Data on Diversity in Teaching Profession Points to race Inequality at all Career Stages

Created on: 25 Mar 2021 | Last modified: 31 Mar 2021

The EIS welcomes this week’s publication of the first Diversity in Teaching Profession Scotland first Annual Data Report.

The collated data of the report highlights what Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) EIS members have long told us: structural and everyday racism act as barriers at every step of their career.

Scotland is yet to fulfil its aim to increase the percentage of BAME educators to 4%, which would match the 2011 Census data, and is a far way off from reflecting the current demographics of the Scottish population. The EIS was disappointed to see that despite a range of initiatives having taken place over the last two years to improve diversity, the number of BAME teachers increased only from 1.4% to 1.7%. Similarly, the trends in promoted posts show only tiny increments over a four-year period.

Commenting Asif Chishti, Chair of the EIS Anti-Racist Sub-Committee said, “To achieve a diverse profession that reflects the Scottish population, it is not enough to solely address recruitment and outreach to prospective BAME teachers. Until education promises to be a safe place for BAME teachers to work, education will continue to lose talented, committed teachers who bring invaluable perspectives and skills to the profession.”

The reported data demonstrates alarming trends in recruitment and retention, showing that the qualification rates for BAME initial teacher education students are more than 10% less than for their white counterparts. Nearly a quarter of all BAME students entering initial teacher education do not qualify, compared to only 15% of their white peers.

Mr Chishti continued, “The EIS has long raised the need for greater evidence-gathering of the journey of BAME people from when they enter ITE (Initial Teacher Education) to when they enter the profession, to how they are supported to progress thereafter. Worryingly, it appears from the data that the percentage of BAME teachers who do not qualify, has only increased in the last 5 years and the numbers making it into promoted posts have barely shifted at all.

Mr Chishti added, “To realise Fair Work for all, more must be done to tackle racism within a whole-school approach, and meaningfully support BAME teachers. Data gathering is an important first step. The EIS is pleased that future versions of this report will consider including data also on applicants, supply teachers, temporary contract-holders, and probationers. This will enable a fuller picture of the state of play for race equality in our schools and enable us to hold those in power to account in effecting, and resourcing, meaningful change.”