Welsh government will give cash bonus to BAME teachers to diversify workforce

22 October 2021, 16:19

Financial incentives will be offered to teachers from BAME communities in Wales from 2022
Financial incentives will be offered to teachers from BAME communities in Wales from 2022. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The Welsh government will give financial incentives to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) teachers in a bid to recruit a more diverse workforce.

Financial incentives will be offered to teachers from BAME communities in Wales from 2022 after a report revealed less than 2 per cent of teachers come from ethnic minority backgrounds.

According to recent Annual Education Workforce Statistics, just 1.3 per cent of school teachers in Wales identify as part of the BAME community, compared with 12 per cent of students.

In response, the Welsh government has today announced that monetary benefits will be given to members of the BAME community who sign up to teacher training courses.

The strategy, which will be adopted from 2022, may follow similar incentive packages which already exist to attract Welsh-medium teachers, as well as maths and the science teachers.

A value of the incentive has not yet been announced.

The move comes after the government said schools should not teach contested views about "white privilege" as fact, after a report branded such terms "divisive" and said they may cause white working-class pupils to be "neglected".

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The new Welsh incentive plan will also include targeting promotion of teaching as a career to more people from ethnic minority communities.

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 per cent 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."

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The financial incentives will also require the Initial Teacher Education courses to work towards the recruitment of a percentage of students from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Mr Miles also announced a new award in this year’s Professional Teaching Awards Cymru to celebrate work around diversity.

The Betty Campbell Award, for promoting the contributions and perspectives of BAME 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.

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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 be inspire future generations in the footsteps of our mother."