Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights - anti-racist policy making: review

Findings of a research programme into Scottish race equality strategies since 2000. The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) was commissioned to support the implementation of this review, with a focus on exploring opportunities for better practice.

National Strategies for Race Equality, 1999-2020

This review encompasses 38 national strategic documents on race equality produced by the Scottish Executive and Scottish Government between 1999 and 2020 (with the addition of one action plan published in early 2021, bringing the total number to 39). This included progress reports, which often combined information on activity undertaken plus additional commitments.

Within these documents, 817 commitments relevant to race equality were identified. A thematic analysis of these, along with contextual information and considerations for policy and practice, is provided at Section 1.

Section 2 draws on the results of the review, plus a variety of recent research into the equality policy environment, to set out an overview of approaches to anti-racist policy making.

Full information on the methods used in developing this report is provided at Appendix 2.

Over time, there are clear points of galvanisation within national policy on race equality where activity was stepped up, became more innovative or was adopted by a wider range of directorates and national agencies. For example, the first year of devolution saw the publication of the Macpherson Report (the report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry), which still influences race equality policy today. The upsurge in recognition of racial inequalities at this time, combined with the later introduction of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, meant that over half of the documents reviewed were published in the first five years of the Scottish Parliament.

The most recent publication, the Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan, is informed by rising public awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement over 2020 and contains some of the clearest commitments to anti-racist action made by Scottish Government since devolution.

Timeline of National Strategy on Race Equality in Scotland[5]

1999: The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Action Plan for Scotland

2000: Diversity in the Scottish Executive: Strategy for Change

2001 Making it Real: A Race Equality Strategy for Scotland

2001: The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: Review of Scottish Executive Action Plan

2002: Committing to Race Equality

2002: Scottish Executive Response to Review of BME Funding

2002: Working Together for Race Equality: The Scottish Executive's Race Equality Scheme

2003: Making Progress: Equality Annual Report

2003: Scottish Executive's Overarching Race Equality Scheme: Summary of Progress

2003: Race Equality Action Plan Departmental Progress Reports:

  • Development Department
  • Education Department
  • Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department
  • Environment & Rural Affairs Department
  • Finance and Central Services Department
  • Health Department
  • Justice Department
  • Legal and Parliamentary Services
  • Office of the Permanent Secretary

2004: A Review of the Scottish Executive's Response to the Race Equality Advisory Forum's Recommendations

2004: Race Equality Scheme Annual Report

2004: The Diversity Strategy 2004 and Beyond

2005: Scottish Executive Review of Race Equality Work in Scotland: A Summary of the Review and the Way Forward

2006: Scottish Executive Departmental Delivery Plan

2008: Race Equality Statement 2008-2011

2010: Race Equality Strategic Groups report on Progress

2013: Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2013

2014: Final Report on Race Equality Statement 2008 – 2011

2015: Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2015

2016: Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016 – 2030

2017: A Fairer Scotland for All: Race Equality Action Plan and Highlight Report 2017-2021

2017: Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2017

2017: Tackling prejudice and building connected communities: Scottish Government response

2018: Teaching in a diverse Scotland: increasing and retaining minority ethnic teachers

2019: Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2019

2019: Race Equality Action Plan: Year 1 Progress Update

2019: Race Equality Action Plan: Year 1 Highlight Report

2020: Public Appointments: Race Equality Action Plan

2020: Race Equality Action Plan: Year 2 Progress Update

2021: Scottish Government Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan - An Instigation for Change



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