Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: June 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 7 June 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Samir Sharma (chair), Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Olwen Fraser, Northern Alliance Regional Improvement Collaborative
  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland
  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDec (Scottish Development Centre)
  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association for Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
  • Rhona Jay, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)


  • Sarah Guy, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Mark Langdon, Glasgow Life
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education

Items and actions


Samir Sharma chaired the meeting and welcomed those in attendance with apologies noted. Asif Chishti was welcomed as a new member of the group representing the GTCS.

Note of last meeting

Carol suggested a minor change to the last note of meeting. At this point in time, it is not necessary to link in with the Fair Work which relates more directly to the workforce group. The point made was more about the need to get Local Authority Directors on board with a joint commitment from all public bodies committing to a range of actions, similar to the Fair Work approach which got a joint commitment from Ministers.

Updates from workstreams

Mélina provided an update on the REAREP workstreams. At the Curriculum Reform meeting in May, the group agreed the a series of recommendations that just need to be refined. One recommendation worth noting relates to supporting the professional learning of the HM Inspectorate and Care Commission, which aligns with our current ELPL action. The Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce group is due to meet next week where Mélina will be providing an update on the Building Racial Literacy programme and on the Whole School Approach being developed by the Racism and Racist Incidents group. 

Samir updated that Glasgow City Council are in their second cohort of their positive action initiative with acting principal teacher recruitment and are interviewing tomorrow and have a had a great response especially from secondary school applicants. 

It was noted that the ITE Self-Evaluation Symposium included a presentation from MQUITE which offers more insights into the barriers for making a more diverse profession.

Building Racial Literacy update

Mélina provided an update on the Building Racial Literacy applications for cohorts 2 and 3. The deadline for applications is 13th June with the possibility of extending if there are particular groups missing. So far 121 applications have been received for both cohort 2 and 3. Representations from Local Authorities is looking good although there are a few who are not represented so far: Western Isles, , East Renfrewshire, Shetland and East Renfrewshire. Letters have been sent to Directors of Education advising that the applications are open. We have couple applicants from ELC & CLD but might need to target those sectors again. There is a lot from Primary, Secondary and Independent sectors and some systems leaders. We are welcoming trade union officials to apply. We have 28 visible minority ethnic applicants (this does not include white ethnic minorities). As part of the ongoing alumni professional development and wider offer to the system, there are 3 BRL+ webinars coming up in June as cohort 1 have been invited to share their practice. Cohort 1 alumni have also been invited to apply to become facilitators for cohorts 2 and 3 (11 past participants have been selected) and to attend additional training to support them design their own anti-racist training outwith BRL. The BRL+ webinar on Anti-Racist Clubs featuring young people who are members of such clubs will provide further evidence of the impact of BRL on young people.

Queen Margaret University launched a report about children of colour’s experience of the pandemic and it was noted that one of the quotes from the children was to do with the impact that having an anti-racist club had.

UNESCO Future of Education report

The discussion on UNESCO’s report was postponed until the next meeting since Mark Langdon had sent his apologies and had requested this discussion. 

Leadership of professional learning

There has been some feedback from the participants from the BRL programme around the expectations of them to lead it across the Local Authority by themselves or that nobody else is interested in committing to the work. How do we best support them and support a better understanding of what required around leadership of race equality? How do we link better with ADES and COSLA to support stronger leadership of this work? Lesley met with ADES and their suggestion was to do a paper. It was agreed that Lesley, Mélina, Samir, Asif and Rhona would support the development of this short paper for ADES.

Carol mentioned that CRER led an investigation into what has been done since Black Lives Matter in various institutions following their statements of support. People who wished to remain anonymous reported that they had been asked to deliver this work without extra time or recompense as this was anonymous there is going to be a survey and will share it.

Asif shared that he met with the EWC in Wales which is the equivalent of GTCS. There is a development programme to increase diversity in the workplace and have arranged to meet them periodically and will keep Mélina and the ELPL group in the loop as they are keen to have cross border connections.

When looking at anti-racist Leadership, it would be good to include both current leaders as well as aspiring leaders. For example, it was suggested that to access the Into Headship programme, the BRL programme should be a pre-requisite. 

Carol to send notes of the presentation she did for ADES regarding joint commitment for a fair workforce.

Any other business

SLF is taking place in September and the theme is “Being me Being us” ; members should let Lesley or Mélina know if anyone would like to make a submission by Friday 10th June.

Looking at Action 3 on the draft outcomes, Asif queried the role of the GTCS as it was difficult to see what kind of contribution the GTCS could make at this stage. Lesley explained that the actions are still in a draft form and the group could work together to find more appropriate wording.

Asif reminded members that the GTCS Saroj Lal Award nominations were open until 1st September, requesting that members share with their networks the opportunity to nominate. 

SAMEE has a Building Capacity conference on 15th June and Hakim Din is a keynote speaker along with a teacher from Glasgow City council.

Glasgow City Council is organising a race equality festival between 10th – 12th October and would be grateful for any ideas. Invitations will be sent out shortly. Any opportunities for freebies to be shared with kids are welcome. 

Graham Campbell has been appointed as the first Black Convener of Education for Glasgow.

Next meeting to be within the first two weeks of August and will do a Doodle poll with the next session of meeting starting in September

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