Publication - Strategy/plan

Teaching in a diverse Scotland: increasing and retaining minority ethnic teachers

Published: 14 Nov 2018
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781787813519

This report aims to increase the number of teachers from under-represented groups at all levels in Scottish Schools.

68 page PDF

1.1 MB

68 page PDF

1.1 MB

Contents
Teaching in a diverse Scotland: increasing and retaining minority ethnic teachers
Annex G: Glasgow City Council Research Paper - Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Profession: A Glasgow Perspective

68 page PDF

1.1 MB

Annex G: Glasgow City Council Research Paper - Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Profession: A Glasgow Perspective

Education Services Glasgow City Council

Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Profession: A Glasgow Perspective

Dr Michele McClung Christina MacDonald Graeme Mason January 2018

Section 1: Introduction

  • Changing demographics in many contemporary western countries, including Scotland, has resulted in multi-ethnic societies. Despite this, the teaching workforce has not kept pace with the increased diversity of the student population across many of these countries (Howard, 2010 & Beck, 2014). Within Scotland in 2016 93.5% of teachers were indigenous white. Little is known about the 1% of teachers from the BME population (Black and Minority Ethnic). In terms of the ethnicity of the pupil population across Scotland 3.3% of pupils are from BME backgrounds (Scottish Government, 2016). Consequently, at their annual general meeting in 2015 the Education Institute for Scotland (EIS), Scotland's largest trade union, passed a motion that called for intelligence to be collected in respect of the BME teaching population across Scotland. Simultaneously, the Scottish Government announced a plan to work more closely with Local Authorities across Scotland as part of their aspiration to have a more ethnically diverse teacher workforce (BBC, 2015). This issue is not specific to Scotland, in England and Wales 12% of teachers are from BME backgrounds, however, 28.5% of primary and 24.2% of secondary pupils are from BME backgrounds (Department of Education, 2013).
  • A review of current literature suggests that there are a number of reasons why teaching does appeal and why it does not appeal to young people from BME backgrounds. Wilson et al (2006) undertook a study that investigated the reasons why teachers chose their particular vocation. Teachers and head teachers participated and the study considered a number of factors, not just ethnicity. What could be determined was that gender, disability, sexual orientation and ethnicity all influenced an individual's decision to become a teacher. Also, the views of family and friends influenced their decision. Of the 65 BME teachers that participated in the study a significant proportion suggested that their ethnicity was a major influencing factor in their decision to become a teacher. Moreover, a significant proportion of these teachers believed that their ethnicity constrained them in their career. This is reflective of the research findings of work undertaken by Cunningham and Hardgreaves (2007) and Bhopal (2015).
  • According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (September 2016), there are four main why people from BME backgrounds do not consider teaching as a career. These are:

1. Racism within schools that pupils experience or witness.

2. Amongst some BME groupings, such as the Asian Community, teaching is not regarded highly. Professions such as law and medicine are considered more reputable professions to go into from a family's perspective.

3. Young people from BME backgrounds do not have enough role models in teaching to inspire them to take up teaching.

4. Teachers from BME backgrounds tend to be paid less than the indigenous population. This was evidenced in a study commissioned by NASUWT in 2014 who found that BME teachers tended to be paid less than white teachers[24] and less likely to hold senior positions in schools.

  • The consequences of this imbalance of BME teachers against BME pupils is of concern as empirical evidence demonstrates that this has a negative impact on the achievement and aspirations of minority ethnic children as often the only role models they see at school from BME backgrounds are administrators, janitorial staff and kitchen staff etc. (Wilkinson and Lall, 2011). However, it is widely recognised that that BME teachers make an important contribution to the learning experience of children (Wilkins and Lall 2011). Indeed, International Research indicates that teachers from BME backgrounds can impact positively on BME students self- esteem and academic performance and that all students can benefit from a diverse workforce (Howard, 2010).
  • Glasgow has the greatest number and proportion of children from BME backgrounds compared to all other local authorities in Scotland attending its schools. In the 2016 annual school census 20.2% (circa. 14,000) of all pupils were from a BME background (Scottish Government, 2016). The proportion of teachers from BME backgrounds is not reflective of the BME pupil population with only 3.3% of all teachers in the 2016 school census having a BME background (Scottish Government, 2016). Education Services understands that this is not ideal and wants to address this inequity but before this can be tackled Education Services requires a better understanding of the issues and barriers. This report provides details of a study that was undertaken during 2017 which set out to explore some of the barriers faced by BME teachers in entering and working in the teaching profession. It also explores the views of pupils from all ethnic backgrounds in respect of the desirability of the teaching profession in 21st century Scotland.

Section 2: Findings

Research Questions

The study focussed on 4 areas. These were:

  • Why did you / or would you choose teaching as a career choice?
  • Why is there low numbers of teachers from BME backgrounds?
  • How do we encourage people from BME backgrounds into teaching?
  • Do teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds have equal opportunities for career advancement?

Method

This was a mixed method study. There was four aspects to the study.

  • A semi structured focus group with EAL teachers (English as an Additional Language);
  • A semi structured focus group with pupils with EAL;
  • A pupil survey opened to the general pupil population;
  • A teacher survey opened to the general teacher population;
  • BME groups are not homogenous in nature, so where possible and significant, specific minority groups will be referenced.

Focus Group with teaching staff from the EAL Team

  • A general invite went out to all teachers within the EAL Service and five teachers attended the focus group. This equates to less than 5% of EAL teachers based within the city. The group were self-selecting and were Polish or Asian. The focus group was semi structured.

Teaching as a Career Choice

  • There were a number of reasons why the respondents had chosen a career in teaching, many of these related to more generic issues such as childcare or coming from families where generations before them had been teachers. This was more prevalent in teachers from Eastern Europe who said that teaching was regarded as a prestigious career. Whereas, those from Asian backgrounds said that teaching was not viewed as a good career choice by their families and they tended to have chosen teaching as a second career as it helped with childcare.

Low Number of Teachers from BME Backgrounds

  • According to the group, the most significant reason for the low number of teachers from BME backgrounds relates to the difficulties in becoming a registered teacher in Scotland when training has been undertaken in another country. However, the group did agree that one advantage to them being teachers was that they were bilingual, at the very least. One concern raised by a few of the teachers was that it could lead to them being pigeonholed into the EAL service and similar roles, rather than being offered generic teaching roles. Additionally, racism was an issue identified by the group as a reason for the low numbers of teachers from BME backgrounds. This was racism from pupils and parents. There was also a mention of the potential of institutional racism from some teachers as a contributory factor. It was noted that this had become more of a problem since the 9/11 attacks and changes to EU rules about immigration.

Encouraging People from BME Backgrounds into teaching

  • Having more teachers from BME backgrounds was identified as the key to encouraging young people from BME backgrounds into teaching. Essentially having role models was seen as being the most effective way. This was also seen as important for BME families and not just pupils.
  • The lack of BME teachers in promoted posts was also seen as a reason for not encouraging BME young people to go into teaching.

Focus Group with Pupils with EAL

  • This took the form of a semi structured focus group with an EAL class from Hillhead High. There were 10 young people who attended the session. The young people came from a range of ethnic backgrounds including Chinese, Somalian and Spanish. All of the pupils were in S5 or S6.

Teaching as a Career Choice

  • Largely this group of BME pupils reported that they had a positive school experience. Pupils felt they were treated fairly and that they fit in well with their peers. They recognised the need to go to school and identified the purpose being to get into university. Interestingly, the majority of the pupils advised that being from a BME background did not impact on their school experience. All of them had decided what they would do on leaving school. All but two of the pupils were going to university to study subjects such as mathematics, science, computing or business. None of the pupils had considered teaching and stated that they had higher aspirations than being a teacher. Their career choices were very much the result of family expectations.

Low Number of Teachers from BME Backgrounds

  • One key theme that emerged throughout the study was the need to have a Higher English and that many pupils therefore did not qualify despite having good exam results. A contributing factor for young people was the need for ongoing support with English for three or four years after arriving in Scotland but that this was in a separate EAL class rather than general support across the curriculum.
  • Young people also identified that there is a lack of positive role models from BME backgrounds and that teaching might be a more plausible career choice if there were more BME role models in their school. More generally, pupils thought that teachers are under a lot of pressure as they are responsible for the future of their pupils and that they would not want to have that level of responsibility.

Encouraging People from BME Backgrounds into teaching

  • Young people identified targeted publicity as the key to encouraging BME people into teaching. Salary scale was also identified as a factor that dissuaded people from going into teaching. Some pupils suggested that more language courses in schools to improve the levels of English amongst BME pupils would also help. English levels among BME pupils were mentioned a lot - they generally felt that they didn't have the appropriate level of English to even consider a career in teaching. It was also suggested that more encouragement from parents into a career in teaching may have a positive effect. Although all parents had an influence over pupils' career choices and encouraged their children to get a good education to get a good job, no pupils thought their parents would be upset if they chose a career in teaching.

Pupil Survey

  • The pupil survey contained a combination of closed and open questions. It was distributed to all schools via Headteachers' accounts and they were asked to disseminate the request to pupils to ask them to participate in the study. In total 513 secondary school pupils completed the survey. This equates to 2% of the secondary population. As demonstrated below in Figure 1, just over one third (35%) of all pupils who participated in the survey defined themselves as being from a BME background, over half (55%) defined themselves as White Scottish or White Other and the remaining 10% defined themselves as other or chose not to tell us their ethnicity.

Figure 1: Self Defined Ethnicity of Participants (as a %)

Figure 1: Self Defined Ethnicity of Participants (as a %)

  • As demonstrated below in Figure 2, the greatest number of pupils who participated were in S3 (35.3%). This may be partly explained by the fact that the survey was run at the end of the exam diet. However, there is a reasonable spread of pupils participating from all stages.

Figure 2: Year Group of Pupils (as a %)

Figure 2: Year Group of Pupils (as a %)

  • As part of the pupil survey pupils were asked what their study and career plans were on leaving school. This is demonstrated in Figures 3 and 4. What can be determined is that a greater proportion of pupils from BME backgrounds intend to go to university (73.5%) or to college (15.5%) than those White Scottish/ White Other Pupils (53.1% and 22.9% respectively).

Figure 3: Planned Destination on Leaving School

Black and BME White Scottish/White Other Other/Not Disclosed Total
Other (please specify) 3.2% 6.9% 5.7% 5.5%
College 15.5% 22.9% 26.4% 20.9%
University 73.5% 53.1% 64.2% 61.1%
Employment 1.9% 7.3% 0.0% 4.7%
Apprenticeship/Training 5.8% 9.2% 3.8% 7.4%
Voluntary Work 0.0% .8% 0.0% .4%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
  • Pupils were asked to indicate what area of study/ career they were considering after school. To be meaningful this has been divided into 3 categories as noted below in Figure 4. What is evident is that a higher proportion of pupils from BME backgrounds intend to study/ have a career in Science, Medicine, Law & Engineering (54.3%) compared to on 33.6% White Scottish/ White other pupils. Conversely, a higher proportion of pupils from White Scottish/ White Other backgrounds (40.1%) indicated they intended to study / have a career in Social Science, Education, Business, Sport, and Languages compared to only 20.8% of pupils from BME backgrounds.

Figure 4: Pupils Planned Area of Study (as a %)

Black and BME White Scottish/White Other Other/Not Disclosed
Science, Medicine, Law & Engineering 54.30% 33.60% 64.60%
Social Science, Education, Business, Sport, Languages 20.80% 40.10% 18.90%
*Other 24.60% 26.10% 16.70%

*This included service sector.

Teaching as a Career Choice

  • As demonstrated below in Figure 5, one third of pupils (32.4%) indicated that they would consider a career in teaching. However, ethnic status was not a determinant in this with 34.8% of pupils from a BME background considering a career in teaching and 35.1% of pupils from a White Scottish/ White other background considering a career in teaching.

Figure 5: Considering a Career in Teaching

Figure 5: Considering a Career in Teaching

  • A desire to work with children coupled with a desire to help others was cited as the main reason for wanting to pursue a teaching career. A significant proportion of pupils also highlighted that they thought they were good at explaining things and this is why they had considered a teaching career. Another common theme identified with regards to the desire to have a teaching career relates to the opportunity to shape future generations and the rewards of being a teacher. There was nothing markedly different in responses from different ethnic groups. However, it could be noted that where good holidays was cited as a reason for choosing a teaching career, this was most prevalent amongst pupils either from the White- Other or White Scottish groups. Amongst pupils in the White Scottish category P.E. teaching in particular came up frequently as a particular choice of course to teach.

Conversely, young people from all ethnic backgrounds cited a lack of interest in working with children or not being good with children as a reason why they hadn't considered a career in teaching. Children being hard to control and disruptive was mentioned as was a lack of confidence to stand up in front of pupils and also finding it difficult to explain things was another reason that recurred. This was particularly apparent amongst African/Caribbean young people and also White Scottish pupils. Low pay was another of the main reasons why young people had not considered teaching as a career and again this was one of the main reasons that were highlighted frequently across ethnic groups. Based on their own experience at school, many identified stress levels in teachers as one of the main factors that that put young people off a career in teaching. This again was a very common theme amongst most ethnic groups. In addition, having higher aspirations than teaching was frequently mentioned as a reason why young people did not want to become teachers. This was particularly prevalent amongst pupils from Pakistani/Indian backgrounds who indicated a desire for a career in science and medicine.

Low Number of Teachers from BME Backgrounds

  • Whilst racism and discrimination did not come out as a reason why pupils did not personally consider teaching as a career, this was identified as one of the main reasons why young people thought that BME pupils did not choose teaching as a career. A language barrier was also one of the main reasons cited. This was prevalent across all ethnic groupings. However, although the two themes above were the most common responses as to what barriers exist to discourage young people from BME backgrounds from going into teaching. The low status of a teaching career was particularly prevalent as a response from pupils from Pakistani/Indian groups and also White Scottish pupils. For Pakistani/Indian pupils the reason above coupled with poor parental perception of a career in teaching came out as a common theme. This was not reflected across other ethnic groups. A lack of positive role models from BME backgrounds was also highlighted as a reason for not choosing teaching as a career. Again, this was highlighted by pupils from Pakistani/Indian backgrounds and also White Scottish pupils. A significant number of White Scottish pupils also mentioned that BME pupils having a poor experience at school themselves may discourage them from becoming teachers in future.

Encouraging People from BME Backgrounds into teaching

  • There were several suggestions as to how people could be encouraged into teaching. This ranged from long term support to improve language acquisition to improving salaries. These were common responses across all ethnic groupings. It was also suggested that having more BME role models as teachers would be good to help highlight the positive elements of teaching to pupils. For example, offering more opportunities to BME pupils to experience teaching as a career was a very popular suggestion. Workshops/open days/work experience were all suggested as opportunities to advertise teaching as a career for BME pupils, as well as giving them the chance to experience it first hand and decide if this was a suitable career for them. Pupils from African/Caribbean and Pakistani/Indian backgrounds highlighted this as a positive way to encourage BME pupils into teaching. As well as improving the perception of teaching as a career choice, improving the experiences of pupils at a school level was also suggested as a way to encourage people back into schools to become a teacher. Pupils suggested that this would be achieved by a greater focus on inclusion of BME pupils to help improve school experiences.

Low number of teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds

Pupils told us:

'Because teachers are manly white' (S6, Caribbean, gender unknown) 'It's not considered to be such a high status career' (S5, Female, Asian)

'Parents don't really support this career……they believe it is not a good job as it is not highly paid' (S6, Female, Indian/ Pakistani).

'It is not considered a respectable high paid job. Parents would prefer their child became doctor' (S6, Female, Indian/ Pakistani).

'People choose not to go into teaching because of discrimination and racism' (S6, Male, Scottish).

'There are few opportunities from people from ethnic backgrounds and they can face discrimination and bias' (S3, Female, African).

'Because of the pressure of being discriminated against and treated differently for not being like the majority….. people think it is no longer a thing but there are many racists' (S5, Female, Indian/ Pakistani).

'Because they might not get the same level of respect from pupils of another race' (S6, Female, Pakistani).

'They may feel society does not welcome them into this filed or may just not be interested in this as a career' (S6, Female, Pakistani).

'So many white teachers show bias towards white students meaning the ethnic minority students do not feel as though they would be accepted by white teachers if they were to go into teaching' (S6, Female, White Scottish).

Encouraging people from minority ethnic backgrounds into teaching

Pupils Told Us:

'Offer more money and provide different courses to improve English' (S2, Female, African)

'Make teaching seem like a more respectable job in comparison with a teaching job at the university' (S6, Male, Chinese)

'There are a lot of improvements needed in Scottish communities…..firstly we are not a community as such….. We are segregated according to the way we are portrayed by our ethnicities' (S5, Female, Pakistani).

'To provide workshops to help people have a greater understanding of what teaching involves' (S3. Female, Indian)

'Because the majority of teachers in Scotland are white' (S4, Female, Pakistani). 'No one ethnic group should be encouraged more than another' (S5, male, White). 'Discrimination' (S6, Female, White)

'It could be because ethnic minority groups might not always have the best experience at school and this might put them of teaching' (S3, male, White)

'Helping pupils from ethnic minority background have a better experience at school might encourage them into teaching' (S3, male, White)

'Bring teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds in to do presentations about teaching' (S6, White, Female) Provide better quality and more specific training for pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds to tutor or mentor them with a view to going into teaching' (S6, Female, White)

'Help them improve their English at school' (S2, Female, Arab)

'Good teachers setting a good example and showing us that being a teacher is possible' (S4, Female, ethnicity unknown)

Teacher Survey

  • The survey was disseminated using the online survey platform Survey Monkey to all staff working in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and ASL establishments in Glasgow. The survey consisted of 16 closed questions, including a space for additional comments. A total of 490 staff completed the survey. Over two thirds of respondents (69.6%) were female with a similar proportion having worked in the teaching profession for at least ten years (72.5%). The greater part of respondents were between 31 and 55 years of age (67.6%). Over half of respondents work in secondary schools (56.1%) with approximately a quarter (24.7%) working in primary schools. The remainder (19.2%) work in Early Years or ASL establishments with some respondents working across different sectors.
  • As demonstrated below in Figure 6 most respondents (85.7%) identified as White Scottish or White Other while just over a tenth (12%) defined themselves as being from a minority ethnic background. The remaining 2% defined themselves as Other or chose not to disclose their ethnicity.

Figure 6: Self defined ethnicity of participants

Figure 6: Self defined ethnicity of participants

Figure 7 provides a breakdown of the ethnicities of all BME respondents the majority of whom identified as Pakistani (57.6%).

Figure 7: Minority ethnic background

Minority Ethnic Background % of BME respondents
Asian - Pakistani/British/Scottish 57.6%
Asian - Indian/British/Scottish 13.6%
Mixed or multiple ethnic groups 10.2%
African - African/British/Scottish 5.1%
Other - Arab 5.1%
Asian - Chinese/British/Scottish 3.4%
Asian - Other 3.4%
African - Other 1.7%
Total 100.0%

Figure 8 shows that overall a significant proportion (41.4%) of participants listed their designation as teacher. However it is notable that while just under a third (31.8%) of White Scottish/White Other respondents are Head or Depute Head Teachers, no respondents from minority ethnic backgrounds have been promoted beyond a Principal Teacher post at this point.

  • Of the respondents from minority ethnic backgrounds currently in post as Principal Teachers all identified their ethnicity as Pakistani and are working in primary (16.7%), secondary (58.3%) and ASL (25%) establishments.

Figure 8: Designation

Designation White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
Teacher 38.7% 59.3% 50.0% 41.4%
Head Teacher 23.5% 0% 10.0% 20.4%
Principal Teacher 20.7% 20.3% 20.0% 20.6%
Depute Head Teacher 8.3% 0.0% 0.0% 7.1%
Other 7.4% 13.6% 20.0% 8.4%
EAL Teacher 1.4% 6.8% 0.0% 2%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
  • Participants were asked to indicate the reasons why they chose a career in teaching (Figure 9). In general, a desire to make a positive impact on pupils' lives (78.8%) and an enjoyment in working with children and young people (76.3%) were the main reasons cited for entering the teaching profession. This was broadly consistent across all respondents that disclosed their ethnicity with a slightly higher proportion of staff from minority ethnic backgrounds noting a desire to make a positive impact on pupils' lives as a reason for choosing a career in education.

Participants from minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely than their White Scottish/White Other colleagues to have gone into teaching as a result of the profession being valued and respected, the opportunity to work in any country or the opportunity to use a second language. By comparison a greater proportion of White Scottish/White Other respondents chose to work in education as the result of a positive personal experience of school.

Figure 9: Reasons for entering teaching profession

Reasons White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
To make a positive impact on pupils' lives 78.1% 85.7% 66.7% 78.8%
Enjoy working with children and young people 77.6% 75.0% 33.3% 76.3%
Positive personal experience of school 38.4% 28.6% 11.1% 36.6%
Variety - every day is different 37.6% 32.1% 22.2% 36.6%
Job security 36.6% 39.3% 44.4% 37.1%
The teaching profession is valued and respected 19.1% 37.5% 0% 21.0%
Flexibility of hours / work life balance 18.5% 25.0% 11.1% 1 9.2%
Family in teaching profession 13.8% 10.7% 11.1% 13.4%
Teachers can work anywhere in the world 11.5% 32.1% 0% 13.8%
Negative personal experience of school 5.7% 5.4% 11.1% 5.8%
Other 2.9% 5.4% 33.3% 3.8%
Female friendly environment 2.1% 5.4% 11.1% 2.7%
Second language provided EAL teaching opportunity 1.8% 12.5% 0% 3.1%
  • When asked to rate their experience of their initial teacher training course participants largely (65%) agreed that they were satisfied with the course (as detailed in Figure 10 below). It is apparent that respondents that identified as White Scottish/White Other were more likely to have been satisfied with their experience of teacher training than Black and Minority Ethnic respondents or those with Other or undisclosed ethnicities.
  • Among participants from BME backgrounds satisfaction with teacher training was more prevalent among staff who identified as Indian.

Figure 10: Overall experience of teacher training course

Overall I was satisfied with my experience of teacher training White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
Strongly disagree 3.9% 5.4% 11.1% 4.2%
Somewhat disagree 14.6% 17.9% 11.1% 15%
Neither agree nor disagree 14.6% 21.4% 33.3% 15.9%
Somewhat agree 44.7% 35.7% 22.2% 43.1%
Strongly agree 22.2% 19.6% 22.2% 21.9%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
  • Over two thirds of staff (68.8%) agreed that they are satisfied with their job in education (Figure 11). As with teacher training, respondents that identified as White Scottish/White Other are more likely to be satisfied with their job than Black and Minority Ethnic respondents or those with Other or undisclosed ethnicities.
  • Of all BME respondents Pakistani teachers were more likely to be satisfied in their job.

Figure 11: Overall job satisfaction

Overall I am satisfied with my Job White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
Strongly disagree 6.6% 5.4% 11.1% 6.5%
Somewhat disagree 12.3% 16.1% 11.1% 12.8%
Neither agree nor disagree 9.7% 21.4% 44.4% 11.9%
Somewhat agree 44.1% 35.7% 22.2% 42.6%
Strongly agree 27.3% 21.4% 11.1% 26.2%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
  • As demonstrated in Figure 12 a lack of minority ethnic role models in the teaching profession (48.2%) and an expectation in minority ethnic communities to enter other professions (37.5%) emerged as two of the main reasons respondents believe such low numbers of people from minority ethnic backgrounds are working in education.
  • However there are some marked differences between the responses of White Scottish/White Other respondents and Black and Minority Ethnic respondents when asked for possible reasons why there is not more ethnic diversity in Glasgow's teaching population. While three quarters (75%) of BME participants felt that promoted posts are difficult to obtain for teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds less than ten percent (9.4%) of White Scottish/White Other participants identified lack of promotion as an issue. Pakistani and Indian respondents in particular considered prospects for promotion to be limited for teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds.
  • In addition potential discrimination from pupils, parents and colleagues was considered a deterrent to a career in teaching for significant proportions of BME respondents while much smaller proportions of White Scottish/White Other respondents identified discrimination as a barrier to people from minority ethnic backgrounds entering the teaching profession. Indeed, while two thirds (66.1%) of BME respondents view potential discrimination from colleagues a discouraging factor only around ten percent (10.7%) of White Scottish/White Other respondents felt this would be a consideration for minority ethnic applicants.

Figure 12: Reasons for low numbers of minority ethnic teachers

Reasons White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
There is a lack of minority ethnic role models in the teaching profession 46.7% 62.5% 22.2% 48.2%
There is an expectation in minority ethnic communities to enter other professions (e.g. science, law, medicine) 37.9% 39.3% 11.1% 37.5%
Language barriers deter people from minority ethnic backgrounds from choosing a career in teaching 29.8% 25.0% 55.6% 29.7%
Teaching is not a highly regarded profession in some minority ethnic communities 20.6% 14.3% 11.1% 19.6%
Pathways into teaching are restricted for qualifications obtained outside the UK 20.6% 35.7% 11.1% 22.3%
Potential discrimination from pupils 20.1% 44.6% 22.2% 23.2%
Potential discrimination from parents 17.5% 44.6% 22.2% 21.0%
Other 16.7% 16.1% 44.4% 17.2%
Potential discrimination from colleagues 10.7% 66.1% 22.2% 17.9%
A negative personal experience of school 9.9% 19.6% 11.1% 11.2%
Promoted positions are difficult to obtain for teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds 9.4% 75% 11.1% 17.6%
Teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds are often restricted to working in the EAL sector 8.4% 21.4% 11.1% 10.0%
  • Similar themes emerged when participants were asked to identify ways of encouraging people from minority ethnic backgrounds into the teaching profession. As Figure 13 shows having positive role models from minority ethnic backgrounds in teaching posts (57.1%) and engaging with minority ethnic communities to promote careers in teaching (56.3%) were popular suggestions across all ethnicities, although significantly more so among BME respondents. A substantial number of respondents (45.3%) also identified increased support with English in schools for pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds as a possible way of increasing the likelihood of BME young people becoming teachers.
  • However over three quarters (78.6%) of BME respondents felt more must be done to address discrimination or harassment experienced by teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds compared to only around a third (33.7%) of White Scottish/White Other respondents.
  • Moreover, having more positive role models from minority ethnic backgrounds in management posts was more frequently mentioned by BME respondents (71.4%) and a notably higher proportion of BME respondents felt pupil access to mentoring/coaching with teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds would be useful (58.9% of BME respondents compared to 28.2% of White Scottish/White Other respondents).
  • It is also worth noting that BME respondents selected a broader range of ways of encouraging people from minority ethnic backgrounds into the teaching profession which suggests this group of participants feel more measures must be taken to address the imbalance in the ethnic composition of Glasgow's teaching workforce.

Figure 13: Ways of encouraging people from minority ethnic backgrounds into teaching

White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
More positive role models from minority ethnic backgrounds in teaching posts 55.9% 82.1% 22.2% 57.1%
More engagement with minority ethnic communities to promote careers in teaching 54.8% 71.4% 22.2% 56.3%
More positive role models from minority ethnic backgrounds in management posts 46.0% 71.4% 11.1% 49.8%
Increased support with English in schools for pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds 45.7% 44.6% 33.3% 45.3%
Do more to address discrimination or harassment experienced by teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds 33.7% 78.6% 22.2% 39.1%
More accessible pathways into teaching for candidates with overseas qualifications 32.6% 35.7% 11.1% 32.6%
Improve the overall school experience for pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds 30.0% 50.0% 22.2% 32.4%
Pupil access to mentoring/coaching with teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds 28.2% 58.9% 0.0% 31.5%
Training specifically tailored to teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds 18.3% 23.2% 0.0% 18.5%
Other 11.0% 12.5% 44.4% 11.8%
  • It is evident that White Scottish/White Other respondents are twice as likely as their BME colleagues to have been appointed to a promoted post (please see Figure 14). While it is true that a smaller proportion of BME respondents have applied for a promoted post at some point in their career to date it is also true that BME respondents were much less likely to have been encouraged by their manager to do so.
  • Indian and Chinese respondents in particular noted a lack of encouragement with regards to pursuing promotion.

Figure 14: Applying for a promoted post

Statement White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
I have been encouraged by my manager to pursue a promoted post 64.8% 30.2% 14.3% 59.8%
I have applied for a promoted post 74.4% 45.3% 28.6% 70.1%
I have been appointed to a promoted post 65.1% 32.1% 14.3% 60.2%
  • Participants were asked to consider any barriers they themselves could face with regards to gaining a promoted post. The availability of suitable posts was perceived to be a barrier to promotion by over 40% of respondents across all ethnicities.

A greater proportion of BME respondents perceived lack of support from management to be a barrier to advancement when compared to their White Scottish/White Other colleagues (62.3% and 20.0% respectively) and BME respondents more commonly cited discrimination, lack of confidence and awareness of suitable posts as factors in preventing promotion (Figure 15).

Figure 15: Barriers to gaining a promoted post

Barriers White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
Availability of suitable posts 42.1% 47.2% 57.1% 43.0%
Lack of confidence 32.0% 56.6% 0.0% 34.5%
Lack of experience 30.7% 39.6% 28.6% 31.7%
Caring/family responsibilities 29.9% 17.0% 0.0% 27.8%
Lack of support from management 20.0% 62.3% 28.6% 25.3%
Access to training 18.9% 34.0% 28.6% 20.9%
I do not want any further promotion 17.3% 11.3% 28.6% 16.8%
No barriers 16.5% 1.9% 0.0% 14.5%
Other (please specify) 10.4% 9.4% 42.9% 10.8%
Discrimination related to my age 8.8% 15.1% 14.3% 9.7%
Awareness of suitable posts 8.5% 20.8% 28.6% 10.3%
Discrimination related to my religion or belief 5.6% 30.2% 28.6% 9.0%
Lack of qualifications 5.1% 7.6% 0.0% 5.3%
Discrimination related to my sex/gender 4.3% 9.4% 0.0% 4.8%
Discrimination related to my disability 1.6% 1.9% 0.0% 1.6%
Discrimination related to my ethnic background 1.1% 49.1% 28.6% 7.4%
  • As Figure 16 demonstrates there is notable disparity in the responses of White Scottish/White Other respondents and BME respondents when asked whether or not they believe teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds have equal opportunities for training and advancement. Over half (55.7%) of White Scottish/White Other respondents felt teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds have equal opportunities for training and advancement compared with just less than a quarter (24.5%) of BME respondents. This is consistent with responses received elsewhere in the survey with regards to promotion.

Figure 16: Equal opportunities for training and advancement

Statement White Scottish/White Other Black and Minority Ethnic Other/Not Disclosed Overall
I believe teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds have equal opportunities for training and advancement 55.7% 24.5% 57.1% 52.0%

Low numbers of teachers from BME backgrounds & how to encourage people from BME backgrounds in teaching?

Teachers told us:

"I don't believe that enough is done to address racial harassment experienced by staff in schools and this is a major barrier to those from ethnic minority backgrounds opting for teaching as a career." (Secondary Principal Teacher, Female, White)

"I genuinely feel that as the number of pupils from ethnic backgrounds increases the number who train to become teachers will increase. The pupils from this school from minority backgrounds have been increasing over the last six years and I think that some of these pupils will get into teaching as their experiences in this school have been positive." (Secondary Principal Teacher, Male, White)

"You tend to feel very isolated being the only person from an ethnic minority in a school, everyone in my school is very friendly, supportive and inclusive but it can feel very strange having many pupils of a similar ethnic background and yet you yourself are the only adult from a minority. I hope more people get into the profession!" (Primary Teacher, Female, African)

"Lack of understanding of the issues faced by teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds is a barrier to attract more people in the teaching profession. A better support system and monitoring of teacher experiences needs to be in place together with training for all staff to combat any form of discrimination." (ASL Principal Teacher, Female, Pakistani)

Equal opportunities for career advancement for teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds

Teachers told us:

"I find it very difficult to gain support from senior management regarding moving on to a further promoted post. I am currently a principal teacher and moving to a depute post seems extremely challenging." (Secondary Principal Teacher, Female, Pakistani)

"Personally, I feel that my school is supportive of all teachers, regardless of ethnicity. We have a number of ethnicities within the school, all of which are respected as much as any other staff member. I do not feel race or ethnicity is a barrier for promotion whatsoever - it is all performance and interview based the way it should be. I feel that Glasgow is a very inclusive authority." (Secondary Teacher, Female, White)

"In my experience, I feel that people in management tend to hire others in promoted posts that they feel comfortable with. Having things in common with the person interviewing or the person who is in authority will mean that those people will feel more secure in giving you that promoted post. If you are from a different ethnic background you may have less in common, therefore they may feel less inclined to give you the post as they feel less comfortable with you." (Primary Teacher, Female, Asian-other)

"There seems to be a lack of race relations training within Glasgow schools. Non-ethnic colleagues engage less with ethnic colleagues than with their non-ethnic colleagues. Sadly there is a culture of "white privilege" or "institutional racism" within the Scottish Education System. We have to educate the management within our Scottish Schools on race relations and promote BME staff." (Secondary Teacher, Male, Pakistani)

"I believe when I entered the profession, there was much more discrimination from others, especially from management (senior and middle), I believe those barriers have been broken, and I think there are more ethnic teachers in the profession (more in Primary than secondary) but more needs to be done." (Secondary Principal Teacher, Female, Pakistani)

The problem is not having enough teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds. The problem is that teachers are not being promoted in management at all. The religious political climate is a huge hindrance for Muslim teachers. I have observed the number of ethnic minority teachers coming to this school as probationers and not being selected when there is a vacancy and instead non-ethnic minority are being employed. There is no justification in the selection process and given the school that we are in - we need more and more from ethnic minority backgrounds. (Primary Teacher, Female, Pakistani)

Section 3: Summary and Conclusions

  • This report considers a study that was carried out during 2017 across schools in Glasgow. Teachers and pupils participated in the study and shared their views and experiences on having an ethnically diversity teacher workforce. What is evident from the research is the similarities in the experiences and views of all four groups that participated in the study. Largely, this is reflective of literature and other research studies both UK wide and nationally.
  • To summarise the following could be determined from the study:

Teaching as a Career Choice

  • Ethnicity was not a factor in determining career choice for teachers.
  • Respondents across all ethnicities enter teaching primarily to make a positive impact on pupils' lives and because they enjoy working with children and young people.
  • One third of pupils suggested that they would consider teaching as a career but ethnicity was not significant factor in this choice.
  • A number of pupils said that their parents had higher aspirations for them than becoming a teacher, especially Indian/ Pakistani pupils.
  • The majority of staff had a positive experience of teacher training although White Scottish/White Other staff were more likely to have been satisfied with their experience of teacher training than Black and Minority Ethnic respondents or those with Other or undisclosed ethnicities.
  • Similarly the greater part of participants agree that they are satisfied in their job, however satisfaction levels are highest among White Scottish/White Other respondents.

Low number of teachers from BME backgrounds

  • Teachers highlighted the difficulties in becoming registered as a teacher in Scotland as one of the reasons for there being low numbers of BME teachers.
  • Racism and discrimination from pupils and parents was also identified as a reason for low numbers of BME teachers.
  • Pupils identified that the need for ongoing support with English to support them to achieve the required level of language acquisition which would enable them to train as teachers, even if they had good exam results in other subjects.
  • A substantial percentage of respondents across all ethnicities felt the low number of teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds could be attributed to a lack of minority ethnic role models in the teaching profession.
  • It was a commonly held view among BME respondents that promoted positions are difficult to obtain for teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds and that this would have an impact on the numbers of minority ethnic teachers. Comparatively few White Scottish/White Other respondents took this view.

A notably higher proportion of BME respondents identified potential discrimination from pupils, parents and colleagues in particular as discouraging people from minority ethnic backgrounds from entering the teaching profession.Encouraging young people form BME backgrounds into teaching

  • Teachers identified the lack of BME teachers in promoted posts as a factor which discouraged BME people into teaching.
  • Increasing the profile of teaching and perhaps running workshops/open events to target people from BME backgrounds was identified as a possible way to attract those from BME backgrounds into teaching.
  • Improving the school experiences of BME pupils was identified as pivotal to encouraging them to become teachers.
  • Having positive role models from minority ethnic backgrounds in teaching/management posts and engaging with minority ethnic communities to promote careers in teaching were popular suggestions across all ethnicities with regards to encouraging people from minority ethnic backgrounds into a career in teaching.
  • Substantial numbers of teachers and pupils identified increased support with English in schools for pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds as a possible way of increasing the likelihood of BME young people becoming teachers.
  • Among BME respondents addressing discrimination or harassment experienced by teachers was identified as a key factor in raising the number of minority ethnic teachers.
  • BME respondents in particular identified pupil access to mentoring/coaching with teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds as a way of encouraging young people into the profession.

Opportunities for career advancement

  • White Scottish/White Other staff were more likely to have been encouraged to apply for and subsequently gained a promoted post than Black and Minority Ethnic respondents or those with Other or undisclosed ethnicities. No BME respondents were Head or Depute Head Teachers.
  • When asked to identify barriers to career advancement a common theme among all respondents was the availability of suitable posts.
  • A greater proportion of BME respondents perceived lack of support from management to be a barrier to advancement when compared to their White Scottish/White Other colleagues and a notable percentage of BME respondents felt discrimination impedes their career progress.
  • Overall just over half of respondents believe teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds have equal opportunities for training and advancement with only a quarter of BME respondents agreeing that opportunities for training and advancement are equal across ethnicities.

References

Beck, A. (2014). Teacher Education for Diversity: The Scottish Policy Context. Paper presented at ESRC Seminar Series, Friday 21st March 2014 Teacher Education for the Changing Demographics of Schooling: Policy, practice and research (Glasgow).

Bhopal, K. (2015) 'Race, identity and support in initial teacher training'. British Journal of Educational Studies. pp197-211. Vol 63. Issue 2.

Cunningham, M. & Hargreaves, L. (2007) BME Teachers' Professional Experiences Evidence from the Teacher Status Project. University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. Department of Education

Department of Education. (2013) School Workforce Census Data for England and Wales, (London, DfE).

Howard, J. (2010). 'The Value of Ethnic Diversity in The Teaching Profession'. The International Journal of Education. Vol 2 No. 1 pp1-21.

Wilkins, C & Lall, R. 2011 'You've got to be tough and I'm trying': Black and BME student teachers' experiences of initial teacher education'. Race Ethnicity and Education, 14(11): pp 365-386

Wilson, V., Powney, J., Hall, S. and Davidson, J. (2006) 'Who wants to be a teacher? The impact of age, disability, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation on teachers' career aspirations'. Scottish Educational Review. Issue 38. Stirling.

Websites

BBC (2015) 'Lack of Diversity among Scottish School heads'.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-33122160

Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 'Shortage of Black Teachers'. (September 2016).
www.thebureauinvestigates.com

Scottish Government. (2016). 'Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland', No: 7-2016
http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/12/9271

Telegraph. (2015). 'Discriminate against white teachers to ensure ethnic mix'.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/11329859/Ofsted-chief-Sir-Michael-Wilshaw-defends-use-of-positive-discrimination-to-appoint-teachers.html


Contact

Email: Kelly Ireland