Anti-Racism in Education Programme Board minutes: September 2023

Minutes of the group's meeting on 27 September 2023

Attendees and apologies


  • Khadija Mohammed, Chair 
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce Subgroup (DITPEW)
  • Jovan Rao Rydder, Curriculum Reform Subgroup 
  • Farah Farzana, Racism and Racist Incidents Subgroup (RRI)
  • Monica Medina, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) 
  • Pauline Stephen, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Carrie Lindsay, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • 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)
  • Judith Ballantine, Learning Directorate, SG 
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, SG 


  • Carol Young, Coalition for Race Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • 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:

  • 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 is meeting AIGG chairs, Talat Yaqoob and Ima Jackson, on 29 September, during which she’ll invite them 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. Ongoing – Nuzhat has this in hand
  • members were asked to consider potential proposals which would deliver the ambitions of the AREP – Ongoing – we will 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 – Closed– This action is joined with the next. Given the passage of time since it was created, and the Cabinet Secretary’s decision to temporarily pause the development of Education Reform legislation, the Chair won’t write to Professors Harris and Campbell. Instead, the Cabinet Secretary will be invited to a future Programme Board meeting to hear members’ thoughts around education reform
  • secretariat to approach Cabinet Secretary’s Private Office to invite her to a future Programme Board meeting – Ongoing – it is likely that she will be able to attend on 29 November
  • members were asked to submit any examples of best practice of positive action to Asif Chishti – Ongoing – Asif is still happy to accept any examples that members wish to send him
  • secretariat to liaise with CRER to view 5 part test to assess actions, which may be useful to see prior to pledge workshop – Ongoing – Need to consider whether it would be useful to include a link to this in the supporting guidance, can cover under agenda item 7
  • 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 – Closed – Secretariat have shared what has been submitted to date, and members are welcome to continue to send resources and we will continue to circulate them
  • subgroup leads and chairs to consider current work plans and identify whether there are areas which still require funding to progress. Ongoing – sub group policy leads met on 26 September, this will be discussed further under item 4
  • secretariat will share a further version of the commitment document with all other received comments included. Closed – Secretariat shared the most recent draft on 22 September and it will be discussed today under agenda item 7
  • members are asked to provide their availability for a half day session in the end of September/beginning of October. Closed - A doodle poll has been issued by Secretariat for members’ availability in November
  • 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. Ongoing – Secretariat have flagged to Corporate Comms colleagues, who are considering how they might address it and an update will be provided in due course

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:

  • noted that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills announced during the summer that she was pausing the introduction of the Education Reform legislation in order to ensure that all of the information which has emerged from the various consultation exercises is being robustly considered as part of the reform process
  • reflected on the latest draft of the anti-racism in education summit commitment, agreed the refinements which still require to be made and that the document should be shared with senior colleagues as soon as possible in order to receive their feedback
  • agreed with the proposed outline for the first in person meeting of the group which will be facilitated by an external trauma informed trainer with expertise in anti-racist practice
  • heard from Scottish Government Human Rights Bill colleagues on the draft bill proposals which are currently out for consultation (consultation runs until 5 October)

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, working through the outstanding points, in order to move the document to a position where members are content for it to be shared more widely


AREP subgroup policy leads met on 26 September to consider whether adequate funding is attached to the existing actions within their workstreams, to ensure that they are delivered successfully. Further updates will be provided in due course.

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

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills has paused the introduction of the Education Reform Bill 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. She is currently considering what next steps will look like. 

Plans are underway for the Cabinet Secretary to join a future Programme Board meeting to share her thoughts and hear from members.

Members indicated it would be best to meet with the Cabinet Secretary before she decides which recommendations to take forwards. It is hoped that she will be available for the 29 November meeting date. 

Nuzhat Uthmani highlighted a panel event about the National Discussion, the purpose of which is to give teachers more of a voice in the education reform agenda. 

The event will be hosted by Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice (STEP) at the University of Strathclyde, Technology and Innovation Centre on Thursday 5 October from 6pm. 

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 

No update since the last Programme Board meeting. The next meeting of the workstream will take place on 3 October. 

Racism and Racist Incidents (see Annex A)

The first meeting of the refreshed group has taken place, and they are happy to be back around the table. Their discussion focussed on new way of working, the terms of reference and the action plan. Their next meeting takes place on 11 October. 

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

The group are looking to send a submission to GTCS re: the Memorandum of Understanding of Entry Requirements to ITE (MOU), particularly around the equivalence in Primary Teaching for ESOL Higher.

The group are looking to apply an anti-racist lens to the whole document, around terminology (addressing unconscious bias), and determining whether the work of AREP and DITPEW need specifically mentioned within the document.

Pauline Stephen from GTCS confirmed that letters have been issued to partners about the review of the MOU, with details of how to feedback. The deadline for input is 17 November.

The current version of the MOU is attached for members’ interest.

The group are also looking to continue to engage with UCAS and a representative will join the October meeting.

The work on the Developing the Young Workforce Live workshop has been slightly delayed but will get up and running over the coming months.

Education Leadership and Professional Learning (See Annex C)

Chereen Rain has joined Education Scotland to take forwards the BRL Programme.

A number of discussions have taken place regarding the ‘train the trainer’ approach in the BRL – how prepared are previous participants to take on such a role when they return to their school having completed the BRL programme? Members indicated that it is a lot of responsibility after having completed one, albeit very good, training course on the subject. Some further training offered by ES could be supportive in this space.

Members also queried whether college staff would be welcome in the BRL. College lecturers are teachers of further education on the register of teachers, and the programme is known to be open to the wider education workforce, so it is likely that they would be welcomed. ACTION – Secretariat to clarify with Education Scotland.

Anti-racism in education summit

Members were thanked for their continued input to the summit commitment and directed to the papers attached to the agenda. 

  • paper 7a contains the list of remaining points which need to be worked through
  • paper 7b contains the commitment document
  • paper 7c contains the supporting guidance

Finalisation of the points contained in paper 7a is needed before the documents can be shared with senior colleagues and members were asked for their input in order to achieve that.

Further thoughts should be sent to Secretariat as soon as possible in order to finalise the document(s).

A final version of the document will be issued with these minutes.

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 5 October 2023

The next meeting of this group will be held on 1 November 2023 from 15:30-17:00. (this was originally scheduled for 25 October, but has been moved due to a clash with another meeting attended by a number of members.) 

Any other business

Members were reminded to complete the doodle poll for the in person meeting provisionally planned for November.

IYS indicated that they will shortly send an outline of their intended approach for recruiting 16-20 year olds who will engage with the AREP proposals to Secretariat for dissemination to members in the hope that they will share within their networks.

Annex A

Workstream report - Racism and Racist Incidents

  • Update

  • the workstream reconvened on 13th September 2023
  • the meeting welcomed new members and discussed the ToR and Action Plan
  • several changes were noted for both documents, which will be taken back to the workstream for agreement at the next meeting on 11 October 2023

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 its 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 leading 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

  • Chereen Rain has now filled in the Lead Specialist post at Education Scotland to lead the Building Racial Literacy programme
  • applications for the Building Racial Literacy programme have significantly increased, with more than 40 headteacher applications and applications from the two local authorities that haven’t previously been represented
  • over 50 past participants from cohorts 1, 2 and 3 of the Building Racial Literacy programme have completed additional training provided by Education Scotland on Leading Effective Anti-Racist Professional Learning. This development opportunities draws on learning from the BRL programme’s design and supports BRL alumni to design and deliver anti-racist professional learning outwith the BRL programme
  • as a result of the above support and the promotion of the anti-racist curriculum principles, more examples of regional and local anti-racist leadership and professional learning are emerging. How best to map this and assess its quality and impact is being considered

Forward look

  • the fourth cohort of the BRL programme will begin in November, with an in-person element being tested for headteachers on the programme
  • a series of BRL alumni development and networking opportunities are being planned to support BRL alumni, cohort 4 participants and potentially those outwith BRL (e.g. whose applications for BRL were not accepted due to the high volume of applications received and capacity for only one cohort this year)
  • an external evaluation of the BRL programme is planned to assess the short, medium and longer-term impacts of BRL
  • 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
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