Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: August 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 2 August 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Mélina Valdelièvre (Chair), Education Scotland
  • Olwen Fraser, Northern Alliance Regional Improvement Collaborative
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Sarah Guy, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Mark Langdon, Glasgow Life
  • Claire McInnes, NASUWT


  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDec (Scottish Development Centre)
  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
  • Rhona Jay, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Samir Sharma, Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council

Items and actions


Mélina Valdelièvre chaired the meeting and welcomed those in attendance with apologies noted.

Note of last meeting

There are some typos in the Any other business section of the last meeting which will be amended.

Update on Building Racial Literacy cohorts

Mélina shared an update on the current position for the next two cohorts of the BRL programme:

  • 250 applied for cohorts 2 & 3
  • we have 10 facilitators from past participants from cohort 1 and in the process of recruiting old and new facilitators
  • welcome letters sent out last week
  • plans are underway for Rowena Arshad to deliver webinar 1 and Geetha Marcus for webinar 2
  • we will be using some recorded content from cohort 1 and creating some new content

There is low uptake of CLD practitioners, we are exploring how to get more onto the programme in the future. We have a CLD lead on the programme and hopefully that will help. We are in touch with Youthlink Scotland who enquired about anti-racist training for youth workers. They are providing training with Amina and hopefully they can now help with future opportunities to promote BRL.

It was noted that a more strategic approach is required to reach the CLD sector. The Adult Learning strategy has now been published and there could also be a Youth Work strategy soon, both of which could provide opportunities to promote BRL. There may also be opportunities to link with the current Learning for Sustainability review as BRL is central to learning for sustainability.

Mélina presented a provocation to the group to consider how we can continue to learn from and further develop the BRL programme: 
BRL Provocation: to quality assure future iterations of the BRL programme, how can we enquire into what’s working well and what has made the programme successful so far? 

Members discussed some options including: 

A baseline survey would showing existing capacities and capabilities which can then be followed up to assess benefits from engaging in the programme. It may be difficult to work out which parts of the programme created the change. Asking participants about their lightbulb moments during the programme is one way to do this.

While we track individual changes, we also need to track the change in culture within settings and would want to have that as a part of the evaluation process. The challenge of enacting cultural shifts has been identified in participants’ evaluation and the BRL evaluation report from May 2022.

The Kirkpatrick Model can be useful to frame questions around different stages and allows for reflection across different aspects.

We need to further explore confidence and competence as well as the long term impact on learners. We have recall events with cohort 1 which will allow us to see the longer term impact. Perhaps an action enquiry model would support broader learning from the programme.

The GTC Scotland magazine will be featuring some content which mentions the BRL programme as part of their interviews in upcoming issues. The Teaching Scotland magazine goes out to every teacher in Scotland and the next issue will have an interview with Judith Mohammed on the REAREP overall and then the next issue will focus on BRL with an interview with one of the past participants. 

Professional learning and leadership development to support an anti-racist curriculum

Mélina shared the draft antiracist curriculum principles that have been developed as part of the REAREP Curriculum Reform workstream. Colleagues were asked to read the principles and consider how the ELPL workstream could support the implementation of the principles and the Professional Learning and Leadership ambitions mentioned.

It was noted that climate justice, through the lens of colonialism, could be more explicit in the principles. 

It was noted that the principles read more as high level & accessible ambitions, rather than principles. The principles are about the spirt and ethos of how we would like people to take forward the design of antiracist curriculum. Group members suggested the principles should be numbered so that when they are referred to, it’s clear which aspect is being discussed. Bite sized learning opportunities could be provided to support engagement with the principles for example the sessions Glasgow City Council provides (45 min online spotlight sessions). Each principle has the potential to be unpacked with spotlight sessions which address more explicitly the intersectional issues of climate justice and LGBT inclusive education, for example.

UNESCO Futures of Education report

Mark Langdon led a discussion on the UNESCO Futures of Education report. One consultation event has taken place in Scotland with one of the Development Education Centres, but by far this report which is relevant to all the REAREP work has gone unnoticed.

In many Western countries and as a result of colonialism, the reform agenda tends to be driven by OECD and Pisa reports and we see that happening in Scotland too. Other forms of knowledge, such as the UNESCO report, often remain in the margin and this is our opportunity to draw more attention to it, especially during the National Conversation and consultations. For example, the chapter on pedagogy of cooperation and solidarity lends itself very well to the antiracist curriculum principles. The report resonates well with the work going on through REAREP. Interdisciplinary, collaborative problem-solving and perspective-taking helps those least able to engage with anti-racism. 

Although long it's not a hard read and chimes with much we are talking about. The report is helpful in getting to the heart of what children learn and how aligned this is to the reality of their lives, experience and opportunities.

Not every REAREP workstream has seen the report and Mélina offered to share it with other members. Consideration will be given as to how we can use the report to link in with the national conversation, and how we could engage Alma Harris and Carol Campbell in this work. 

Members shared links to related content:

Action: Mélina to share the UNESCO report with other workstreams.

Future agenda items

  • REAREP engaging with the national conversation/Hayward review
  • leadership aspects we want to take forward, thinking of specific organisations/conferences/events to engage with
  • exploring how undertaking the BRL programme could be made a prerequisite for getting on Into Headship/taking up a senior leadership position

Any other business

A REAREP evaluation ELPL meeting will be taking place with Hakim Dim. Hakim proposed the 22nd August but it might be possible to invite him and his colleagues to the next ELPL meeting in September instead. Lesley and Mélina will explore this and confirm arrangements with members. 

A draft chair rota for future ELPL meetings will be circulated in advance of the September meeting.

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