LISTEN: My mum was a pioneering BAME teacher in 1970s

Saroj Lal left a lasting legacy as one of the first BAME teachers in Scotland – we talk to her son about her remarkable life

Tes Reporter

LISTEN: The story of pioneering BAME teacher Saroj Lal, who confronted racism in the 1970s

The late Saroj Lal was one of the first teachers in Edinburgh from a BAME (black, Asian and/or minority ethnic) background, when she started at South Morningside Primary more than 50 years ago.

In the latest Tes Scotland podcast, we talk to her son, Vineet Lal, about her remarkable career, the challenges his mum faced, the progress (or lack of it) made in the half-century since she entered teaching, and the campaign to leave a lasting legacy to Saroj’s life.

In the next few days it is expected that the first winner of the Saroj Lal Award for a Pioneering Spirit in Equality and Diversity will be announced.

To listen to our interview with Vineet Lal, click here.



Previous guests on the Tes Scotland podcast include:

  • Khadija Mohammed, award-winning academic and teacher (who has since been appointed a member of the expert panel to explore the future of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Education Scotland).
  • Professor Rowena Arshad, of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland and formerly dean of Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Ruth Stout, headteacher at Fair Isle Primary, often described as the most geographically remote school in the UK.
  • Headteacher Billy Burke, speaking about the future of assessment in Scotland. He is also a member of the panel that will shape the reform of the SQA and Education Scotland.
  • Teacher Adam Black, who has been honoured for raising awareness of stammering.
  • Children's commissioner Bruce Adamson.
  • Ollie Bray, strategic director at Education Scotland and formerly one of the LEGO Foundation’s global programmes directors.
  • Maureen McKenna, director of education for Glasgow City Council.
  • Blair Minchin, a primary teacher in Edinburgh who has made waves by sharing his teaching ideas on social media.
  • 2018 Scottish teacher of the year – and producer of a highly popular global maths newsletter – Chris Smith.
  • Carrie Lindsay, president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and director of education and children’s services at Fife Council.
  • Former education secretary and current deputy first minister John Swinney (interviewed in January 2020 and July 2020).

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Reporter

Latest stories

Coronavirus: Partial vaccination of ASN staff 'is putting pupils at risk'

Gillick competence: What schools need to know

You may not have heard of the ‘Gillick competence’ but it may well be used by pupils to accept or reject the Covid vaccine – here’s what schools should be aware of
Andrew Banks 23 Sep 2021
teacher cyber bullying

Are you a bystander to bullying?

Workplace bullying is often not just about those directly involved, but about those who are looking on, too, finds Grainne Hallahan
Grainne Hallahan 22 Sep 2021