Welsh Education Minister announces new incentive to diversify education workforce

Jeremy Miles announced ‘The Ethnic Minority Incentive Scheme’ today to help provide resources and support for eligible people to make sure the Welsh education workforce is reflective of Wales’ diversity.’ 

“Currently less than 2% of our teaching workforce are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. That simply isn’t good enough.”  Jeremy said this morning.

He added that individuals who enter teaching will find that schools are making strides towards becoming anti-racist organisations, with actions such as embedding Black history into the curriculum. 

The statement on the Welsh Government website explains that a total of £5,000 is available to eligible Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic student teachers. £2,500 is available on award of Qualified Teacher Status and a final payment of £2,500 once they complete their induction.

The Education Workforce Council Chief Executive, Hayden Llewellyn said, “Our Annual Education Workforce Statistics shows that, in comparison to the general population in Wales, there is a clear under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds amongst teachers and the wider education workforce. We therefore welcome the Minister’s announcement for an incentive to attract more people from ethnic minority backgrounds into teaching.

“Under legislation, we at the EWC have a requirement to promote careers in the education workforce. Our Educators Wales team works closely with partners across the country to plan and deliver targeted recruitment activity within the Welsh Government’s priority recruitment areas of Welsh language, STEM, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.”

Partnerships have developed recruitment plans designed to attract ethnic minority students onto teaching programmes. The Partnerships are based at Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Swansea University, University of South Wales, University Wales Trinity St David and the Open University.

Libby White teaches Year Three students at Gladstone Primary School in Cardiff. ‘I think it is an amazing incentive. I think it is important for our students to feel empowered by having a diverse teaching force in place in schools. We encourage a diverse work team so our children have role models and what they can aspire to be when they are older.” Libby says that she has seen the need for more representation first hand within her career, “Cardiff is  diverse and children need to be able to see themselves. I think there is definitely more work to be done. There needs to be more opportunities for Black, Asian and minority ethnic teachers. 

Saima has a daughter that attends Gladstone Primary. She thinks the incentive is a good idea because her and her family live in a diverse area of Cardiff and would like the teachers to reflect that: “You can learn from different cultures and different people, it is what brings us together.”

Saima’s daughter Zahra added: “I think it is important because I love seeing faces and people from my background and people that come from the same culture as me. I love it.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We have new incentives to recruit more teachers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities into the school workforce alongside a new mentorship scheme underway to help support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to reach their goals.”

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