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Financial incentives to be offered in bid to recruit more ethnic minority teachers to Wales’ schools

22 Oct 2021 4 minutes Read
Piture by Pxhere. CC0 Public Domain.

The Welsh Government has today announced its intention to introduce financial incentives to help recruit more ethnic minority teachers.

This comes as part of a wider plan being published today that will focus on increasing diversity among applicants into Initial Teacher Education courses.

The latest Annual Education Workforce Statistics found that only 1.3% of school teachers in Wales identified as being from an ethnic minority background, compared to 12% of learners.

The Plan will include targeting promotion of teaching as a career to more people from ethnic minority communities. There will also be a requirement for Initial Teacher Education courses to work towards the recruitment of a percentage of students from ethnic minority backgrounds.

For the first time, additional financial incentives will also be introduced to attract more ethnic minority student teachers, from 2022. Incentives currently exist for subjects where there is a high demand for teachers, such as Mathematics and sciences, as well as the Iaith Athrawon Yfory scheme to attract more Welsh-medium teachers.

The work is part of the Welsh Government’s response to the recommendations from the working group which has advised on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the new school Curriculum.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “It is vital that we increase the diversity of our teaching workforce to better support our learners. To do this, we must understand the barriers which are preventing more people from ethnic minority backgrounds from going into teaching, and take action to ensure those barriers are removed.

“It is simply not good enough that fewer than 2% of teachers are from an ethnic minority background. That is why we are launching this much needed plan, so that we have a workforce that better reflects the population of Wales.

“Importantly, increasing diversity in schools should not only apply to areas where there is a higher proportion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds, but across the whole of Wales.

“This work is the first phase in the important work to increase diversity in our education workforce.”

‘Proud’

The Minister also announced a new award in this year’s Professional Teaching Awards Cymru. The Betty Campbell Award, for promoting the contributions and perspectives of Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities, will be awarded to an individual, team or school that has demonstrated an outstanding awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the classroom.

The award honours the late Betty Campbell MBE, the former head teacher at Mount Stuart Primary School and the first black head teacher in Wales.

Elaine Clarke, Mrs Campbell’s daughter, said: “The family is extremely proud and privileged to have this new Professional Teaching Awards Cymru category named after our mother, who will be remembered in such a wonderful and iconic way.

“Our mum was very passionate about education and pioneering a curriculum that ensured children had the opportunity to access and embrace a rich experience, reflecting their multi-ethnic identities and inspired them to achieve their dreams. To Betty, the impossible was always possible.

“The Award is a wonderful way to promote inclusion of all Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and we are sure the recipients will continue to inspire future generations in the footsteps of our mother.”

Professor Charlotte Williams, who chairs the working group on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the school Curriculum, said she was delighted to see the launch of this new award.

“I hope it will stimulate schools into thinking of innovative and imaginative ways to represent these themes within the new curriculum,” she said.

“Diversity is a central and cross-cutting theme of the new curriculum. This award will encourage schools to think strategically about how they can embed this important dimension within all that they do.

“The launch of this award is a sure sign that the Welsh Government is responding swiftly to the recommendations of the Ministerial report on diversity in the new curriculum.”

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