Strategic Board for Teacher Education minutes: September 2018

Minutes of the eleventh meeting of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education, held on 12 September 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Clare Hicks, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Rowena Arshad, Chair of Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group
  • Dougie Atkinson, VOICE
  • Kathy Cameron, COSLA
  • Clare Furze, Scottish Government
  • Andy Griffiths, Regional Improvement Collaboratives
  • Robert Hair, AHDS
  • Gillian Hamilton, Education Scotland
  • Kevin Hanlon, Scottish Government
  • Jo Hughes, Scottish Catholic Education Service
  • Kelly Ireland, SG member of Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group   
  • Tracey McRae, Scottish Government
  • Ken Muir, General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Susan Quinn, Educational Institute for Scotland
  • Seamus Searson, Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association
  • Andy Smith, School Leaders Scotland
  • Scott Brand, Scottish Government (Secretary)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

1. Clare Hicks thanked Jim Thewliss for arranging and Andy Smith for hosting the meeting.

2. The Board welcomed Rowena Arshad and Kelly Ireland from the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group and Tracey McRae from the Scottish Government as an observer.  Andy Smith was substituting for Jim Thewliss and Jo Hughes was substituting for Barbara Coupar.  

3. Apologies were received from Kirsty Elder, Margaret Lannon, Jane Peckham, Ian Rivers, David Roy, Barrie Sheppard and Michael Wood.  

Previous minutes 

4. The minutes of the meeting of 31 May 2018 were agreed as being accurate. These will be made available on the Scottish Government website

Action: Secretariat to publish minutes

Report from the Headteacher Recruitment Working Group 

5. Clare Furze introduced the report, which had been produced by the Working Group established by SBTE to address issues raised in the 2016 ADES report on the recruitment of headteachers in Scotland.  The group had been jointly chaired by COSLA and SG with membership drawn from organisations represented on the SBTE.

6. It outlines the policy context and groups findings and recommendations into 4 themes, as follows:  

  • Theme 1: Career Pathways and Preparation for Headship
  • Theme 2: Support for existing Headteachers         
  • Theme 3: Terms, Conditions and Incentives 
  • Theme 4: Promoting the Role of Headteacher

 7. In discussion it was noted that the original ADES report had found 411 FTE teachers had the Standard for Headship but were not in Headteacher posts; and that there has been little change to this figure in the 2017 census data.  Following the original report, SCEL had worked with a group of such teachers to understand the perceived barriers to headship.  The Towards Headship programme was then developed to support those who held previous headship qualifications but were seeking further development support before entering headship.  Around 20 teachers per year have taken part in Towards Headship.

8. The group also noted that others in this category may have retired or moved into other educational leadership positions (e.g. local authority or national organisation).  Some teachers have also used the Standard for Headship programme to develop themselves for principal teacher or depute headteacher posts.  In order to build a pipeline of aspiring headteachers, SCEL now target the Into Headship programme at those teachers who are considered by themselves and their employers to be within 2 years of applying for a Headteacher post.

9. It was confirmed that a campaign aimed at attracting more teachers to consider headship would be launched at the Scottish Learning Festival later in September.  The headteacher recruitment working group had been involved in the development of the campaign.  Members reflected that more could be done to publicise the findings from the evaluation of the general teacher recruitment campaign, and to reflect on these in taking forward the headship campaign.  

10.  Jo Hughes from the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) updated the Board on further joint work underway between SCEL and the Scottish Catholic Education Service to develop specific resources for serving and aspiring headteachers in the denominational sector. 

11.  The Board requested clarification of the following specific points of detail in the final report:

  • Para 11 – bullet point 5 which states that "The number of headteachers working in more than one school has increased since 2010, and the number of schools with shared headships has similarly increased". It was agreed this variation should be better defined
  • Recommendation 11: the Board felt this recommendation could be tighter, ideally including a specific commitment from a local authority to pilot and evaluate improvements to tackle local bureaucracy
  • Para 38: the Board sought clarity as to whether this discussion related to local authorities’ flexibility to vary salaries; or to offer incentives that do not relate to salary

12. Clare Hicks thanked the Working Group for their excellent work in producing a comprehensive, evidence-based report. The Board endorsed the report and its recommendations, subject to the points noted.  It was agreed that the Board should assume responsibility for ensuring the recommendations were taken forward and that members would be informed when a publication date had been agreed.    


  • An update on both the findings from the evaluation of the general teacher recruitment campaign and progress in delivery of the teacher and headteacher recruitment campaign to be provided at the next meeting
  • Points of detail noted for redrafting within the report to be actioned
  • Oversight of all actions to be incorporated into the Board’s work plan 
  • Board to be informed of the Report publication date 

Report from the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group  

13. Rowena Arshad introduced the report, which draws on valuable evidence from recent surveys undertaken by Glasgow City Council and the EIS and groups findings and recommendations under the following 5 themes:

  •     closing the awareness gap
  •     attractiveness and status of teaching to students from minority ethnic backgrounds
  •     effectiveness of university admissions processes in capturing a diverse range of applicants
  •     student placement experiences and support for students
  •     retaining student teachers and teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds and supporting their promotion at all levels    

14. In providing a summary of the recommendations, Rowena Arshad confirmed that whilst producing the report it had become clear that the majority of Scotland’s teacher workforce needed greater awareness of issues impacting on minority ethnic teachers.   Minority ethnic groups experience a lack of role models in teaching and the curriculum can lack relevance or acknowledgement of other cultures.  That being the case, she concluded that more mentoring of minority ethnic teachers was desirable, especially as many feel they have additional barriers to overcome to secure promotion. 

15. It was noted that the draft report’s recommendations remain subject to further discussion and agreement with those lead delivery organisations.  On recommendation 5, Kathy Cameron noted that COSLA can only draw the attention of councils to this matter, but agreed to discuss equalities issues more widely with heads of HR and ADES to draw the matter to the attention of those involved in teacher recruitment.  It was agreed that the Working Group would finalise the report and seek agreement to all actions and that close links should be maintained with the Scottish Government’s Race Equality Policy Team to ensure they remain sighted on progress.

16. In general discussion it was noted that consideration should be given to:

  • a protected number of places on ITE programmes for applicants who meet the minimum rather than university imposed enhanced entry requirements
  • the creation of support networks at university/authority level for minority ethnic students and teachers
  • the quality of race discrimination education across all stakeholder organisations and the range of professional resources that already exist
  • any lessons learned from positive active taken by other professional grouping to attract minority ethnic applicants

17. The Chair thanked Professor Arshad for her leadership of this work and to the working group for their contributions. The Board confirmed their endorsement of the report and agreed the Board work plan should reflect when updates will be provided. 


Working Group to:

  • agree ownership and timeframes for each recommendation with the relevant lead stakeholder
  • consider the additional points of detail offered by SBTE members for inclusion within the report
  • provide update reports on progress to SBTE.  Frequency to be agreed with secretariat and reflected in the work plan

Work plan and action tracker 

Work plan

18. Kevin Hanlon stressed the importance of members contributing to the development and update of the Work Plan, given its purpose to help inform the agenda for future meetings.

Action: members to contact the Secretariat with updates to the work plan 

Action tracker

19. Kevin Hanlon introduced the action tracker and the following updates were noted:

Action 4: GTCS and Education Scotland to consider MyPL Governance

20. Ken Muir confirmed the GTCS PRD/PU Group will consider the technical aspects of this project as it progresses.  Education Scotland will lead on how this project fits into the wider PL policy landscape. 

Action 6: ES to develop communications strategy for Professional Learning (PL) and a stakeholder forum

21. Gillian Hamilton confirmed a national conference on PL is to be held on 20 November 2018 and a further 6 regional conferences are to follow.

Action 10: Regional Improvement Collaboratives/Teacher Education Partnerships

22. The Scottish Government had been tasked by the Board to consider the implications for Teacher Education Partnerships following the introduction of Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs).  Kevin Hanlon confirmed that officials have spoken with 4 local authorities and the consistent message given was that RICs were still at an early stage in their development and that their impact on the existing Teacher Education Partnerships (TEP) was minimal.  A watching brief will be maintained to ensure these groupings both collaborate and compliment the provision of student and Career Long Professional Learning support going forward.  What has emerged is the importance of ensuring the Masters funding model remains equitable, given that four authorities are in more than one TEP.  This will be considered and addressed in advance of any future funding.   


  • Scottish Government to maintain an overview of the developing working relationship between the Regional Improvement Collaboratives and Teacher Education Partnerships at local level
  • consideration to be given to the Masters funding model going forward to ensure equity of access for all local authorities


Student placement management system 

23. Kevin Hanlon confirmed that the Student Placement Management Group had met on 6 September and discussed the system and user issues evaluation report.  A Working Group is to be convened to consider the evaluation report in more detail and to gather evidence from those local authorities who had not responded to the evaluation survey. 

24. It was noted that greater complexity is being added to the system through issues such as new placement patterns and additional new routes into teaching.

Action: evaluation of the student placement system to form a substantive agenda item at the next meeting of the Board

ITE Intakes PGDE Secondary 

25. Clare Hicks noted final figures for ITE intakes will be available in October, following the next meeting of the Workforce Planning Advisory Group and will be published alongside vacancy survey data.

Agenda for next meeting

26. Items under consideration for the next meeting include:

  • Student Placement Management System
  • Measuring Quality in ITE (MQuITE) Research project
  • ITE Student Intakes
  • Career Pathways
  • Teacher and Headteacher Recruitment Campaign update

Date of future meetings

27. The next meeting scheduled for Friday 14 December at 2.00 pm in NASUWT Offices in Edinburgh is to be re-arranged. 

Action:  SBTE Secretariat to canvass for a new date for the meeting scheduled for 14 December and for meeting dates in 2019.



Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE)
c/o Scottish Government
Learning Directorate
Victoria Quay

Tel: 0131 244 4000 or 0300 244 4000 (for local rate throughout UK and for mobile)

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