The benefits of a diverse education workforce are well-documented. Representation in the education workforce provides role models for learners and young people and can help improve their sense of belonging and identity. However, lack of diversity in the school workforce has been a persistent issue in Wales, with the education workforce currently failing to reflect the diverse society we live in.
Since 2019, we've carried out extensive research on behalf of the Welsh Government around diversity and ethnic minority representation among teachers and teaching assistants. Our first report on ethnic minority representation in the school workforce , completed last year, showed that the number of teachers and teaching assistants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities has grown in recent years. However, this growth has been limited and, in terms of ethnic diversity, the school workforce has failed to keep pace with the changing demography of Wales.
The 2020 report also presented possible policy solutions which could help make the school workforce in Wales more diverse. It was based upon research considering strategies that had been used to diversify the school workforce elsewhere, and a wider variety of initiatives that had been used in other professions.
Final report and recommendations for the Welsh Government – summer 2021
Since publishing our first report in May 2020, we've met with practitioners, stakeholders and organisations representing diverse communities to gather feedback on the issues raised.
We’ve also held a series of focus groups with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic practitioners and other key stakeholders to understand their lived experiences of the education system in Wales, and to hear their thoughts on what needs to be done to make the school workforce more diverse.
The insight we gained from listening to others has helped us to develop our recommendations further. We presented those recommendations to the Welsh Government in July 2021, and they have informed an action plan on increasing the ethnic diversity of the school workforce in Wales. Read our final report on Ethnic minority representation within the school workforce in Wales