Strategic Board for Teacher Education: Meeting 28 Thursday 21 March 2024 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Strategic Board for Teacher Education papers from Thursday 21 March 2024

Annex A

Strategic Board for Teacher Education Paper to the Scottish Education Council – 27 April 2023


Priority 1 – Increased Resource Demand Analysis

Local and national teacher resource demands are better understood to improve longer-term workforce planning. This includes tackling geographical challenges and ensuring targets for ITE programmes are set and met accordingly, particularly at secondary level and for hard to fill subjects such as science, technologies, mathematics, modern languages and Gaelic.

Priority 2 – Reducing Barriers to Becoming a Teacher

The barriers to individuals with protected characteristics such as race, religion or disability entering or staying in the teaching profession are better understood and reduced.

Priority 3 – Increased Support for Early Career Teachers

Teachers in the early phase of their careers experience more consistent mentoring and coaching to increase their confidence, motivation and satisfaction, raising retention rates after achieving full registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC) for Scotland.

Priority 4 – Improving the Promotion of Teaching as a Valued Career

Teachers are valued and teaching is recognised and better promoted as important, complex and impactful work, improving the attractiveness of teaching as a career.

Workstream 1: Workforce Planning and increasing diversity of the profession

Lead Organisation: COSLA (SCDE, ADES & GTCS)

Outcome: Local and national teacher resource demands are better understood to improve longer-term workforce planning. This includes tackling geographical challenges and ensuring targets for ITE programmes are set and met accordingly, particularly at secondary level and for hard to fill subjects such as science, technologies, mathematics, modern languages and Gaelic. The barriers to individuals with protected characteristics such as race, religion or disability entering or staying in the teaching profession are better understood and reduced.

Actions - Gather detail on local approaches to workforce planning across local authorities. Consider whether a more consistent approach may be helpful in achieving effective long term planning - acknowledge that each local area has unique challenges. Improve understanding of teacher shortages in certain geographical areas and certain subjects and develop strategies to tackle these shortages and increase retention.

Progress – Initial meetings held between COSLA, ADES Personnel Network Reps and SG. Challenges identified such as secondary school autonomy on curriculum choice, some LA approaches being used based on simple teacher age and falling pupil rolls. SG and COSLA have met to scope out in more detail the actions required. There has also been engagement with the ADES Personnel Network on 8 March to determine what local data on teacher resourcing requirements is already available and whether there is the potential for this data to be collected and collated systematically across all 32 local authorities.

Next steps - A short-life working group is being formed to provide oversight for this work, including reps from COSLA, SG and the ADES Personnel Network. The first step will be to design a workforce planning data gathering tool to issue for completion by every local authority.

Action - Consider specific issues related to headteacher recruitment and retention.

Progress - January 2024 - Laurence Findlay, Chair of HTRRWG has accepted invitation to become member of SBTE. HTRRWG met 6 December and agreed to strengthen links between the group and SBTE. Plan to align development of new workplan with the 3 workstreams of SBTE, with a particular focus on headteacher recruitment and retention issues. HTTRWG met on 12 March and discussed and agreed potential actions the Group could progress brigaded under the 3 SBTE workstream headings. The Group also discussed the links between that Group, SBTE and the Into Headship Strategic Oversight Group to ensure each group has a unique but complementary set of actions and to ensure there is no duplication of effort.

Next steps - HTTRWG in-person workshop to be scheduled for June 2024 to discuss actions in the workplan in more detail.

Action - Support work of SG Anti-Racism in Education Programme. For example: ITE providers implementing SCDE anti-racism in ITE framework; consider local authorities' approaches to recruitment and recruitment of BME teachers.

Action - Better understand issues related to teacher recruitment and retention in denominational schools and look to develop new approaches to overcome them.

Action – Work with HEIs to consider targeting ITE programmes to defined groups, such as individuals who have a disability.

Action - Consider how to address gender imbalance in the primary sector.

Workstream 2: Improving the Promotion of Teaching as a Valued Career

Progress report

To provide an update on the work being undertaken by Scottish Government Marketing and the first meeting of the SBTE Workstream 2


1. It is fast becoming known that the challenges of teacher recruitment and retention are widespread globally. Scotland is no exception to that and over recent years we have seen a decline in the numbers of students coming forward to consider teaching as a career. This has been highlighted as a growing global issue in recent OECD reports and in discussions at the International Summit of the Teaching Profession, citing issues such as workload, stress and pupil behaviour as key challenges in attracting people into teaching as a career.

2. To address this, the Scottish Government has a commitment within the 2024 Programme for government to:

"work with our partners on a joint campaign to promote teaching as a highly rewarding career with the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of children and young people, improving recruitment and retention and attracting more high quality individuals into teaching in areas where they are most needed".

3. SBTE has agreed that its overarching aim in considering work on recruitment and retention of teachers is to ensure that we have the right number of high quality teachers, in the right places with the right areas of expertise. As part of this process, it was agreed that Workstream 2, led by Scottish Government (SG), would consider how best we can change the perception of teaching as an attractive and valued profession within very tight budget constraints.

Scottish Government - Progress & Actions to date

4. SG Marketing provided an update on Actions and Insights from previous paid marketing campaigns.

  • SG Marketing has been working on developing a recruitment toolkit based on existing assets and this was issued in January to all of the ITE institutions and local authorities.
  • In addition, work is underway to update the website and a call out for teachers to come forward as more case studies/trailblazers has been issued, in particular those from ethnic minorities and leadership roles. To date only two local authorities have offered assistance in this area.
  • There is ongoing work to further update the TeachinScotland website.
  • Evidence from insight research from previous paid marketing was shared – see "Insight Research" below.
  • Within the limited resource available SG marketing have revised their 23/24 strategy increasing the focus on encouraging subscribers to consider roles outside of the central belt in more rural and remote schools. Also introduced targeted email journey for three audiences:
  • Those considering teaching.
  • Those studying for a PGDE
  • Those teaching elsewhere.

SBTE Workstream 2

5. The first meeting of Workstream 2 subgroup took place on 7 March 2024. The group comprises membership from the teacher unions, local authority employers, universities, SCES and SG. The aim of the meeting was to consider the barriers to becoming a teacher and how we might approach working collaboratively in developing a joint campaign to raise the profile and change the public perception of teaching as a career.

6. The aim of such a campaign would be to demonstrate how teachers are valued and teaching is recognised and better promoted as important, complex and impactful work, improving the attractiveness of teaching as a career. Some of the teacher unions were reticent in joining this work due to existing challenges around workload, stress and pupil behaviour, however there was good representation on the group.

Insight Research

7. SG Marketing colleagues presented on insights from the two previous paid marketing campaigns, Teaching makes People and "That's what teaching taught me" which highlights that our strategy within these campaign remains valid and that existing materials remain fit for purpose.

8. Numbers seeking more information on teaching as a career to the TeachinScotland website are strong. The e-mail traffic from people showing an interest also remains very strong yet the numbers actually following though to application, especially for PGDE, are relatively low. Insight research has highlighted:

  • Everyone has experience of teaching, but misperceptions are common.
  • Choosing a career in teaching can feel final and daunting.
  • Ultimate motivator is that it is a challenging and rewarding job where you can make a difference.
  • Other more functional aspects of teaching can influence interest in teaching.
  • Negative perceptions can be addressed by sharing information about what it is like to teach in Scotland.
  • Motivators are the same for Minority Ethnic audiences, but they face multiple overlapping barriers, including a lack of 'people like me' in the workforce.

Issues Discussed

9. In terms of how we can change the perception of teaching, issues such as the current workload challenges for teachers, negative media coverage, pupil behaviour challenges within schools, perceived lack of jobs and promotion opportunities, lack of understanding of denominational aspects, lack of GME speakers, issues relating to barriers for the ethnic minority community were all seen as the key barriers and the areas we need to address. It was also felt that there needs to be more promotion in schools to encourage consideration of teaching as a career and that perhaps the careers advisory service both within schools and universities did not do enough to promote teaching. What is needed is core messaging around the joy of the job and also more pupil input in developing any campaign. Issues around teacher recruitment in rural Scotland were also discussed. Whilst Preference Waiver probationers are an important resource for rural areas, many do not stay after their probationary year.

10. Some stakeholders are already taking action within their own communities. SCES are already working with senior phase pupils to promote teaching in Catholic schools. Additionally work was under way to hold a week to promote teaching within the ethnic minority communities. The idea of a week-long national social media campaign was considered worthy of further exploration.

11. Issues around dual registration, getting more primary teachers into secondary, alternative routes into ITE were also discussed. However it was felt that workstream 1 would be discussing those aspects further.

Next Steps

12. The meeting agreed that, costs permitting, we should pursue the development of a joint social media campaign and develop a common narrative that can be deployed across the communications channels of all stakeholders. Actions to consider in the development of such a campaign include the following:

  • Discuss with schools and university careers service.
  • Stakeholders to seek out teacher ambassadors/trailblazers for website case studies in particular those from denominational and minority ethnic backgrounds, leadership and rural/remote areas.
  • Re-consider attending university careers fairs.
  • Extend 'marketing/promotion' to include pupils, possibly including work with the Scottish Youth Parliament and organisations such as Children in Scotland.
  • Develop a common social media campaign – "Teaching Week".
  • Promote teaching through partnership with Third Sector youth organisations, such as Guides and Scouts
  • Promote Rural Scotland as a great place to live and work.
  • Promote GME teaching and encourage Gaelic-fluent speakers to consider teaching as a career.

Paper for Strategic Board for Teacher Education – March 2024

Curriculum and Assessment Board Update

At the January 2024 meeting of CAB, the following items were discussed:

1. Education Reform Update

This update to board members covered topics including: recent ministerial discussions around system-level reform across education and skills, parliamentary statements and committee evidence sessions.

2. OECD Implementation plan update

The current action plan, which first came to CAB in April 2022, is due to complete on many actions by April 2024. Key progress noted were:

  • A paper on Interdisciplinary learning will be available from Education Scotland in February.
  • Work on teacher professional judgement is taking place in collaboration with Dundee City Council.
  • An updated paper on Learner Pathways is due to be published in line with the April 2024 deadline.
  • A pilot on national curriculum design which is due to start in March 2024 has been popular and is already oversubscribed.

3. Role of knowledge in the curriculum areas

Education Scotland provided information on pilot curriculum reviews, established following the OECD report, Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future.
The paper focuses on initial findings from Education Scotland's pilot curriculum

reviews, with a view to informing the new Curriculum Improvement Cycle announced in December 2023.

Pilot reviews have so far been held in the curriculum areas of; Maths, Health & Wellbeing, Social Studies and Modern Languages. Reviews are also being initiated in Expressive Arts and English/Literacy in early 2024.

4. Local Attainment Stretch Aims -

This update presented recently collected and collated Stretch Aims for closing the attainment gap, from all 32 Local Authorities. These were published in December alongside the National Improvement Framework plan.

The stretch aims illustrate the collective ambition for improvement, and the need for a collective drive to deliver these, which will involve a focus on literacy and numeracy, and quality learning and teaching.

5. ACEL data and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results overview

An overview and reflections on results from the ACEL and PISA data published in December 2023 was provided.

Links to further details was made available to CAB members:



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