Diversity in the teaching profession: annual data report

Third edition of an annual publication which collates and reports data relating to the ethnic diversity of the teaching profession in Scotland in order to inform future policy development and delivery.

4. Ongoing Ambitions and Next Steps

The figures discussed in the opening section of this paper will need to be reviewed following the publication of the 2022 census, in order to establish whether Scotland's minority ethnic population has increased from the 4% level in 2011. It is expected that 2022 census data will begin to emerge in 2023. We anticipate the 4% by 2030 target being updated following that data being released.

The Scottish Government remain committed to investing in diversifying the teaching workforce, as part of this the Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW), and broader Anti-Racism in Education Programme (AREP), are focussed on identifying and addressing the barriers to successful recruitment, retention and promotion of minority ethnic educators and student teachers through their work.

A range of actions are already underway, these include:

General Teaching Council Scotland National Race Diversity Lead

In April 2022, the General Teaching Council for Scotland appointed a new Senior Education Officer – National Race Diversity Lead, funded by Scottish Government as part of the Anti-Racism in Education Programme, their remit includes:

  • Leading action at a national and strategic level to increase race diversity in the teaching profession;
  • Supporting regional improvement collaboratives and local authorities to make progress in increasing diversity in the teaching profession drawing from, and building upon, existing networks in order to facilitate sustainable collaboration and connection;
  • Developing and championing sponsorship approaches for black and minority ethic teachers including an emphasis on how these can support career progression;
  • Providing advice to universities offering Initial Teacher Education to help progress actions that will increase the number of black and minority ethnic applications, entrants and qualifiers.

Anti-Racism in ITE Framework

Dr Khadija Mohammed, University of the West of Scotland, was commissioned by the Scottish Council of Deans of Education to write a framework to support anti-racism in initial teacher education. The framework proposes actions in relation to six areas: marketing and recruitment; racial literacy of teacher educators; teacher identity and positionality in ITE programmes; anti-racist pedagogy and curriculum; placement and probationary period. A draft of the framework was shared with SCDE in November 2022 and feedback provided. Khadija has been working with communications colleagues at UWS to create a final version of the framework for soft launch via the SCDE Twitter account as soon as possible and more formal launch at the Self-evaluation of ITE event on 8th June 2023. Asif Chishti, GTCS National Race Diversity Lead, and Louise Barrett, SCDE EDI Lead, are working together to create a network of ITE colleagues to support the taking forward of actions outlined in the framework within the context of individual ITE provider action plans. The introductory meeting will take place in April and meetings will be held monthly thereafter.

Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators' – Leadership, Mentoring and Wellbeing Programme

The Anti-Racism in Education Programme provides funding to the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE), a leading anti-racism organisation within the education landscape in Scotland, to deliver their "Leadership, Mentoring and Wellbeing Programme". This programme aims to provide safe, positive spaces for Black and minority ethnic educators to acknowledge their experiences, affirm their skills and competencies, define actions to support career progression and develop into race-cognisant advocates. This addresses some of the issues that we know contribute to the decision of minority ethnic educators to leave the teaching profession.

Scottish Government's Anti-Racism Employment Strategy

The Scottish Government's "Anti-Racist Employment Strategy"[7] was published in December 2022. The strategy is a call for action and guide for addressing the issues and disadvantages experienced by racialised minorities within the Scottish labour market. Although the strategy is broader than education there are clear implications for the teaching workforce and the work of the DITPEW subgroup and as such the group's members have been engaging closely with it. The strategy provides a number of resources for employers relating to diversifying their workforce, these resources include:

The Anti-Racist Employment Strategy also commits to producing guidance on the use of positive actions to support public sector employers by the end of 2024.[8] The DITPEW subgroup will continue to engage closely with this work and to support the development and delivery of this guidance within the education sector.

Building Racial Literacy Programme

As part of its work programme, the Anti-Racism in Education Programme seeks to address the issue of racism and racial discrimination within school settings. Anecdotal evidence is clear that experiencing racism and race-related discrimination are key contributors to the decision of minority ethnic educators to leave the teaching profession or teacher training. As such building an education system that is cognisant of, and able to discuss and address race-related issues and with a workforce that is racially literate is essential.

The Anti-Racism in Education Programme funds Education Scotland to deliver the 'Building Racial Literacy' programme. This is a programme that is open to individuals from across the education workforce in Scotland, regardless of previous anti-racist knowledge. It seeks to improve their racial literacy and encourages them to develop an anti-racist action plan that can then be taken into and implemented within their own setting.

Workforce Ethnicity Data Disclosure

Increasing the rates of ethnicity disclosure remains a key priority for the Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce subgroup. It remains the case that a not insignificant percentage of the teacher and student teacher populations choose either to not disclose their ethnicity when asked or choose 'unknown' as their ethnicity. Incomplete data makes it more difficult to form policy that meets the needs of the target audience.

The DITPEW subgroup is taking forward work to understand the reasons behind this lack of disclosure and to address any barriers. Research so far shows that there are a number of reasons that individuals choose either 'do not disclose' or 'unknown'. These include:

  • A lack of trust in those gathering data and what it will be used for;
  • Individuals not identifying with any of the options for ethnicity;
  • A lack of understand as to why the data is collected.

The DITPEW group will be taking forward actions to help employers and ITE institutions enhance disclosure rates and to build trust within the teacher and student teacher populations. This may include the development of guidance related to data gathering.


Email: emma.bunting@gov.scot

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