Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: 1 November 2023

Minutes from the group's meeting on 1 November 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Asif Chishti, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup (DITPEW)
  • Farah Farzana, Racism and Racist Incidents Subgroup (RRI)
  • Samir Sharma, Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup (ELPL)
  • Monica Medina, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) 
  • Pauline Stephen, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Carrie Lindsay, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Race Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Ndaye Lisa Badji, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)
  • Nikhat Yusaf, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network 
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland 
  • Judith Ballantine, Learning Directorate, SG 
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, SG


  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup (DITPEW)
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland
  • Crisantos Ike, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP)
  • Rosy Burgess, Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP)
  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies were noted as above.

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting were distributed with the papers for this meeting. An update was provided on the actions:

  • members expressed that they would welcome a meeting with the Anti-Racism Interim Governance Group (AIGG) chairs and that it would be useful to potentially invite them to a Programme Board meeting – Ongoing – Talat Yaqoob and Ima Jackson have been invited to attend the Board meeting on 29 November
  • DYW Live working group to investigate how City of Edinburgh Council educators can participate in DYW live sessions, as they do not use Glow. – Ongoing – Nuzhat has this in hand
  • members were asked to consider and submit potential proposals which would deliver the ambitions of the AREP – Ongoing – this will be discussed further under agenda item 6, Finance
  • Secretariat to approach Cabinet Secretary's Private Office to invite her to a future Programme Board meeting – Ongoing – the Cabinet Secretary is planning to attend the meeting on 29 Nov
  • members were asked to submit any examples of best practice of positive action to – Ongoing – Asif is happy to receive any examples that members wish to send
  • Secretariat to liaise with CRER to view 5-part test to assess actions, which may be useful to see prior to pledge workshop – Ongoing – there is a note at the bottom of page 2 on the latest draft of the commitment to this effect, this item will be covered further under agenda item 8
  • subgroup leads and chairs to consider current work plans and identify whether there are areas which require funding to progress – Ongoing – this will be discussed under agenda item 6, and as an action, it overlaps with the third bullet point, so these can be merged
  • Secretariat agreed to flag with Corporate Comms colleagues the lack of signposting to translation services on SG publications – Ongoing – Secretariat have explored this further with comms and marketing colleagues who have confirmed that as part of a consultation exercise, consideration must be given to accessibility requirements, including the provision of material in community languages where they are requested. Consideration should also be given to whether there are other technologies which can be used to make publications more accessible, as opposed to simply translating written documents. A member pointed out that as part of the public sector equality duty review, an inclusive communications duty is being proposed. Secretariat will liaise with colleagues in Equality & Human Rights Directorate. Action: Secretariat
  • Secretariat to clarify with Education Scotland whether college staff would be welcomed on the Building Racial Literacy Programme. – Closed – ES staff have confirmed that yes, the BRL is open to FE staff in theory. However, there is thinking that as the funding to support the BRL is for development of teachers of school education, registered teachers who are currently teaching in schools should be the priority group for engagement

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

Update and overview of today's meeting

The Chair re-stated the requirements around respectful dialogue which are set out in the Terms of Reference.

Members were reminded that during the previous meeting, in addition to the regular finance and workstream updates, they:

  • worked through individual comments on the most recent draft of the anti-racist commitment

Todays’ meeting will:

  • discuss the standing agenda items of Finance, Education Reform, and updates from each of the subgroup chairs
  • hear from Ndaye Lisa from IYS on the progress made so far, and the vision for the development of the engagement with young people project
  • further discuss the anti-racism summit and the commitment
  • outline the arrangements for next week’s in-person meeting

The Chair acknowledged the collective disappointment regarding the First Minister’s decision not to host the summit. However, she noted that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills agreeing to do so, provides an opportunity to raise the profile of the AREP’s ambitions within her portfolio. 

Education Reform (including National Discussion and Reform of Assessment and Qualifications)

The introduction of the Education Reform Bill remains paused so that the Cabinet Secretary can properly reflect on Professor Hayward and Professors Campbell and Harris’ reports, and to ensure that robust analysis of the findings is undertaken to ensure that no opportunities for improving the education system are lost. She is currently considering what next steps look like.

Members agreed in principle that it would be useful to write to the Cabinet Secretary asking that the AREP ambitions remain to the fore as Education Reform ambitions develop and asking that the Board be included in any discussions. They agreed to wait until after the Cabinet Secretary’s imminent statement to write.

An additional point was made around how the future scrutiny function will take account of the AREP’s ambitions, and this should be incorporated into the written submission. 

Progress updates from each of the chairs of the AREP subgroups

Each subgroup chair was asked to provide a verbal update on progress in their subgroups, based upon the written updates provided as annexes to these minutes.

Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (See Annex A)

Racism and Racist Incidents (See Annex B)

Education Leadership and Professional Learning (See Annex C)

Curriculum Reform 

  • the group last met on 3 October, and will provide a fuller written update at the next Programme Board
  • a brief run through of what was discussed at the last meeting, they looked at the Programme for Government; the updated position of the BRL; the updated position of SQA; and considered funding streams


Subgroup leads and chairs/co-chairs met recently to ensure that funding available to support the AREP’s ambitions is used in an optimum way and helps to build on existing successes. The paper attached to the agenda outlines potential proposals, and comments from members are sought. It would be helpful to consider potential proposals in the context of how they would foster sustainability, as opposed to delivering short term, one-off pieces of work. 

Comments from members included:

  • enthusiasm for the development of an online portal/website on anti-racist education in Scotland, similar to A dissemination strategy for sharing resources would be welcomed
  • on the suggested framework for local authorities to better support recruitment, retention and promotion of BME teachers, any initiative of this type should learn lessons from the development of the Scottish Government’s Anti-Racist employment strategy
  • members would be keen to see more budget allocated to young people, similar to Curriculum Unit’s small grants funds, as well as more resources to empower young people to know their rights around anti-racism in their learning settings
  • the possibility of creating standalone/bolt on training around racially informed trauma training. Secretariat advised that there are colleagues in Education Scotland who develop resources on trauma informed training, and it may be possible to link in with them to identify gaps

Members also mentioned the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime Conference taking place on 20 November, with an interest in what further information may become available around hate crime in schools, and how the AREP can potentially link in with that work.

Members were encouraged to send any further thoughts on the proposals via email to the Secretariat Action: AREP members.

Intercultural Youth Scotland - engagement with young people

Ndaye-Lisa from IYS gave an overview of the work she has undertaken so far, to take forwards the project which will see young people aged 16-20 engage with the AREP ambitions and provide their thinking on them.

The project is still in the recruitment phase, with a good number of applications received so far, covering a broad spread of young people. Members were thanked for sharing the application details with their networks. The closing date is 17 November.

Following recruitment, two meetings with young people will be held per month – two introductory meetings, two meetings per subgroup, two meetings for the Programme Board, and two for co-production at the end of the project, ensuring that sustainability is embedded in the work. The young people will provide input on the workstreams’ ambitions for those groups’ consideration. 

Not all sessions will look the same, given the different outputs and ambitions of the subgroups. It is also anticipated that some subgroups may create more immediate opinion from the young people than others. 

Members expressed interest in how the policy narrative will be presented, ensuring that contributions are valid, and that the young people are able to consider the information objectively, while avoiding bias in the reporting and interpretation of findings. It was explained that Khadija will speak to the young people at the introduction of the project, and further discussion can be held about how the narrative will be presented. It was noted that the chairs of the AIGG were very honest with young people about the blockers and successes, and this helped to build trust, allowing very valuable conversations to happen. Further discussions will take place about how the information will be presented in documentation, and Ndaye-Lisa is happy to assist with translating documents into easier to read and understand versions.

Anti-racism in education summit

The summit commitment paper was discussed, and while some style/administrative considerations remain, these can be addressed via email. Members were encouraged to focus their attention on the comments within the margins of the paper, as well as the substantive issues of the provision of emerging practice examples in the grid on page 2. 

Comment was made about a lack of reference to children and young people throughout the commitment paper, with a view that it is currently very focussed on adults. Some draft comments in this regard have been added to the paper. 

While a mechanism for engagement with young people is now available to the AREP, through the project being carried out by IYS, it is unlikely that robust consultation with them on the document could be completed before the end of the year. While the date for the summit has yet been confirmed, it is currently planned for Q1 of 2024. Therefore, further consideration needs to be given to whether timings would allow for such consultation, noting that the commitment must also be cleared by senior colleagues, and the Cabinet Secretary herself in advance of the summit. An alternative to consultation now, would be bringing the commitment – which will be a live document post summit - into the realm of the oversight function of the young people’s group.

More examples are required to illustrate emerging practice – some commitments have more examples than others. Members were asked to send in examples in order that each section is as illustrative as possible for uses of the document. Action: All AREP members

Next steps and any other business

The Chair expressed her appreciation to all participants for their time and input and outlined the immediate next steps:

  • Secretariat will circulate the minutes of the meeting by 10 November 2023

The next meeting of this group will be held on Wednesday 29 November 2023 from 15:30-17:00. 

Any other business

  • the first AREP in-person meeting takes place on Tuesday 7 November at Falkirk Business Hub. Lunch will be provided at 1pm, and the session will take place 2-5pm
  • the FAQ document, which was developed by the DITPEW subgroup, with input from others on the AREP, will be published shortly and the Secretariat will share a link to it so that everyone can share it widely with their networks
  • Aqeel Ahmed, who sat on the Programme Board as the Equality Unit’s Strategic Team for Anti-Racism representative has now moved on to another post within the Scottish Government. Colleagues in the Equality Unit will confirm shortly who will replace him on this group
  • Farah Farzana noted that this would be her last AREP board meeting as she will be moving on from CEMVO Scotland to Falkirk Council as Equalities and Human Rights Officer. She expressed her thanks to members for their support in this work, and members thanked her for her contributions during the last 2 years
  • SAMEE are hosting an online conference on Thursday 7 December 2023 titled ‘Building Capacity Across the Parent Community’

Annex A

Workstream report - Diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce

Key updates

The twenty-second meeting of the DITPEW subgroup took place on 20 September 2023. The agenda covered: 

  • the DiTPEW’s proposed response to the GTCS’ review of its Memorandum of Understanding on ITE requirements
  • the FAQ document that was being co-designed by the DiTPEW is now ready for publication. A link will be circulated to Programme Board members
  • work is underway between the DiTPEW group and ADES/COSLA in relation to scoping the potential development of a ‘sister’ framework for employers to sit alongside the recent National Framework for Anti-Racism in ITE, published by the SCDE earlier in 2023

Forward look

  • work is underway to develop a session to be delivered as part of the Developing the Young Workforce programme
  • This will be focused on a range of issues such as pathways/how to be a teacher, what it means to be a teacher and support for teachers – all with a focus on encouraging minority ethnic children and young people into the profession. A small working group has been established to take this forward
  • the DiTPEW will engage with Scottish Government and Local Authority/ADES colleagues on work around clarifying guidance related to the use of positive action measures. Asif Chishti, as co-chair, has requested that members send any examples they know of that relate to positive action, which can be collated into a ‘scrapbook’
  • the group plan to submit a response to the GTCS review of the Memorandum of Understanding, particularly related to the equivalence of ESOL Highers for access to ITE
  • the group will continue to support Khadija and SCDE to drive engagement with and support the ITE framework
  • work with GTCS on their plan to gather additional data on previously registered teachers
  • work is underway between the DiTPEW group and ADES/COSLA in relation to scoping the potential development of a ‘sister’ framework for employers to sit alongside the recent National Framework for Anti-Racism in ITE, published by the SCDE earlier in 2023
  • looking to connect with UCAS to gain more insight into application data into ITE programmes by minority ethnic applications
  • potential linkage with PhD student at University of Strathclyde who is researching the experiences of minority ethnic students going through the ITE process


  • negative comments on social media regarding positive action measures to promote race equality risk discouraging employers from taking these necessary steps and individual teachers will be deterred from applying for positive action measures if communications are not sufficiently robust
  • members of the DiTPEW, and wider AREP, who are lead on this work in both a professional and personal capacity are at risk of abuse, including of a racist nature

Annex B

Workstream report - Racism and racist incidents


  • the workstream has now held two meetings since September, with the next scheduled for 8 November
  • the meetings have focused on discussing the Terms of Reference and action plan, which have now been agreed
  • the group has begun to discuss the potential content for the whole school approach framework, and agreeing the process for developing this will be the focus of the meeting on 8 November

Annex C

Workstream report - Education leadership and professional learning

Key achievements

  • participants on Cohort 4 of the BRL Programme have now been confirmed with a planned start date of end of October 2023
  • a large number of applications were received and due to the limited places there was a need for prioritisation across specific groups to support wider engagement
  • consideration is being given to how best to continue to support those who have completed the programme, extend their learning and support BRL alumni to design and deliver anti-racist professional learning outwith the BRL programme

Forward look

  • work is progressing on an external evaluation of the BRL programme to assess the short, medium and longer-term impacts of BRL
  • further consideration is being given to what an anti-racist leadership programme might look like in Scotland, with a specific focus on what education system leaders need to be doing at national, regional and local levels
  • the ELPL workstream continues to review its action plan and consider elements which may require funding support to take forward priorities
  • this includes consideration of any additional work which may be needed to be undertaken by the ELPL group to support the work of other workstreams
  • the group agreed that it would be helpful to have enhanced comms around the work that is already taking place
  • group members are keen to connect with broader work across SG including the Observatory work
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