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REMIT – Recruitment of Ethnic Minorities into Teaching Khadija Mohammed University of Strathclyde.

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Presentation on theme: "REMIT – Recruitment of Ethnic Minorities into Teaching Khadija Mohammed University of Strathclyde."— Presentation transcript:

1 REMIT – Recruitment of Ethnic Minorities into Teaching Khadija Mohammed University of Strathclyde

2 REMIT Established in 2001 Greater Opportunities for Access to Learning in Schools (GOALS) – with the main aim of increasing the numbers of black and minority ethnic (BME) entrants into the teaching profession in Scotland.

3 Setting the Context The Rampton Report – more than 20 years ago expressed concern about the under- representation of ethnic minorities in the teaching population of England and Wales. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) urged the Government to take steps – “to ensure that people from the ethnic minorities will be recruited for teacher training without unlawful discrimination”.

4 Ethnic Demography of Teachers in Scotland not proportionate to the pupil population Only 0.5% of all primary teachers were from a minority ethnic group in 2005 and 1.1% in secondary schools

5 A cultural and demographic mismatch exists. The most recent consensus shows that there are 3.80% of BME pupils in schools and that is approximately four times more than the ethnic minority teacher population.

6 The existence of a diverse workforce will afford opportunities for teachers to learn from their colleagues and present a curriculum which draws from a range of cultural and linguistic experiences.

7 What are the issues? There are very few BME promoted staff and head teachers. Lack of practical action with key organisations to improve recruitment and retention. Lack of awareness of race equality policies, for example, all schools may not be fully aware of GTCS race equality policy. Lack of BME lecturers in teacher education. Staff recruitment in Further Education does not reflect student ethnic mix.

8 Barriers to recruitment and retention of BME teachers in both ITE and after completion of ITE BME pupils’ school experience – limited support network; the Eurocentric curriculum; impact of racism in society affects pupil interaction. Poor links with parents of BME pupils. Poor promotion of teaching as a promotion for BME groups. Perceived low status of teachers in general Racism experienced by BME teachers form colleagues/pupils.

9 A lack of race equality training Inadequate training to deal with racism in the workplace The requirement for Higher English for entry to ITE – now Higher ESOL is accepted. (ITE – Initial Teacher Education)

10 What is to be done? Better information for pupils about teaching as a career. Improved link with parents – access to the curriculum. Increased support for pupils during the application process. Alternatives to pre-selection through Higher English – post- testing of English after ITE. More flexible points of entry. Access courses Local and national monitoring of BME applications for ITE. Inclusion of bilingualism and race equality issues in ITE programmes.

11 Cummins (2000) argues that the absence of teachers in mainstream classrooms who represent a rich diversity of ethnicities sends out a powerful message to all our children.

12 Arshad and Mitchell (2007:2) raise an important question of “whether a predominantly homogenous teaching workforce can deliver effectively for an increasing diverse learner population?” They further assert that teachers now attend courses to develop their skills on how to include a range of learners but these courses often do not engage teachers in a critical examination of their own attitudes and latent prejudices.

13 One of the key difficulties mainly white schools face is the lack of familiarity with dealing with ethnic diversity and that most teachers try to play down the cultural differences. Treating people as equals does not have to mean treating them all the same, it may require treating them differently.

14 The Learning in 2+ Languages (2005) document highlights key implications for educational staff. It emphasises that they need be aware of the value of the home language and to establish more meaningful parental partnerships.

15 In the Scottish Executive study (2005:77) of minority ethnic pupils some of the pupils commented on the fact that there were very few minority ethnic teachers. Some children commented that ‘I think it would be nice to have teachers who are more mixed’; ‘they might understand you better’ (Minority Ethnic Pupils’ Experiences of Schools in Scotland – MEPESS) 2004

16 Much work is required to promote teaching as a good and fair profession to enter into and we can only do this if young children can see more teachers from the ethnic minorities in their schools enjoying the same equal status as their white colleagues.

17 A recent article in The Scotsman (2009) “Executive ‘failing’ on non- white teachers” highlighted the fact that there is only one Headteacher from an ethnic minority in a Glasgow school.

18 . Ladson-Billings (2005:231) assert that it is not that teachers from the ethnic minorities will be able to ‘fix’ things for the ethnic minority pupils but it is about “creating a more diverse teaching workforce…to ensure all students, including white students, experience a more accurate picture of what it means to live and work in a multicultural and democratic society.”

19 References Arshad, R. & Mitchell, L. (2007) Inclusion: Is it the new threat to the Equity and Anti-discrimination Agenda in Scottish Schools? Paper prepared for ATEE Conference (Association of Teacher Education in Europe): Symposium on Equity, Social Justice and Diversity and Teacher Education Cummins, J. (2000). Bilingual Children’s Mother Tongue: Why Is It Important for Education? Retrieved 30th March 2006 from

20 References Ladson-Billings, G. (2005) Is the Team All Right? Diversity and Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education. Vol.56, No.3. pp Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS). (2005). Learning in 2(+) Languages. Scottish Executive Remit – Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Profession: Making it a reality. Conference 17/6/04 Scottish Executive (2005) Minority Ethnic Pupils’ Experiences of School in Scotland (MEPESS)


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