Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: October 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 25 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Asif Chishti, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW) Subgroup and General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) 
  • Monica Medina, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) 
  • Ndaye Lisa Badji, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS) 
  • Khaleda Noon, IYS (In place of Jovan Rao Rydder)
  • Nikhat Yusaf, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) BAME Network 
  • Crisantos Ike, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) 
  • Rosy Burgess, Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) 
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, DITPEW Subgroup  
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) 
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Peter McNaughton, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) 
  • Samir Sharma, Education Leadership and Professional Learning (ELPL) Subgroup
  • Sam Anson, Deputy Director, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Judith Ballantine, Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Emma Bunting, Secretariat, Scottish Government


  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup
  • Farah Farzana, Racism and Racist Incidents Subgroup
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, ELPL Subgroup
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, Scottish Government
  • Victoria Smith, GTCS 
  • Laura-Ann Currie, Education Scotland 

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Programme Board. Khaleda Noon, from IYS, introduced herself and confirmed that she was attending in place of Jovan Rao Rydder. 

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting were distributed with the papers for this meeting. The Chair invited comments from members following which the minutes were agreed. 

An update was provided on the actions:

  • ELPL subgroup to consider permanent representation at the Programme Board – Samir Sharma will attend the Programme Board on behalf of the ELPL subgroup going forward
  • Knowledge Hub – Pauline Hendry has now circulated information to members. 

Update and overview of today's meeting

The Chair briefly summarised the agenda for this meeting. 

The Chair highlighted that there was to be a discussion at this meeting regarding the National Discussion and Hayward Review. She reminded members that first point of contact for each commission are as follows:

Considering the impact that each of these will have on the work of the REAREP it was decided that this would be a rolling agenda item to be added going forward. 

Programme Board draft Terms of Reference and Anti-Racist Principles

No comments were received from members on the draft Terms of Reference and Anti-racist principles since the last meeting. The Chair advised members that comments would be taken at this meeting and that an updated draft would be circulated with the minutes. 

Anti-racist principles

Members comments reflected a desire to see the anti-racist principles document strengthened, with a request to consider again the Curriculum Reform subgroup principles. More specifically members expressed a need for the document to refer directly to BME and racialised people. 

Some members reflected that their organisations had raised questions on the draft documents but that these have been answered satisfactorily. 

Members suggested that the principles should be evidence and rights based. CRER principles from their work with Scottish Government were given as an example:

  • avoiding the deficit model which downplays structural racism in favour of explanations related to personal capacity, culturally specific attitudes and behaviours or individual choices (often replicating racist stereotypes and/or minimising the role of racism in creating and maintaining inequalities)
  • rights based approaches which recognise that inaction on racism and racial inequalities breaches the rights of minority ethnic people; other potential imperatives for action which may be more palatable and avoid disrupting the racial contract, such as 'the business case' for equality, are counterproductive
  • policy making based on robust evidence about the nature and prevalence of racial inequalities and racism, as well as 'what works' to create change

There was some difference in opinion regarding how many principles should be contained within the anti-racist principles document. Some members reflected that they felt the current draft was too succinct whilst others said that they felt that the document needed to be concise. 

Terms of reference

It is felt that generally the Terms of Reference are laid out clearly. 

Members reflected that the draft document refers to engagement directly with the Scottish Alliance of Regional Equality Councils (SAREC) and that the Board must be mindful that SAREC is made up of unpaid volunteers and shouldn’t be expected to pick up too much. More broadly members felt it’s important not to name organisations/individuals as being involved without first engaging with them. 

It was also suggested that more clarity was needed around what is meant by being “connected to the community” within the Terms of Reference. 

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

The Chair reiterated that this should be added as a rolling agenda item. Consideration should be given to whether the Programme Board will put forward a formal response as a group. Members felt that a response should also be submitted by each of the subgroups as they are the ones who are engaged in the detail of the work. Some discussion around whether the best approach would be for the subgroups to feed their contributions into a broader REAREP response. Some members felt that this risks diluting the messaging. 

Members were clear that regardless of the REAREP response that each individual organisation needed to be submitting a response with consistent messaging. 

Members reflected that following meetings with Prof. Louise Hayward and Prof. Alma Harris it is clear that they have a large number of individuals and organisations with a stake in their work. The takeaway being that it’s up to the REAREP and its members to ensure that a strong submission(s) is submitted. 

ACTION: Secretariat to circulate a note of the various deadlines for the different consultations. 

Members expressed disappointment at the fact the need to keep reiterating the same points around the importance of engaging with the BME community. There is a sense that no matter how many times this is discussed it is never adequately reflected going forward. Despite widespread consultation fatigue there is a sense from members that BME parents and young people are still not being properly engaged and that their voices are largely missing. 

Specifically in relation to the Hayward Review, members expressed disappointment around the wording of the question relating to equality. It was viewed as far too general, and also that it is not enough to say ‘all learners’ as it doesn’t properly target the problem areas. 

Children and young people's group - summary of minutes from meetings held by Show Racism the Red Card

The Chair introduced the paper which summarises the final set of minutes received from the engagement that Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) carried out with children and young people on behalf of the REAREP. She reflected that the purpose of this item was to reflect on what information we have from that engagement with a view to identifying what is missing. 

Members were clear that what is missing is a sense of agency and ownership over the actions of the REAREP for children and young people, particularly from a BME backgrounds. It was agreed that the information gathered by SRtRC is a good starting point but that there needs to be a feedback loop to children and young people for the purposes of accountability and in order for us to understand whether the actions of the REAREP are having the desired impact. 

Members commented on how well the children and young people seem to have understood the work being done and the need for such action. Reflections raised included:

  • children and young people are clearly very aware of their environment and the racism that is taking place around them. Some reflection that micro-aggressions are perhaps less well understood and that this should be a focus
  • the children engaged clearly have good emotional intelligence that comes across in their comments. There is a real focus on wellbeing and this needs to inform the work of the subgroups
  • there is an assumption of trauma on the part of BME individuals. It’s important that educators understand better the nuances of race equality issues. Could there be something here about linking back to areas they are more familiar with (e.g. poverty) to improve understanding
  • children and young people understand the importance of a diverse workforce
  • children and young people talk about the need for a specific person to act as the link for training. Members suggested that having two or three people to act as a link for training and support would be helpful. Need to be mindful that this is not automatically a person with lived experience
  • members keen to understand, whilst the REAREP focusses on primary and secondary, how links will be made with non-formal education settings. There is already parallel work being undertaken in relation to higher education settings
  • there is discussion about intersectionality with religion, it’s important that other characteristics are also considered. More specifically on religion there is a tendency to consider Christianity as the baseline and other religions in silos. It would be better for learners to learn about what a range of religions say about love, death, food, family and other concepts
  • the children and young people have a strong focus on what they expect from their educators. Perhaps some thought to be given to professional learning, including the Building Racial Literacy Programme, and how the voices of children and young people inform that
  • clearly there is thought needed around how the role of the bystander is woven into the actions of the subgroups
  • lots of the discussions are focussed on the concept of punishment, this would be interesting to explore. Some members feel that the idea of ‘restorative justice’ is a complex one and if not done properly there is a real risk of re-traumatisation
  • when talking about leaders there is a role here for families and parents

Members reflected that thought needs to be given to the fact that often racist incidents become more acute following anti-racist sessions. Need to ensure that educators and learners are equipped to deal with this. 

There was some suggestion that it’s important to understand both the Scottish context and local context for discussions and the difference between the two. 

Next steps and any other business

The Chair confirmed that following this meeting the secretariat will circulate a copy of the minutes and the updated Terms of Reference and Anti-Racist Principles by 2 November.

The next meeting of the Programme Board is scheduled for the 20 November. 

COSLA Update

A summary of the REAREP actions and the potential impact for Local Government was taken to the COSLA Children and Young People’s Board on 29 September. There was broad agreement and endorsement of the actions however some questions were raised around capacity and support for teachers. 

Evaluation Framework

The framework has undergone further development and this will be presented to members of the REAREP at a meeting on 26 October 2022. A further set of workshops are to follow.

Subgroup Updates

There was broad agreement from members that the Programme Board should get a brief update from each of the workstreams. Some consideration to be given towards how best to achieve this to avoid using too much time in meetings and detracting from other agenda items. 

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