Welsh Government 'financial incentive' to recruit more Black Asian and Minority Ethnic teachers

Betty Campbell, Wales' first black headteacher, has been enshrined as a statue in the capital city. Credit: PA

Financial incentives are to be offered to help recruit more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic teachers in Wales, the Welsh Government has announced.

This comes as part of its wider plan to focus on increasing diversity among applicants into Initial Teacher Education courses.

The Plan will include promoting teaching as a career to more people from ethnic minority communities and making it a requirement for teaching courses to work towards recruiting a percentage of BAME students.

1.3% of school teachers in Wales identify as being from an ethnic minority background

Around 1.3% of school teachers in Wales identify as being from an ethnic minority background compared to 12% of students, according to the latest Annual Education Workforce Statistics.

In response to the study, and recommendations made by a working group advising on the creation of a new curriculum, the Welsh Government published a new plan on Friday October 22nd to promote teaching as a career among BAME communities.

The strategy, which will be adopted from 2022, includes offering monetary benefits to those who sign up to teacher training courses.

Similar incentive packages exist already to attract Welsh-medium teachers, and teachers for high demand subjects such as mathematics and the sciences.

Jeremy Miles, Education Minister

This comes after the Welsh Government announced in October that Wales was set to become the first UK nation to make teaching of black, Asian and minority ethnic histories and experiences mandatory in the school curriculum.

Education and Welsh language minister Jeremy Miles said: "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."

It comes after a new award for teachers or schools who celebrate diversity and inclusion in the classroom was created for the annual Professional Teaching Awards Cymru.

The Betty Campbell Award honours the former head teacher of Mount Stuart Primary School and first black head teacher in Wales whose statue was unveiled in Cardiff City Centre in October.

Betty Campbell was known for reaching out the members of the community.

Elaine Clarke, Mrs Campbell's daughter, said: "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 that she was "delighted to see the launch of this new award."

She added: "I hope it will stimulate schools into thinking of innovative and imaginative ways to represent these themes within the new curriculum.

“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.”