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Widening access to the teaching profession: perspectives from Scotland

Menter, Ian and Hartshorn, Bryce and Hextall, Ian and Howell, Irene and Smyth, Geraldine (2006) Widening access to the teaching profession: perspectives from Scotland. European Journal of Teacher Education, 29 (3). pp. 271-285.

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Abstract

This paper draws from a systematic literature review carried out for the General Teaching Council for Scotland on Widening access into the teaching profession. The paper first sets out a rationale for seeking the creation of a teaching profession that is demographically representative of the wider population. It is suggested that eight dimensions of representativeness are significant and the inter-relationship between them is discussed in the context of the concept of multiple identities. Consideration is given to what is known about the composition of the teaching workforce in Scotland, before a framework for developing a strategy for improving representativeness is offered. Four areas for action are identified. Finally it is suggested that the same framework and areas for action may be applicable in any country where there is concern about the unrepresentative composition of the teaching workforce.