New Data Shows Continuing Lack of Diversity in the Teaching Profession

Created on: 10 May 2022 | Last modified: 10 May 2022

The EIS, is deeply concerned at the minimal improvements revealed in the recent publication of the second Diversity in Teaching Profession Scotland Annual Data Report 2022.

The report is further evidence that not enough is being done to support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic teachers, who continue to be underrepresented at every level in the profession and missing from promoted posts.

Only 0.4% progress has been made in 5 years towards boosting the number of BAME teachers in the profession. Now sitting at only 1.8%, this falls far short of Scottish Government’s 2030 target of a 4% BAME teaching workforce and even further behind a true reflection of the diversity of the Scottish population today.

Commenting EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Although the data shows a higher proportion of new teachers being from minority ethnic backgrounds, the EIS is concerned that 2020/2021 saw a decrease in BAME probationers.

"Last year, 3% of probationers on the Teacher Induction Scheme identified as being Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, but that number has to be at least between 8% and 10% in order for the Scottish Government to meet its target."

He added, "EIS Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) members continue to tell the union that despite severe underrepresentation, there is a lack of awareness and action to address underlying issues. 

"Regardless of current local demographics, improving the diversity of the teaching profession would greatly benefit all schools, and is the responsibility of every Council in Scotland. Worryingly, new data included in this year’s report suggest that BAME teachers are significantly less likely to find employment after completing their probationary year."

Chair of the EIS Anti-Racist Sub Committee, Nuzhat Uthmani said, "Recent research by the EIS into recruitment practices as pertaining to BAME staff, found that only seven out of the 26 Councils who responded to an EIS inquiry had plans in place specifically in relation to address the underrepresentation of BAME staff.

"This is simply not enough on the part of employers. Councils must also do more to encourage disclosure of ethnicity by the current workforce to ensure more robust data and associated monitoring."

"Beyond statistics," she continued, "to address underrepresentation we need to get it right for those already in the profession, who continue to face many barriers to their equality at work.

"This calls for a greater investment in proactive anti-racist education through a whole school approach that includes professional learning and tackling racism and all racist incidents head on."

The EIS is pleased to be a key part of the Scottish Government’s Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme and continues to advocate for the centrality of a diverse workforce to the success of Scottish education.