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Red carpet treatment for student filmmakers tackling under-representation in the classroom in Wales

In Wales, 9.1% of pupils are from a minority ethnic background, but only 1.5% of their teachers identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic*

For the past four months, we’ve been working with pupils from Llanwern High School and Ysgol Glantaf to produce their own films about why Wales needs more Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic teachers. This campaign forms part of our work for Welsh Government Education.

School children sat together in a theatre

*Source: Annual Education Workforce Statistics for Wales 2022 published by the Education Workforce Council

The pupils involved are part of a Diversity Club, a collaboration between the two south Wales schools, to create a safe space for learners to share their experiences, ideas, and feelings. Sian Smith, Deputy Headteacher of Llanwern, said

“We needed a regular platform for pupils with lived experience and their allies to lead on how to improve our anti-racist stance.”

School children walking together

Filmed, directed, and edited by the learners, the campaign allowed young people to tell their stories to the camera and directly ask their communities in Wales to choose a career in teaching. We followed the learners as they created their six short films and produced a documentary to capture the process.

A pupil at Llanwern High School said, “In our film, we want to make something that encourages people to bring their culture to school. We’re going to show the diversity of food, hair, and culture in Wales.”

On the 27th April, The Riverfront Theatre in Newport rolled out the red carpet for a special preview screening of the films and documentary. Over forty learners from Llanwern High School and Ysgol Glantaf, joined the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, teachers, stakeholders and media to watch the films and participate in an insightful Q&A session. This is just the beginning of a wider commitment from the Welsh Government to increase representation.

The Ethnic Minority Initial Teacher Education Incentive Scheme provides up to £5,000 to eligible individuals looking to become student teachers, to support efforts to ensure the education workforce reflects Wales’. More information on how to apply is available here.

You can watch the documentary behind the campaign here:

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