Calls for action to increase diversity in top teaching roles

The fast-track teaching course has been officially accredited
The fast-track teaching course has been officially accredited
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Calls have been made for more diversity in top teaching roles, as figures show just a “handful” in Scotland come from an ethnic minority

Scottish Government data and Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests show there were only two BAME head teachers and two deputies in the 19 councils which replied.

The party’s education spokesman Tavish Scott MSP has called for action to tackle the “continuing underrepresentation” in management roles.

He said: “There are in the region of 1,700 primary school head teachers and 350 secondary heads.

“The Scottish Government needs to understand why there aren’t then dozens of heads from a BAME background.

“Our outlook on life is shaped during our school years. The lack of BAME role models in schools, and the long-standing lack of diversity amongst teaching staff, is therefore concerning.

“There’s a broader need to attract more people to the teaching profession and to lighten the burdensome workload and bureaucracy that’s repelling teachers and prospective teachers at a rate of knots.

“In the process of boosting the profession and addressing the vacancies that exist across Scotland, there needs to be an emphasis on improving diversity at all levels of teaching, but particularly among school leaders.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We want BME groups to be better represented in teaching and have engaged with a number of charities, local authorities, ITE providers and other groups to get their views on how to make that happen.

“Although teacher recruitment is a matter for local authorities, we want to encourage action to address this issue and have established a working group on diversity in the teaching profession.

“The group, chaired by Professor Rowena Arshad, is expected to make recommendations around the factors which impact on underrepresentation in teaching in the coming months.

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