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

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

3. The Working Group and Its Methodology

3.1 The Race Equality Framework[14] highlighted a lack of information on the number of minority ethnic applicants to ITE programmes, those securing places, those securing teacher posts, students dropping out and teachers leaving the profession. Therefore, a short-term Working Group was established by the SBTE in November 2017 to look at increasing the number of teachers from under-represented minority groups at all levels in Scottish schools. The group have met 6 times over the last year.

3.2 The Working Group, chaired by Professor Rowena Arshad OBE, Head of Moray House School of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES), supported by educational colleagues with expertise in equalities issues, have worked together to consider new and existing data to explore:

  • whether ITE programmes and associated recruitment activity are attractive and relevant to students from minority ethnic backgrounds;
  • whether university admissions processes are sufficiently enabling to capture the range of possible applicants from diverse backgrounds;
  • student placement experiences and the on-going support for students from minority backgrounds; and
  • the retention of student teachers and teachers from minority backgrounds.

3.3 A full list of the Working Group members and the organisations who contributed to this work is attached at Annexes E and F.

3.4 The Working Group used a range of methods to gather information to support the development of this report, including analysing recently published data such as the teacher census statistics and academic reports on diversity in the profession; consultation with local authorities and education organisations, stakeholder engagement sessions and the findings of two surveys conducted with teachers during the period the Working Group has been established.

3.5 Initially, the Working Group discussed common race equality issues in the Scottish context, utilised existing evidence and data, best practice and discussed previous experiences of race equality from a personal and professional perspective. The Working Group then engaged with a number of education organisations, institutions and charities to gather a more in-depth analysis of information on the race equality agenda across Scottish public life.

3.6 During the life of the Working Group, two important surveys were published which significantly aided this work. These were;

  • The Glasgow City Council Research Paper - Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Profession: A Glasgow Perspective (January 2018)[15] which conducted a number of focus Groups and surveys with both teachers and pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) and general pupil and teacher surveys; and
  • The EIS Members Experience of Racism Survey (Spring 2018)[16]. A survey of minority ethnic members on their experiences of racism and Islamophobia in education.

3.7 To raise awareness of the Working Group and its remit, an article promoting its work was published in the Times Education Supplement for Scotland (TESS) titled "Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners" highlighting the Working Groups remit and encouraging readers to get involved in the conversation (Annex D).


Email: Kelly Ireland

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