Scott: Racial equality report stresses need for teaching diversity

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today called on the Scottish Government to improve diversity across the teaching profession as a new report revealed the "chronic" underrepresentation of BME communities in Scotland’s schools.

The report from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights published today states:

  • "BME groups are overrepresented in teaching applications, but underrepresented in shortlisted candidates, appointed candidates, and staff in post"
  • "Representation in the teaching workforce has significant implications for racial equality, given the public-facing nature of the profession and the direct and sustained contact with children."

The report comes on the heels of research by the Scottish Liberal Democrats which found just four BAME head or deputy head teachers in Scottish schools.

Mr Scott commented:

"The conclusion of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights is stark. The lack of BME teachers in our schools is not because they are not applying.

“That is why the Scottish Government urgently need to attract people into teaching profession by lightening the workload and bureaucracy. These are the factors turning off teachers and prospective teachers. As part and parcel of this approach there must be a concerted effort to boost diversity at all levels of teaching, but particularly among school leaders."

The new report from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights can be found here

The Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests, submitted to all 32 local authorities, secured figures for 2017. Among the 19 councils which provided a breakdown to the party, there were only 2 BAME head teachers and 2 BAME deputy head teachers in the whole of Scotland.

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