Cash Incentives offered to Recruit BAME Teachers in Wales
The Welsh Government has said that people who are from ethnic minority backgrounds will be given cash bonuses to become teachers.
People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds will be given cash bonuses to become teachers in Wales.
The Welsh Government made the announcement and it marks the first time that a UK nation has offered financial incentives to help recruit more BAME teachers.
Only 1.3% of school teachers in Wales identify as being from a minority ethnic background. This is compared to 12% of students.
The Welsh Government said that they will roll out the new incentive from 2022.
The introduction is part of a plan to get more BAME people into teaching.
Incentives already exist for subjects where there is a high demand for teachers, such as maths and sciences, as well as for teachers who are able to teach in Welsh.
It has been revealed that the value of the new incentive will be determined at a later date.
Currently, trainee teachers in Wales can receive incentives of up to £25,000.
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.”
The new plan will also look at targeting the promotion of teaching as a career to more people from ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as a requirement for initial teacher education courses to work towards the recruitment of a percentage of students from ethnic minority backgrounds.
In some parts of the UK, black teachers are underrepresented, particularly when it comes to senior leadership roles.
Earlier in October 2021, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said that the low number of black headteachers in England was “not good enough”.
Mr Miles also said that the Welsh Government be introducing a new award.
Called the Betty Campbell Award, it celebrates “the individual, team or school that has demonstrated an outstanding awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the classroom”.
The award is named after Betty Campbell, the first black headteacher in Wales, whose achievements were recognised with a statue in Cardiff in September 2021.
The statue is believed to be the first of a named, non-fictional woman in an outdoor public space in Wales.