Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: June 2023

Minutes from the group's meeting on 21 June 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, 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) 
  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Peter McNaughton, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • 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 
  • Crisantos Ike, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP)
  • Rosy Burgess, Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP)
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland
  • Judith Ballantine, Learning Directorate, SG 
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, SG 


  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup 
  • Victoria Smith, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland 

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:

  • secretariat to contact SG colleagues in the Trauma, ACEs & Resilience Team to explore how best to access training. Members queried whether it would be preferable for AREP members to participate in training already available, or to take a critical look at the available training, noting that trauma informed training is not specifically cognisant of race or racialised trauma. It was requested that this topic be discussed further during a dedicated agenda item – Closed – this will be discussed further under agenda item 8
  • secretariat to add trauma informed training to the agenda for June Programme Board – Closed – this will be discussed further under agenda item 8
  • members expressed that they would welcome a meeting with the AIGG chairs and that it would be useful to potentially invite them to a Programme Board meeting – Ongoing – Secretariat are liaising with the AIGG Secretariat and will update when a date has been agreed
  • secretariat to add strategic communication of programme to June agenda of Programme Board – Closed – this will be discussed further under agenda item 3
  • 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 – DYW Live group will reconvene shortly and this will be picked up and addressed then
  • secretariat to clarify summit commitment with the AIGG – Ongoing
  • secretariat to arrange pledge workshop – Ongoing – to date 7 members of the group have volunteered to attend the dedicated workshop. If anyone else wishes to join, please say so, otherwise the Secretariat will issue a teams meeting request in the next couple of days for a date during the next two weeks

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 discussed: 

  • trauma informed training
  • the anti-racism in education summit and the merit of establishing a small working group to undertake a dedicated workshop to refine the wording of the pledge

Today’s meeting will discuss:

  • the anti-racism in education summit with a focus on discussing how best the dedicated workshop time should be used to revise the pledge
  • trauma informed training in more detail


Secretariat informed members that in 2023-24, up to £500,000 will be available to support the work of the Equality in Education Team. Pre-existing financial commitments which are part of the AREP, e.g. the Building Racial Literacy Programme will continue to be supported from that allocation, which is an increase on previous years. The importance of viewing funding as investment in the group’s ambitions was noted.

Action: Members were asked to consider and submit potential proposals which would deliver the programme’s ambitions.

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

The National Discussion consultation responses have been analysed and captured in the publication on 31 May of All Learners in Scotland Matter - national discussion on education. This was shared with members on publication day. 

Members discussed some themes in the document including how input on the lack of diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce had been represented within it. The Report of Independent Review of the Skills Delivery Landscape by James Withers was also noted, with the need to ensure that the same anti-racist context be applied to its ambitions alongside those outlined by Professors Hayward, Campbell and Harris. Secretariat noted the Cabinet Secretary’s impending statement on Education Reform, and how that would provide some more clarity on next steps. However, the usefulness of the reform documents in assisting with leveraging the ambitions of the programme to appeal to difficult to reach audiences was noted.

The next steps in the education reform process will likely be a Scottish Government response to the reports after the summer. In the meantime, it was suggested that the Chair of the Programme Board write to Professors Harris and Campbell to overview the AREP discussions about the reports. ACTION: Chair.

AREP members expressed interest in inviting the new Cabinet Secretary for Education to attend a future AREP Board meeting. Action: Secretariat to approach Cabinet Secretary’s Private Office. 

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.

Racism and Racist Incidents (See Annex A)

Action: Members were asked to suggest grass roots organisations that could potentially join the Racism and Racist Incidents subgroup.

Curriculum Reform

The Anti-Racist Curriculum Principles have been approved by the Cabinet Secretary. A soft launch is scheduled for Tuesday 27 June 2023 on the National Improvement Hub Breaking the mould: Principles for an anti-racist curriculum | Resources | Education Scotland. More proactive comms will take place around the anti-racism summit in autumn. 

The Chair noted that the launch of the document may exacerbate existing push back being experienced by members online and on social media.

Education Leadership and Professional Learning (See Annex B)

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

Action: Members were asked to submit any examples of best practice of positive action to  

Anti-racism in education summit

Members discussed the pledge which will be introduced at the anti-racism summit in the autumn. The discussion included:

  • creation of an example template of how the pledge could be used in different settings (i.e. by a school/teacher/leader)
  • the need to identify non-negotiables in the pledge
  • a right based approach should form the basis of the pledge and it should link to the anti-racist curriculum principles
  • a method for progress monitoring resulting in accountability was deemed to be essential, as there is currently a lack of detail on how organisations should specify their actions, for example, suggested ways of establishing whether an action is anti-racist. It was suggested that a workbook approach might guide an organisation in writing their actions
  • a 5 part test to assess actions previously used by CRER was mentioned, it was agreed that it would be useful to consider it prior to the pledge workshop Action: Secretariat to liaise with CRER

While there has been some positive anti-racist work already carried out in local authorities, including in Glasgow and Edinburgh local authority areas, members agreed that it would be useful to establish what is happening across all local authorities in Scotland. The summit will provide an opportunity to do this. 

Members agreed that it would be desirable to have Secretariat support at the pledge workshop.

More generally, members discussed the need for the AREP to include training on meaningful participation – there may be opportunity for MSYPs to lead this training The Right Way.

Trauma informed training

The NES framework was shared with members previously, and it was noted that it was not developed through the lens of racial trauma. Members were asked for their thoughts on how to progress ambitions on being a trauma informed group. It was suggested that an initial training session could be delivered at an AREP meeting, by an external practitioner with the specific expertise required, but that continuing to develop anti racist expertise would be the responsibility of the individual. 

Members agreed that while a trauma-informed approach is a requirement for this type of work, many members have already undertaken various levels of trauma-informed training, and it may not be necessary or useful to undertake training as a group. 

It was agreed that a resource should be created which outlines the importance of trauma-informed practice, encourages members to commit to professional learning on the subject, and signposts to different learning opportunities such as reading material, training courses, blogs etc. Individuals could then assess what professional learning, if any, they need to undertake, with the option available for members who are unable to access any type of training, to return to the programme board for further support. 

Action: Secretariat will create the type of resource outlined above and share with members for further input. 

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 Thursday 29 June 2023

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

Annex A

Workstream report - Racism and racist incidents


  • the workstream co-chairs have now met twice to prepare for reconvening the workstream
  • they have reviewed the Terms of Reference
  • workstream members have been contacted to ascertain if they are able to continue with the workstream. The majority of members have confirmed that they are content to continue
  • the Chairs are planning a further Chairs’ meeting to do planning and to refresh the proposed Action Plan before organising the first workstream meeting

Annex B

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 C

Workstream report - Diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce

Key achievements

  • the twentieth meeting of the DITPEW subgroup is scheduled for 26 May 2023. The agenda will cover: 
    • the development of an FAQ style document to sit on the AREP webpage
    • a discussion on data related to promoted posts for BME educators across Scotland
    • an update from Asif with regards to changes to the ‘flexible route’ into teaching
    • an update from Andrea Reid as to work in Glasgow
    • review of the group’s draft Theory of Change model
  • SCDE’s National Framework for Antiracism in ITE has now been formally launched with a keynote speech by the author, Dr Khadija Mohammed, at the Self-evaluation Framework for Initial Teacher Education symposium. The Anti-racism in Initial Education (ARITE) network has had its second meeting, with a focus on the racial literacy of teacher educators. Mélina Valdelièvre was the guest speaker. Work is underway to plan the next meetings, and guest speakers have been identified on the topics of identity and positionality and antiracist curriculum and pedagogy

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 subgroup will take a slight pause over the summer period, following the June meeting, and will reconvene in August 
  • 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
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