Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: August 2023

Minutes from the group's meeting on 30 August 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup 
  • Farah Farzana, Racism and Racist Incidents Subgroup (RRI)
  • Samir Sharma, Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup (ELPL)
  • Monica Medina, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) 
  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Carrie Lindsay, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Race Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Nikhat Yusaf, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network 
  • Crisantos Ike, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP)
  • Rosy Burgess, Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP)
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland 
  • Judith Ballantine, Learning Directorate, SG 
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, SG 

In attendance

  • Joseph McKeown, Human Rights Bill Team, SG


  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup (DITPEW)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Ndaye Lisa Badji, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

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

Carrie Lindsay introduced herself as the new ADES representative. She has recently retired as Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services at Fife Council, and looks forward to contributing to this group.

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 – Khadija and one of the AIGG chairs have now discussed meeting and will do so shortly. During that meeting Khadija will invite both AIGG chairs to a future Programme Board meeting
  • Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Live working group to investigate how City of Edinburgh Council educators can participate in DYW live session, as they do not use Glow – Ongoing – DYW Live group will reconvene shortly and this will be picked up and addressed then
  • secretariat to clarify summit commitment with the AIGG – Closed – arrangements for the summit continue, while the AIGG Secretariat’s timings have shifted in terms of publishing their findings, they’re happy that the summit continues with the focus on education
  • secretariat to arrange pledge workshop – Closed – workshops have been ongoing over the summer, the latest draft of the pledge following last Friday’s workshop has been circulated and thanks are expressed to all who have contributed to these 
  • members were asked to consider and submit potential proposals which would deliver the ambitions of the AREP – Ongoing – none have been received yet, and we can consider this under agenda item 4, Finance
  • chair of the Programme Board to write to Professors Harris and Campbell to overview the AREP discussions about the education reform reports – Ongoing – to be discussed under agenda item 5
  • secretariat to approach Cabinet Secretary’s Private Office to invite her to a future Programme Board meeting – Ongoing – Private Office have advised that the Cabinet Secretary cannot attend the September meeting but will consider whether she can join the October one. Secretariat will continue to liaise with them and confirm in due course
  • members were asked to suggest grass roots organisations that could potentially join the Racism and Racist Incidents subgroup – Closed – the group have been working on their group membership and have not identified a need for any further suggestions at this stage. Of course, if any members have suggestions the group would be very happy to receive them
  • members were asked to submit any examples of best practice of positive action to Asif Chishti – Ongoing – Asif continues to gather examples with a view to sharing them with AREP colleagues
  • secretariat to liaise with CRER to view 5 part test to assess actions, which may be useful to see prior to pledge workshop – Ongoing – Secretariat are liaising with CRER regarding this
  • secretariat will create a resource around trauma informed learning opportunities such as reading material, training courses, blogs, etc and share with members for further input – Ongoing – thanks are expressed to everyone for their contributions so far. Members are encouraged to keep sending relevant material. Action: Secretariat will share what we have to date, and will continue to add as more contributions are received

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

Update and overview of today's meeting

The Chair re-stated the requirement 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:

  • agreed that it would be helpful for an initial training session on trauma informed approaches to be delivered by an external practitioner with the specific expertise required, but that continuing to develop anti-racist expertise would be the responsibility of individuals on the group
  • continued to discuss the anti-racism in education summit and associated pledge and agreed that workshops held during the summer to continue to refine it should take place
  • heard from Asif Chishti about the FAQ document which was in development. Its purpose is to provide a resource for anyone involved in this work to be able to share it in response to questions such as “but why do we need the AREP/Positive Action etc?”. More work has taken place by the DITPEW subgroup to refine the document and their Secretariat will share with workstream leads for comment imminently

Today’s meeting will discuss:

  • the standing agenda items of Finance, Education Reform and updates from each of the subgroup chairs
  • the anti-racism in education commitment, and consider whether the group considers that the commitment could now be shared with the strategic group who initially discussed the summit (Khadija, Pauline Stephen, Rowena Arshad, Douglas Hutchison and Katie D’Souza) for their comments
  • the proposed in person session on trauma informed training
  • the consultation on the proposed Human Rights Bill which runs until October. We will be joined by Joseph McKeown from the Scottish Government’s Human Rights Bill Team


Members were reminded that the last funding proposal which the group agreed in principle was Intercultural Youth Scotland’s (IYS) plan to engage with children and young people (£37k). This is now underway with the project inception meeting taking place on 21 August. The project is scheduled to run until June 2024.

The group were reminded that there is up to £500k available to support the work of the Equality in Education Team. Some of this remains uncommitted in 2023-24 so if members have proposals that would use some or all of the available funding, they should flag these to Secretariat as soon as possible.

The Curriculum Reform Workstream has access to up to £325k in 2023-24 to support its anti-racist curriculum ambitions. To date, the following spend has been committed:

  • new resource creation on early years and health and wellbeing in the curriculum - ScotDEC and WOSDEC - £60k
  • Teaching Slavery in Schools programme - £45k
  • school education programme - IYS - £200k
  • Small Grants Fund for children and young people-led change - £20k

Given that not all spend has been committed yet, it was agreed that it would be helpful for the sub group leads and chairs to consider their work programmes and identify any areas which are not currently supported by funding and require to be. 

Action: Subgroup leads and chairs to consider current work plans and identify whether there are areas which require funding to progress.

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

Since the last AREP Board meeting, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills announced (at the end of June) that she is keen to 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. This means that there will be a longer timescale involved in deciding next steps in terms of Education Reform and introducing the associated legislation. The Chair felt that this was a positive development in that it ensures more scrutiny will be given to the proposals which have emerged to date.

The Cabinet Secretary has been invited to a future Programme Board meeting so that she can hear members’ perspectives, as well as their current thinking and their input is current while she gives more consideration to the Education Reform proposals. Action: Secretariat.

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.

Curriculum Reform (See Annex A)

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

  • an update was provided on the review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The timing for this has changed and it will now take place sooner than initially expected. The English as a Second Language (ESOL) equivalency issue has been the focus of the DITPEW subgroup until now. Due to the timeframe change, the DITPEW will now provide a wider submission, not just on ESOL, including having more robust diversity language within the document

Education Leadership and Professional Learning (See Annex C)

  • applications for new BRL programme beginning in November will open on 31 August

Racism and Racist Incidents (See Annex D)

  • in addition to the written update, the last meeting of this group was on 20 June, where membership and priorities were discussed as well as the terms of reference 

Anti-racism in education summit

During the summer, members held three workshops to continue to refine the summit commitment document. Appreciation was expressed to all who contributed their time and input. 

It was agreed that the word ‘commitment’ would be used to describe the document, rather than pledge or challenge. Commitment was considered to be more positive.

It was also agreed that the commitment itself should sit further forward in the document, with the more detailed, discursive parts of it following. The aim is to make it accessible as possible to those who are at an early stage in their anti-racist journey.

The chair asked workshop attendees for any further reflections on the document and whether they would be content for it to be shared with the strategic group.

Discussion points included:

  • the size of the document – members agreed that the commitment should be the most prominent part, with the additional information presented as an annex of ‘supporting information’
  • the aesthetics – it was agreed that the document needs to be more visually appealing

It was suggested that while it is very close to being ready for sharing, there is still some work to be done – perhaps via an in person meeting in order to reach agreement on a final version.

Action: Secretariat will share a further version of the commitment document with all other received comments included.

Trauma informed training

Members were asked to reflect on the paper included in the agenda pack, which suggested that a facilitator who is trauma informed and has anti-racist expertise deliver 2 in person sessions – one introductory meeting, and a second to focus on trauma informed training. The sessions would last approximately 3 hours. The Chair and secretariat have met with an external consultant, Susan Chan, who is a trauma informed coach/counsellor with lived experience of racism, to discuss what the proposed sessions might look like. They would take place in a neutral, central location (not Glasgow or Edinburgh). Venue, date and time will be confirmed once members have indicated their availability.

Members agreed with the benefits that these sessions may bring, while making the point that there is still no specific racial trauma informed practice available. 

A member offered to check in with their mental health officer, who may have suggestions. They will forward a document that came out of a conference they held, which may be helpful in conversations being held with Susan Chan. 

Action: Members are asked to provide their availability for a half day session in the end of September/beginning of October. A doodle poll will be issued by Secretariat.

Proposed Human Rights Bill consultation

Joseph McKeown from the Scottish Government’s Human Rights Bill Team attended to talk through the proposed Human Rights Bill which is currently out for consultation and closes on 5 October. The Bill proposals include measures such as integrating the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) into Scots Law. He also outlined the materials contained within the consultation resource, which individuals and groups can use to hold their own events.

Members expressed concern that the consultation information was not proactively translated into different languages and asked that this be addressed. Secretariat confirmed that it is Scottish Government policy to provide translations reactively as opposed to proactively, but that groups and individuals should be reassured that documents and materials will be translated on request. Secretariat and Joseph agreed that it would be helpful to explore what options could be taken in the remaining time the consultation is open. The group discussed potential options including adding a sentence in a range of languages on SG websites which makes readers of those languages aware that such requests can be made. Joseph also advised that the team would consider this feedback in future engagement activity around the Bill. Separately, the Secretariat agreed to flag the issue of lack of signposting in a range of languages on all SG publications to Corporate Comms colleagues, in order that they can consider how to address. Action – Secretariat. 

Members also asked Joseph how the Bill Team will proactively reach out to minority ethnic communities to capture their input. He explained that existing SG networks, such as the Faith and Religious Groups Network have been approached, in order to communicate with a range of communities and that they have also delivered sessions with organisations such as CEMVO.

A member queried whether the SG was acting within its devolved competence when it comes to creating human rights legislation. Joseph confirmed that treaties will be incorporated as far as possible within devolved competence, and the consultation proposals emphasise that the approach to incorporating all treaties is intended to carefully navigate UK legislation to remain within the devolved competence of the Scottish Government.

The Bill team can be contacted via email:

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 7 September 2023
  • members were advised that a Freedom of Information Act request has been submitted, asking for the minutes of all the AREP subgroup meetings

The next meeting of this group will be held on Wednesday 27 September 2023 from 3:30pm to 5pm. 

Annex A

Workstream report - Curriculum Reform

Key achievements

  • Breaking the Mould, the Principles for an Anti-Racist Curriculum, have been published. They were issued by Education Scotland on (then) Twitter and received a hugely warm welcome from Scotland and further afield. They will receive a focus as part of the Summit and the comms associated with that
  • previous updates referred to delays with funding being signed off, this position was progressed in May and a range of work is underway to invest in activity to support priorities (see below)
  • sessions with the Association of Directors of Education Curriculum, Assessment and Qualifications leads in May and July have been valuable in sharing the Principles, emerging findings from the review of practice led by Hakim and a focus on activity to embed anti-racism in Education in City of Edinburgh Council. Input was well received and has led to approaches from local authorities seeking support on anti-racism which is being supported by Education Scotland
  • the Small Grants Fund for children and young people-led anti-racism in education has led to some impactful and thoughtful activity and a full report will be shared in due course. Of particular note though is the video created by Newark Primary and supported by the Fund
  • the School Library Innovation Fund has opened for bids this year and has a focus, for the third year running, on anti-racism and diversity
  • This video captures learning and impact from one of the 2022 successful bids with Strathaven Academy and its cluster primary schools
  • Funded programmes of work to support curriculum workstream recommendations:
    • new resource creation – on priority areas identified: early years + health and wellbeing/personal and social education to be led by WOSDEC and ScotDEC with collaboration as a core principle
    • continuation and development of the Teaching Slavery in Schools programme led by academics from Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling in collaboration with Lisa Williams, anti-racist educator and founder of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association, and the Scottish Association of Teachers of History
    • Scottish Government to develop the established Intercultural Youth Scotland school education programme
    • funding remains to develop a further phase of the Small Grants Fund
  • additionally, lots of internal work in Scottish Government and Education Scotland has sought to embed and amplify anti-racism in policy and practice relating to: education reform – new agencies, national discussion, hayward, new inspection framework for early years, parental engagement, learner voice and engagement, children’s rights and UNCRC implementation, SQA and social studies

Forward look

  • meeting of full group to be arranged for late September/early October 
  • continue to seek opportunities to foreground anti-racism in education reform 

Annex B

Workstream report - Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce

Key updates

  • the twenty-first meeting of the DITPEW subgroup took place on 23 August 2023. The agenda covered: 
    • the DiTPEW response to the GTCS’ review of it’s Memorandum of Understanding;
    • a discussion on a number of data related issues including;
      • the MQuITE Report and BME cohort data
      • UCAS acceptance data for ITE
      • UCAS attendance at the DiTPEW subgroup in October
    • priorities for the DiTPEW subgroup for the coming 6 months. This precedes a review of the action grid at the September meeting
  • the Theory of Change for the work of the DiTPEW is now nearing completion, members of the group have been asked to offer final revisions ahead of the September meeting of the subgroup
  • the FAQ document that was being co-designed by the DiTPEW is now in a semi-finalised state

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


  • recent 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 C

Workstream report - Education Leadership and Professional Learning

Key achievements

  • the Lead Specialist post (Programme Lead for the Building Racial Literacy programme) has been filled and is expected to start after the summer
  • as a past participant of the BRL programme and an inspector with responsibility for gathering more evidence on race equality, Donald Paterson is a welcome addition to the working group

While anti-racist professional learning opportunities have been strengthened with the Building Racial Literacy programme and the initiatives led by past participants, anti-racist leadership continues to be a gap and priority area for the sub-group. More examples of anti-racist leadership initiatives are being gathered and explored at different levels of the system. For instance, Glasgow City Council worked with Samir Sharma and Mélina Valdelièvre to adapt the anti-racism pledge into an local authority-wide anti-racism charter, supported with a full day of professional learning to build the racial literacy of the Strategic Leadership Team in the Education Department. Moreover, Laura Ross and Peter McNaughton organised sessions with ADES to engage Directors of Education and Heads of Service across all local authorities, where there is a growing appetite for an anti-racist leadership programme. Another example includes the Forth Valley and West Lothian BRL group developing an anti-racist toolkit to increase levels of racial literacy across the region. 

Forward look

  • applications for BRL are planned to open in August, for a fourth cohort starting in November. An in-person option will be considered for headteachers
  • anti-racist leadership remains a key area for development and the Anti-Racism Summit in autumn with a pledge/commitment is expected to build momentum
  • consideration of what 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 will continue to review its action plan, with an understanding that its work needs to join up with the other three workstreams

Annex D

Workstream report - Racism and Racist Incidents


  • following the co-chairs' meetings over the summer, the first workstream meeting for 2023 has been scheduled for Wednesday 13 September
  • this meeting will discuss the draft ToR and the draft Action Plan
  • several new members have been confirmed
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