Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: January 2023

Minutes from the group's meeting on 25 January 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Asif Chishti, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup (DITPEW)
  • 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) 
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Michael Wood, 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)
  • 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 


  • Nikhat Yusaf, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network 
  • Peter McNaughton, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Victoria Smith, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup (DITPEW)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the Anti Racism in Education (AREP) Programme Board meeting. Apologies and substitutes were noted, as below:

  • Nikhat Yusaf, EIS
  • Victoria Smith, GTCS
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, DITPEW subgroup (Asif Chishti is attending in place of both Nuzhat and Victoria)
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES (Michael Wood is attending in his place)

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:

  • Secretariat to share final version of Terms of Reference and Anti-Racist Principles with members – Carried forwards, the Chair of the Programme Board will  review the document before final sign off and publication
  • Secretariat to speak to Racism and Racist Incidents workstream lead about how to respond to consultations – Closed. An update on this item will be provided under agenda item 5
  • Secretariat to share ITE framework with members once published – Carried forwards, not yet published
  • Secretariat to set up a meeting with interested bodies to discuss CYP engagement further – Ongoing, discussions have been held with IYS

Under agenda item 4, members’ names have been mentioned, rather than the organisation they represent. This will be amended.

Agenda item 7 suggested that the young people organisations listed there have been previously engaged with. Clarification was provided that this is not the case, they are in fact a list of groups that could be involved in the AREP’s work. The minutes will be amended to reflect this point. 

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

Update and overview of today's meeting

The Chair thanked members for their contributions to the two education reform consultation exercises, both of which have now closed. Initial feedback has been received, and this will be shared during agenda item 4.

At the last board meeting, members heard from IYS about the importance of co-designing engagement with children and young people.  IYS submitted 2 proposals to that effect, and are currently making a number of revisions to them. Once received, these will be shared with the AREP Programme Board.

There was some discussion among members looking for clarity on the age range of children and young people to be engaged. It was clarified that the minimum age would be around 14, with members acknowledging that while this doesn’t represent all age groups, at least this age range would include children currently within the education system.

Comment was made that in order to reach all ages and stages of children and young people, adequate resource  must be available to support that. This led to a discussion around the budget for the AREP programme, which has not yet been confirmed for 2023-24.  

There was uncertainty among some members about previous spending in relation to the programme. Previously shared information about the spending in 2021-2022 will be appended to these minutes as a reminder.

Action: Secretariat to reshare 2021-2022 spending summary with members.

The main topic of today’s meeting will focus upon the anti-racism in education summit, with members asked to consider this in more detail – constructive contributions have already been received from discussions in some workstreams.

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

The National Discussion consultation closed on 5 December and the Review of Qualifications and Assessment consultation closed on 13 January. A range of AREP responses were submitted to them both. The Chair noted the efforts of everyone involved in contributing and pulling these together. Updates and feedback have been provided from the teams running the consultations as below.

National Discussion

The listening phase of the National Discussion on Education took place between September 21 and December 5, to which there was an incredible response. Below is just some of the activity which took place:

  • events and discussions took place in every part of Scotland, from Shetland to the Borders, led by schools, community groups and third sector organisations
  • feedback was received in a host of different ways – including drawings, mindmaps and videos
  • 5,741 survey and email responses were received
  • over 200 group responses were submitted
  • 26,000 pupils and students attended online assemblies
  • more than 80 people attended a series of online public events
  • more than 6,000 posts on Twitter about the National Discussion using the hashtag #TalkScottishEducation
  • more than 10 million social media users have seen the hashtag

What's next?

Consultation analysis is now underway, and the National Discussion team are considering all the evidence gathered through the listening phase. In Spring they will publish a Call to Action and a vision which will set out short, medium and long-term aims for the future based on these findings.

Once the analysis has been done, the independent facilitators of the National Discussion will consider all the responses and develop a call to action and vision.

The team are keen to continue to involve key groups and individuals in shaping this vision in a meaningful way, to ensure that their feedback is reflected in the vision and that this is as inclusive as possible.

Hayward Review on Qualifications and Assessment

The following points were noted in relation to the Hayward Review:

  • the public consultation seeking views on the future of Qualifications and Assessment received just under 700 responses
  • responses will be used to develop a new approach to qualifications and assessment that will be tested, including with schools and colleges, in the spring
  • the timetable for the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment has been extended. This allows more time to hear views and consider feedback from the National Discussion on education
  • Professor Hayward will provide the Cabinet Secretary with an interim report by the end of February 2023 and a final report by the end of May 2023

It was acknowledged that many members and their organisations will have their own ongoing engagement with policy officials taking forward the work on both consultations. 

Members were asked whether it would be useful for Education Reform officials to return to a future Programme Board to provide a more detailed update as work on both ambitions progresses?

Members discussed the importance of remaining engaged with this work, in order to ensure that the views of the AREP are inputted at every opportunity to do so. In particular, there was a desire to see what work had been carried out to implement the specific issues raised by the AREP, and address any missing areas.

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)

Education Leadership and Professional Learning (See Annex B)

Curriculum Reform (See Annex C)

Racism and Racist Incidents 

The Secretariat and the Chair advised that they are very conscious of the concerns that RRI sub group group have regarding the lack of progress. Work is ongoing to bring additional resource to policy team in Learning Directorate which provides the RRI sub group Secretariat, and an update should be available in the coming weeks. It was stressed that lack of recent activity should not be taken as a lack of commitment on the issue. 

Members remained unhappy, expressing that the lack of communication around the pause in activity was also a problem and that subgroup members had not been informed of a resourcing issue.

It was further clarified that the situation was exacerbated by ongoing vacancies in the policy team as well as the current recruitment freeze across areas of the Scottish Government. The co-chairs of the RRI sub group were encouraged to maintain a dialogue with colleagues in the policy team.   

Action: Secretariat to ask policy colleagues to set up meeting with RRI co-chairs to discuss further.

Anti-racism in education summit

The Chair noted that Joe Griffin, Director General for Education and Justice is hosting an Anti-Racism in Education Summit at the end of March, to coincide with UN International Day for Ending Racial Discrimination. A paper was circulated with the agenda which provides a brief summary.

Joe is keen that the session be used as a platform for leaders in the Scottish Education system to sign up to a specific, measurable commitment regardless of where individuals and organisations are on their anti-racist journey.

The commitment could take the form of a pledge which would require each organisation to publicly commit to one ambition under each of the following themes, for example:

  • culture
  • leadership
  • curriculum and culturally responsive pedagogy

Members were asked to consider the following questions:

  • what should a commitment look like?
  • how should organisations be supported to achieve it?
  • is 12 months a realistic timeframe in which to achieve the ambition inherent in the commitment?
  • or would progress reports every 12 months with the ultimate achievement date being 2030, be a more realistic ambition.
  • how can the commitment be relevant for everyone? Or do we identify commitments in line with the sub groups’ ambitions?
  • how can we use the existing (curriculum subgroup) anti-racist principles?

Members made the following points during discussion:

  • terminology - members agreed that they were happy with the terminology moving towards “a baseline value” for anti-racism within an organisation
  • commitment/pledge – members thought that the summit should demonstrate an organisations commitment to a meaningful long term target such as 2030 in order to achieve the baseline value for anti-racism, with a plan to revisit the topic in 12 months (and perhaps annually thereafter). This would allow organisations an opportunity to have made some firm actions in that time, as well as having developed a plan to reach end stage by 2030
  • target audience
    • key organisations should be involved in the summit, including schools, local authorities and organisations that link directly with education
    • wariness was expressed around ambitions and commitment being the sole responsibility of schools and education establishments – national agencies must also make commitments, part of which should be to support and facilitate change within education establishments
    • while change is the ambition of the summit, consideration must be given to the support on offer for schools and local authorities to take this ambition forwards
    • commitment and sphere of influence is key – this requires the involvement of those who have the power to enforce the work of others having signed the pledge
  • accountability 
    • it was suggested that it should not be for an organisation to self-evaluate whether they have an anti-racist baseline value or not
    • it was also suggested that accountability mechanisms that already exist could be strengthened, perhaps in conjunction with other government departments’ ambitions, such as the Interim Governance Group (IGG)
  • timescale
    • concerns were expressed around the short timescale available to plan the summit, particularly in relation to availability of key stakeholders across Scotland. Some suggestions were made to delay the summit to allow ample time to plan
    • alternate views suggested that this was a fantastic opportunity to pursue, to make the work and ambitions of the AREP more visible, and to have political weight attached to them. This is an opportunity that is difficult to pass up. It would be hoped that key stakeholders would ensure their availability to come along to such an event, particularly if ministerial and First Ministerial presence can be arranged
  • young people
    • young people will be involved in the summit with their participation in shaping it key to success

Members were advised that they were welcome to submit further thoughts on the summit by email to the Secretariat following the meeting. 

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 2 February

The next meeting of this group will be held on Thursday 23 February 2023 from 15:00-16:30. 

Any other business

There is an impending Scottish Government consultation on human rights: the consultation launch is currently planned for April, with the intention to consult on the potential integration of CERD in to Scots Law. If members would find it useful, the Secretariat can ask a colleague from the Human Rights Bill Team to attend the February or March meeting, in advance of the consultation going live.

Members expressed interest in this, and would particularly appreciate the opportunity to discuss the integration of CERD into Scots Law in the context of the education system.  

Annex A

Workstream reporting - Diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce

Key achievements

  • the fifteenth meeting of the DITPEW subgroup took place on the 23 January 2023. During this meeting the group received an update from Katherine Ross, part of the Fair Work team within Scottish Government, on the publication of the new Anti-Racist Employment Strategy and refreshed Fair Work Action Plan. This was received well by members and there was agreement to continue engaging closely with Katherine and her team on its implementation

Forward look

  • work will begin shortly on the next iteration of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Annual data report. This is provisionally scheduled for publication late March/early April 2023. Related to this the DITPEW group have agreed to take forward action relating to enhancing the rates of disclosure for ethnicity data. This includes supporting employers to encourage employees to disclose their ethnicity data, including working to build trust around the purpose for gathering and processing this information
  • 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
  • we expect the Anti-Racism in ITE framework, that Khadija has developed for SCDE to be published on Twitter and their website imminently. The working group stand ready to support SCDE, Khadija and ITE institutions in implementing this


  • no known risks currently

Annex B

Workstream reporting - Education leadership and professional learning

Key achievements

  • submission for both the national discussion and Hayward review complete
  • an inspector has recently completed the BRL programme and found it extremely valuable. They are now supporting the briefing and design of PL for inspectors
  • young people are involved in the BRL programme in terms of being reviewers and engaged in the programme
  • BRL Cohort 2 is complete with excellent feedback from the summit and Cohort 3 began in December 22. The team are now developing a plan for funding for future cohorts which will be  put to the programme board with the potential of bespoke cohorts

Forward look

  • more information and collaboration would be welcomed regarding the Anti Racist Summit national event 
  • the group discussed the outcomes and actions and agreed that there was a need to focus more on ITE within Outcome 1 and focus on how to diversify and make professional learning broader.  Under output 1.3 continue to develop and effectively communicate and raise the profile of professional learning resources and opportunities
  • the ELC sector is developing a framework and part of that will be looking at qualifications and CLPL across ELC – also a need to look at leadership with this group
  • the BRL programme and the MSSL programme both have protected places for applicants with protected characteristics which is a positive development and it is hoped this expands across all programmes
  • work should be considered with probationer teachers around ITE
  • Khadija Mohammed is currently putting together an ITE anti-racist framework. Asif has convened a working group on diversity in early career teaching specifically looking at improving the experience BAME teachers and would like to link in with members regarding this
  • the group feel that a meeting face to face, to go through the action plan with a prioritising exercise would be helpful
  • members discussed how young people can be more involved in the work of the ELPL workstream. This is also likely to work best in a face to face setting
  • the ELPL sub group are eager to have face to face meetings, and this will be introduced, potentially 6 monthly which could be held in different locations to support engagement
  • the group also indicated they were keen to explore the potential for closer links for this work with the SBTE and to explore the potential of an SBTE agenda item


  • members had linked with Education Scotland regarding the programme Making Sense of System Leadership. Concerns were raised regarding embedding further structural inequalities. Education Scotland indicated their view was that opportunities need to be provided for those in system leadership roles to learn together.  Group members felt that this seemed to be a shift from previous discussions around distributed leadership and leadership with class teachers. The view of the group is that key leaders in anti-racist education are not Headteachers, QIO’s or Education officers and would like this discussed at the programme board
  • under action 3 embedding leadership learning, the group’s view is that until educators have engaged in anti-racist learning before entering a formal leadership role, it is difficult to move forward as a system 
  • the ELPL group requests that the programme board agenda items to include;
    • discussion on those entering formal leadership roles accessing anti-racist professional learning i.e. making anti-racist professional learning more explicit and mandatory before taking on leadership roles
    • the link between the board and the sub-groups become clearer with
    • budgets linked with AREP and how this is being utilised.
  • group members indicated they felt unclear on the development of the involvement of young people in the work of AREP as a whole and would want more detailed discussion on next steps in this area

Annex C

Workstream reporting - curriculum reform

Key achievements

  • Melina’s first meeting as co-chair in December
  • establishing 4 short-life working groups within the sub-group to progress key recommendations in 2023, with fewer full sub-group meetings. Makeup of these is still being finalised as we hear back from interested sub-group members
  • draft principles for an antiracist curriculum developed by short-life working group and confirmed by the subgroup. This will be further stewarded by one of the short-life working groups
  • £20,000 funding committed from Scottish Government for the Small Grants Fund to support youth-led activities around antiracism. One of the short-life working groups will steward this
  • two new MSYPs have joined Crisantos on the subgroup
  • submitted consultation responses to the National Discussion and Hayward Review
  • £40,000 of funding identified for development of two resources by West of Scotland DEC and ScotDec, conducted in a collaborative way. The subgroup has agreed that this is only a small first step, and that this step will focus on resources for early years and PSE. One of the short-life working groups will collaborate on and oversee this

Forward look

  • Best Practice Working Group to meet throughout the quarter, aiming to publish first phase of best practice report findings early this year
  • Small Grants Fund Working Group to meet throughout the quarter, aiming to design (and hopefully test) the fund
  • Draft Anti-Racist Principles Working Group to meet throughout the quarter, aiming to refine the draft and embed it in the curriculum
  • Resource Development Working Group to meet until June 2023, aiming to collaborate on and oversee initial resource development on early years and PSE by DECs


  • intention was for working groups to launch in January, but slow initial responses have delayed that slightly
  • while the involvement of three Black and People of Colour MSYPs helps ensure there is a clear link to learners with lived experience, the question continues to arise of how we can more deeply and sustainably engage with these key stakeholders
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