Teaching in a diverse Scotland - increasing and retaining minority ethnic teachers: 3 years on

This report outlines the progress and challenges faced in implementing the seventeen recommendations of the Teaching in a Diverse Scotland report, and outlines the work still to be undertaken to achieve the aim of a teaching profession, which reflects the diversity of Scotland's population.

Annex F – Copy of letter sent to Local Authorities

To: Directors of Education

Teaching in a Diverse Scotland: Increasing and Retaining Minority Ethnic Teachers in Scotland's Schools

I am writing to seek your support to ensure Recommendation 14 of the above report is taken forward. This recommendation asks that:

Local authorities should recognise and support aspiring minority ethnic teachers and encourage them to apply for promotion both within schools and across the wider education service. As part of this local authorities should examine how racism, institutional racism, bias (conscious or unconscious), and lack of awareness act as blocks to the promotion of BME teachers. This should be done in partnership with BME teachers who can inform such an exercise.

There are other recommendations which relate to local authorities such as providing guidance to probationer teachers and proactively recruiting a diverse workforce. Where possible we are working with partners such as COSLA, the GTCS and local authority probationer leads to take forward those recommendations.

However, this recommendation requires the support and drive from senior leaders. Recommendation 14 has two aspects. The first is how each authority talent spots and supports aspiring minority ethnic teachers in their authority to gain the confidence, knowledge and support that is required to enable them to put themselves forward for promotion or leadership positions.

The second aspect is how as an employer you are taking steps to ensure those involved in recruitment and selection at every level and stage become more aware of how subtle forms of bias or unnecessary barriers can impede promotion of black and minority ethnic teachers.

I understand that for some authorities, this task will be more straightforward as you have a more diverse workforce and local population. However, if we are to improve the diversity of the workforce to better match the increasing diversities of our pupil demographics, it requires all of us to contribute regardless of our own demographics.

I would be grateful for your advice on how this might be taken, or is being taken, forward in your authority. The working group I chair stand willing to provide advice and support as required.

Professor Rowena Arshad OBE, FEIS

Chair of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group


Email: sian.balfour@gov.scot

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