Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: 28 September 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 28 September 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Asif Chishti, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW) Subgroup
  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup 
  • Farah Farzana, Racism and Racist Incidents Subgroup 
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Leadership and Professional Learning (ELPL) Subgroup
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Peter McNaughton, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) 
  • Monica Medina, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) 
  • Ndaye Lisa Badji, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS) 
  • Nikhat Yusaf, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) BAME Network 
  • Crisantos Ike, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) 
  • Rosy Burgess, Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) 
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland 
  • Aqeel Ahmed, Equality Unit, Scottish Government
  • Judith Ballantine, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, Scottish Government


  • Nuzhat Uthmani, DITPEW Subgroup  
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Sam Anson, Deputy Director, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Victoria Smith, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) 

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed everyone to the second meeting of the Programme Board.  

Aqeel Ahmed and Laura-Ann Currie introduced themselves as first time attendees.

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:

  • ELPL subgroup to consider permanent representation at the Programme Board – this has not been agreed with the subgroup as yet, will update in due course
  • Knowledge Hub – further information and instructions about this will be distributed to all REAREP members shortly

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed. 

Update and overview of today's meeting

Acknowledgement was made of the ongoing racist abuse via social media that has been levelled at colleagues, some of whom sit on the Programme Board. Sympathy and solidarity were expressed by all members. 

The abuse has been reported to police, but anger was expressed at the lack of action from Twitter. A member noted that hate crime can also be reported at a Third Party Reporting Centre. These are local agencies that can report an incident on your behalf, and provide advice and support. 

It was also noted that Hate Crime week starts soon (8-16 October).

Programme Board draft terms of reference and anti-racist principles

Members were reminded that at the previous meeting, consideration was given to the terms of reference and anti-racist principles. These have been merged into one document as per the suggestions made in the group.

Members were split into two breakout groups to discuss the latest draft document. 

During feedback, it was clear that members were keen to see further transparency and continuous learning around engagement with children and young people. Members are keen to be involved in a separate, fuller discussion around what can be done to meaningfully engage children and young people in this work. Reference was made to previous engagement with children and young people, such as the engagement with the Deputy First Minister in early 2021, and the minutes received from the sessions carried out by Show Racism the Red Card. This information should be referred to within the terms of reference.

The principles bullet points seem somewhat wordy and a request was made for these to be shorter and sharper.

Members commented that consistency was essential around terminology within the document. A preference was expressed for Black and People of Colour (BPOC) – this would be in alignment with the terminology agreed for the Curriculum Reform Anti-Racist Principles document.

It was suggested that the next draft of the terms of reference/principles document, should be shared with the four subgroups, allowing an opportunity for wider discussion.

ACTION: Secretariat to share the next version of the Terms of Reference/Principles document with the subgroups for further comment.

Presentation from Clair Henderson, Education Reform National Conversation

Clair Henderson, Education Reform Directorate, attended the meeting to share information around National Discussion Scottish Education - Scottish Government - Citizen Space which was launched on 21 September 2022 and will run until 5 December 2022.

The National Conversation was created in response to one of the recommendations in Ken Muir’s report Putting Learners at the Centre: Towards a Future Vision for Scottish Education. 

“Recommendation 1 - The Scottish Government should initiate a national discussion on establishing a compelling and consensual vision for the future of Scottish education that takes account of the points made in this report, in particular the importance of placing the learner at the centre of all decisions. The vision for Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) should be considered as part of this discussion as should consideration of how the education system seeks to address the purposes described in Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).”

The last national debate on education was 20 years ago and led to the Curriculum for Excellence. The world has changed since then, and continues to change rapidly, meaning that consideration needs to be given to how the education system embraces that change. The National Discussion should be seen as an umbrella for all the different strands of reform. 

As part of the National Discussion, Clair and her colleagues are keen to hear from as many people as possible, particularly those who may not always feel heard. They are looking to establish a vision for Scottish education which is inclusive and exciting. Two independent facilitators have been appointed to this work, Alma Harris, and Carol Campbell, both of whom bring expertise and commitment to Scottish education.

This consultation will listen to children and young people and their lived experiences, and their views are crucial in helping shape the visioning and make it appropriate for the next 20 years. 

This work recognises that education goes beyond school and seeks to help those who support children and young people, such as parents, carers, employers and businesses. Resources have been created to support the National Discussion, available at the link above. The tools can be used flexibly, and adapted to suit different audiences.

Following the conclusion of the survey, calls to action will be set out, encompassing short, medium and long-term changes. These will build on the recommendations and principles in the Muir report, but also recommend changes needed to inform the future vision.

The floor was opened to questions from members.

Q: Is it possible to get an idea of what the end product/outcome of the conversation will look like?
A: The team is clear that it is not possible to say what the vision will look like now because it should be shaped by everyone who inputs to the discussion. There is a need to be open-minded about the outcome.

Q: Too many expectations on the vision may risk disappointing some. There is a need to think about engaging different groups in a meaningful and ethical way, and think about how this can add to our work. 
A: The unit will be learning as they go and are very open to having those conversations. They are happy to hear any thoughts and views, as well as suggestions of existing opportunities to tap into engagement. 

Presenation from David Roy, Secretariat to the Hayward Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment

David Roy, Secretariat to the Hayward Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment attended the meeting to provide an update on the current position with this work. 

David outlined the background to Professor Hayward’s work, and detailed the phasing to be applied to the timetable for review. The details of this can be found in the slides attached as Annex A.

The current intention is to submit the final report to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in March 2023.

Some information was provided around the engagement mechanisms to be deployed as part of this review. Community Collaborative Groups (CCGs) comprise representation from teachers, parents, academic groups, teacher associations and others. 13 of these are involved in the work. 

The review has not yet reached a point where a flavour of the direction of travel can be given, but this is quite deliberate – there is a wish to take stock and consider alignments of pieces of work.

The floor was opened to comments and questions, and members were asked to consider how specifically the REAREP work aligns with the review of curriculum and assessment.

Q: It will be interesting to see how the outcome relates to the process, where there is no real room for people mixing and contributing from different angles. 
A: A webinar was held with different groups for a discussion in order to frame the next stage. It is tricky to create collaboration not just between communities, but across them. 

Q: What mechanisms are there to ensure that Black and People of Colour learners are included?
A: The parental representation across a huge range of groups is quite broad, some of whom are from minority ethnic backgrounds. A member of Scottish Youth Parliament who had initially been educated outwith Scotland was able to share some interesting experiences of both education systems.  Colleagues are keen to hear more from children and young people, and soon.

Q: When it comes to curriculum work at senior phase, not everyone has a positive experience of this,  as teachers must teach to exams which don’t cater  for example, to language relating to geography which is agreed not to be used but then ends up in the exam. Is this type of query part of the Hayward review?
A: This is a fair critique of the system. There are to be changes to organisations themselves, such as SQA, and this type of change will fall into that camp. 

Q: Will the National Discussion be part of the Hayward Review?
A: Both pieces of work sit in tandem as part of the wider Education Reform programme.  

Q: There are quite a few Black and minority ethnic stakeholders who do not think that race equality came through strongly enough in the early stages of this process. There is an interplay between different arguments, such as those who think exams should be removed, and those who think exams should stay – will there be a debate between two camps as part of the review process?
A: Transparency is key. How views will be taken on board and represented needs to be clear, and the evolution of the work needs to be shown. Members were encouraged to engage with the review, and with Professor Hayward, in order that the issues can really be addressed.

Intercultural Youth Scotland noted that they are not currently participating in the review, as there are currently no discussion spaces solely for young Black people and People of Colour to participate. David confirmed he was keen to get further input on this and would pick up with the commenter offline. 

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: 

  • minutes and revised Terms of Reference/Principles will be distributed by 5 October
  • members are asked to send any further comments on the Terms of Reference/Principles by close on 4 October to allow them to be incorporated

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 25 October from 15:00–16:30.  

Any other business

There was a query around feedback to the children and young people who took part in the Captains project – how we can let them know what happened next with their input? There is a need to consider how this should be done.  ACTION – Secretariat.  

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