Scotland needs more ethnic minority head teachers, says Sarwar

A senior Labour MSP has called for action to tackle the lack of ethnic minorities employed in senior education roles in Scotland reports The Scotsman.

Anas Sarwar, former deputy leader of Scottish Labour, said radical measures were required to ensure more non-white people entered the teaching profession and subsequently achieved positions of power in the sector.

Only 16 head teachers or deputy head teachers north of the Border are from black or Asian backgrounds, according to the most recent Scottish Government statistics, while only one per cent of teachers in general are from an ethnic minority – despite four per cent of the country’s population being non-white.

The Scottish Government said a working group on diversity in education was expected to report before the summer. Mr Sarwar’s intervention follows the launch of two petitions in Glasgow calling for education bosses to protect the teaching of Urdu in city schools and ensure pupils have role models from minority communities. 

“If you look at higher tiers of public sector bodies — chief executives of government departments, principals of colleges and universities and, indeed, head teachers of primary and secondary schools — and ask how many of them are from ethnic minorities, the answer is either zero or next to zero,” Mr Sarwar told The Times.

Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, said the under-representation of black, Asian and other minorities in the profession was a matter of “deep concern”.

A spokesman for the Scottish government said: “Although teacher recruitment is a matter for local authorities, we want to encourage action to address this issue through a working group on diversity in the teaching profession. The group, chaired by Professor Rowena Arshad, is expected to make recommendations before the summer of this year.”

Read the full article Scotland needs more ethnic minority head teachers, says Sarwar  

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