There has been a very small increase in the number of minority ethnic teachers over time: for example in 2021 the full time equivalent number of teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds across the whole profession was 945 or 1.8% of the workforce. This has increased from 725 (1.4% of the workforce) in 2017. The data also shows that there is a higher proportion of new teachers coming into the profession from minority ethnic backgrounds, compared to the overall teacher population. In addition, 2 local authorities are showing a slight increase, particularly within the secondary sector, in the percentage of teachers who identify as coming from a minority ethnic background. These are Aberdeen City and East Renfrewshire.
However, these are very small increases and across the teaching workforce, minority ethnic teachers continue to be significantly underrepresented in Scotland's schools. The Scottish Government recognises that considerable work is required to address this important issue.
Scottish Government is also mindful that the data indicates that the ethnicity of a proportion of the teaching workforce is unknown. In addition, others choose not to disclose their ethnicity, (Table 5.5). As part of its action plan, the DITPEW sub-group is working on ways to increase the ethnicity disclosure rate in order to ensure that the data with which we are working is as complete as possible.
2.2 What data is included in this report:
Section 4 of this report presents data tables relating to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes at Scottish Universities. The data captures five-year time series for entrants and qualifiers which look at ethnicity breakdowns and other relevant characteristics. These tables have been drawn from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student data.
In section 5, a series of data tables are included relating to the ethnicity of teachers working in schools in Scottish local authorities which have been drawn from the annual Teacher Census. This year's publication contains additional information on the ethnicity of teachers in their probation year, and on the employment of ethnic minority teachers in the year following their probation. The ethnicity of Scotland's population by local authority is also included in this section.
2.3 Initial Teacher Education
This progress report also includes data relating to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes at Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The data show that the representation of ethnic minorities in entrants and qualifiers has, overall, increased over the past five years between 2016-17 and 2020-21.
In 2020-21, 160 or 4.5 % of all UK-domiciled entrants to ITE programmes came from ethnic minority backgrounds. The proportion of entrants from ethnic minorities was higher to postgraduate courses at 4.8% compared to undergraduate courses at 3.8%. But all proportions have increased by at least one percentage point since 2016-17 when only 2.7% of all UK-domiciled entrants were from an ethnic minority background, including 3.2% and 1.5% to postgraduate and undergraduate courses respectively. The full time series is provided in Tables 4.3 and 4.4.
There were 110 UK-domiciled qualifiers from ITE programmes from an ethnic minority background in 2020-21. This represents 3.5%, an increase from 2.6% in 2016-17. The proportion of postgraduate qualifiers similarly went up from 2.7% to 3.9%. However, the proportion of undergraduate qualifiers from an ethnic minority background decreased from 2.4% in 2016-17 to 2.1% in 2020-21.
The data also reveals that ethnic minority groups are more strongly represented in the secondary teaching sector than in the primary one. In 2020-21, 5.5% of UK-domiciled entrants and 4.6% of UK-domiciled qualifiers in the secondary sector came from an ethnic minority background. This compares to 3.6% of entrants and 2.5% of qualifiers in the primary sector. But all proportions have seen an increase over the past five years. In 2016-17, only 1.9% of entrants and 2.0% of qualifiers in the primary sector had an ethnic minority background. In the secondary sector, this was 3.8% and 3.4%, respectively. The full time series is given in Tables 4.5, 4.6, 4.14 and 4.15.
ITE programmes are offered by 11 HEIs in Scotland. The representation of ethnic minority groups varies by ITE provider and further information on this is presented in Tables 4.9 and 4.18. A breakdown by nationality is also provided in Tables 4.7, 4.8, 4.16 and 4.17.
It is worth noting that in ITE, similar to the teaching workforce, there is a number of individuals with an unknown ethnicity. In 2020-21, 2.0% of qualifiers and 0.6% of entrants were recorded as having an unknown ethnicity. Going forward, the quality of the data in this report could be enhanced with an increased rate of ethnicity disclosure, as well as better informing the ambitions of the DITPEW sub group.
2.4 Teacher Census
In 2021 the full time equivalent number of teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds across the whole profession was 945 or 1.8% of the workforce. This has increased from 725 (1.4% of the workforce) in 2017. There is a higher proportion of ethnic minority teachers in the secondary sector, 2.2% of the workforce, than in the primary sector, 1.3% of the workforce. Minority ethnic teachers are less represented in promoted posts compared to the profession as a whole, with less than 1% of teachers in promoted posts identifying as being from a minority ethnic background.
In the 2021 teacher census, the ethnic background of 4% of the teaching workforce was 'unknown'. The percentage of teachers identifying as being from an ethnic minority background is lower than this, at 2%. Reducing the incidence of teachers with an unknown ethnic background is fundamental to developing robust and informed policy, as well as providing a baseline to accurately record progress in meeting the 4% target set out in the Teaching in a Diverse Scotland report (2018).
The data shows that there is a higher proportion of new teachers coming into the profession from minority ethnic backgrounds, compared to the overall teacher population. Table 5.6 shows that in 2021, 3.8% of secondary probationary teachers and 1.9% of primary probationary teachers came from minority ethnic backgrounds. Although there has been an increase in the proportion of probationers from an ethnic minority background between 2016/17 and 2019/20, there was decrease seen in 2020/21.
Table 5.7 shows that there is a lower proportion of ethnic minority probationers finding employment after finishing their probationary year compared to the whole probationer population. In 2020/21, 16% of primary school Teacher Induction Scheme probationers from an ethnic minority background found permanent employment in their first year of teaching. This is lower than the primary school probationer cohort as a whole, which saw 23% of probationers finding permanent employment.
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