at this time    
9 No actions at this time    
10 The Scottish Council of Deans to follow-up with Scottish Funding Council (Lynn Killick) , to see what they can potentially provide already.        Louise/Morag Report on progress to group in February
  Arrange meeting with universities to find out what they already gathers                                                                                                 Sian to arrange meeting with Glasgow University - Fearghal & Morag to attend.  
11 Louise/Morag to suggest to SCDE that next Self-Evaluation Framework Symposium has a focus on diversity. Louise/Morag Ongoing
12 GTCS to circulate copies of guidance to the group.                        GTCS By next meeting
  SCDE to ensure that recently accreditated programmes take cognisance of the guidance. SCDE Ongoing
13 Support booklets being written as part of the new code and guidance.  GTCS will share this with stakeholders for comment GTCS GTCS- to provide timescales
  Maureen will share work being done by the West Partnership around this recommendation as things progress.   Maureen Ongoing
14 RA to write to all LA leads one year on to get an update and overview of position and to encourage greater engagement. Rowena to draft/ sian to distribute By end of Nov 2019
15 SAMEE to explore development of a BME mentoring network in partnership. Khadija Report on progress to the group in February
16 No specific action at this time - group to keep under review    
17 No specific action at this time - group to keep under review    


Back to top