In November 2018 the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group, chaired by Professor Rowena Arshad CBE, published its 'Teaching in a Diverse Scotland' report. This report was commissioned by the Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE) following the publication of the National Race Equality Framework for Scotland.
Professor Arshad made several recommendations, which the Scottish Government accepted in full. One of these was that by 2030 the number of minority ethnic teachers in Scotland's schools should be at least 4%, which is in line with the general Scottish population as per the 2011 general census. This was the most up to date census data at the time of publication.
At its conclusion, the Scottish Government's Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group published a further report in 2021 setting out progress to date and actions to be progressed. The publication of an annual report on the diversity of the teaching profession was one such action. As a result, the first Teaching Profession Diversity Data Report was published in March 2021.
The Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW) subgroup of the Scottish Government's Anti-Racism in Education Programme (AREP) is taking forward actions aimed at supporting the education sector to meet the 4% by 2030 target. Detail regarding progress to date and the broader work of the DITPEW subgroup can be found under the 'Ongoing Ambitions and Next Steps' section of this report. The Scottish Government remain committed to increasing the ethnic diversity of the Scottish teaching workforce and continue to recognise the clear benefits for all learners of a more diverse workforce which results in:
- Children and young people having role models that are representative of their lived experience;
- Increased engagement from children and young people as they can identify more readily with teachers who share their cultural, religious or linguistic traditions;
- An increased variety of perspectives within the education system - more perspectives lead to a better understanding of society itself, reflecting and responding to the needs of all involved;
- The breakdown of stereotypes and negative misconceptions about minority groups;
- An increase in diversity of language and thought reflecting the knowledge and experience of colleagues, children and young people and families;
- Breaking down barriers and ultimately creating cohesion among different ethnic groups, creating a more tolerant and fair society, free of racism.
The Scottish Government is mindful that the increases are small, and that minority ethnic teachers and student teachers continue to be significantly underrepresented. Our Anti-Racism in Education Programme, particularly through the work of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce subgroup, continues to take forward actions aimed at recruiting, retaining and promoting more minority ethnic educators.
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