In 2019, we began a review of evidence about ethnic diversity in the school workforce in Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government. We reported our findings to the Welsh Government in May 2020, including a list of policy ideas to help make the school workforce in Wales more diverse.
What did the evidence say?
Our research examined the extent to which the school workforce in Wales is representative of the wider population of the country, in terms of ethnicity.
We found that, while the number of teachers and teaching assistants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities working in Welsh schools has grown in recent years, ethnic diversity in the profession had failed to keep pace with the changing social make-up of Wales.
Our research also looked at best practice from elsewhere in the UK and from other professions, where different strategies had been used to increase workforce diversity. This helped us to develop a suite of policy ideas (for the Welsh Government to consider) to help make the school workforce in Wales significantly more diverse.
Finding a way forward: listening to partners
Late in 2020, we began to talk to practitioners, stakeholders and organisations representing diverse communities to build on our findings in our phase two report and develop a final set of recommendations for the Welsh Government.
We met with many organisations and individuals who generously shared their views on issues raised, and on the policy ideas that were set out in our 2020 report.
We also held a series of focus groups with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic practitioners and stakeholders. Through these focus groups we aimed to learn about:
- their lived experiences of the education system in Wales
- their thoughts on what needs to be done to make the school workforce more diverse.
The insight we gained from listening to others 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.
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