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.

5. Responsibility of the education sector

5.1 The Working Group believes that race as an issue has fallen through the cracks, in that, each provider has assumed another provider or agency was taking lead responsibility for ensuring racial equality. The education sector needs to work as a whole to maximise impact. While there are common goals, each area has its own specific responsibilities to take forward.

5.2 It is also important that improving the numbers of black and minority ethnic teachers requires not only attracting people into the education sector but a need to retain these teachers. This requires the sector as a whole to reflect upon how it might currently be operating in ways that do not fully value black and minority ethnic staff. The evidence identifies marketing, recruitment and selection, university admission policies and experience while on placement as areas that require attention. However, what also requires attention is to consider areas beyond the scope of this Working Group such as that of the school curriculum and the ethos of the education sector itself in terms of its comfortableness with diversity in all its forms.

5.3 This report draws attention to a number of specific issues and recommendations for action within the education sector. There is, however, a wider public sector duty and a responsibility for all staff, leaders, sectors, organisations and institutions to promote race equality, improve representation and visibility, and champion the work across the Scottish public sector to reduce racial discrimination.

5.4 The Working Group believes it is worth reminding the education sector of their responsibilities in this respect and would encourage pro-active engagement on racial diversity. In particular we recommend that the goal of appropriate representation in teaching should be mirrored by much greater representation in key aspects of sectoral governance such as governing bodies and key working groups. Data on the composition of these groups should be publicly available.

It is recommended that:

  • All education stakeholders must ensure public facing opportunities e.g. website, promotional flyers, marketing brochures for ITE programmes or courses reflect the diversity of Scotland's population and should ensure that conferences and high-profile events include keynotes, presenters, discussants and workshop leaders from a range of diverse backgrounds.
  • Boards and other bodies involved in the governance of Scottish education should ensure their membership includes representation from minority ethnic teachers, this includes the membership of the GTCS, the Scottish Education Council, Teachers' Panel, Curriculum Advisory Board, the Education Leaders Forum and the SBTE.


Email: Kelly Ireland

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