Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: June 2023

Minutes from the group's meeting on 8 June 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Samir Sharma (chair) (SS), Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Mélina Valdelièvre (MV), Education Scotland
  • Charlotte Dwyer (CD), ScotDec (Scottish Development Centre)
  • Asif Chishti (AC), General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Sarah Guy (SG), Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Lesley Whelan (LW), Education Scotland
  • Donald Paterson (DP), HM Inspector, Education Scotland
  • Laura Ross (LR), Curriculum Unit, Scottish Government
  • Graeme Wallace (GW), Education Scotland    


  • Khadija Mohammed (KM), Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
  • Louise Barrett (LB), Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Tara Lillis (TL), NASUWT
  • Audrey Farley (AF), Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative
  • Mark Langdon (ML), Glasgow Life
  • Rhona Jay (RJ), Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Carol Young (CY), Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)

Items and actions


SS chaired the meeting and welcomed colleagues. Apologies were noted.

Note of last meeting

No change to the note of the last meeting.

Building Racial Literacy and AREP updates

MV gave an update on AREP, noting that the anti-racism summit has been postponed to Autumn. The Racism and Racist Incident working group will be starting again after the summer following a meeting with the chairs in June. MV highlighted that the anti-racism curriculum principles have been approved by the new cabinet secretary with a soft launch planned for June. They can now be found here.

SS highlighted the Glasgow City Council positive action recruitment of principal teacher posts noting that for the next cohort the post length has been extended to 23 months and will include 7 posts. SS also noted the ignorance that has surrounded this recruitment process after it was posted on social media.

MV then gave an update on the Building Racial Literacy (BRL) programme highlighting that the fourth cohort is going ahead and there is funding available for an element of this to be in person for key priority groups. Funding has also been confirmed for an external evaluation of the programme to take place. MV updated the group on recruitment for the new lead specialist, noting that interviews had been taking place that week and that the new lead specialist should be in place for August/September. 

MV advised that the current timeline for the next cohort of BRL is that applications will open in August and close in September with the new cohort to begin in November. Prioritisation onto the course will be given to headteachers. ITE/CLD training providers, middle leaders, ELC practitioners, local authorities that have low representation. MV highlighted the one day BRL session that had taken place recently with the ES Leadership Team, showed other ways of engaging system leaders. There is also two day sessions taking place in June and August to offer BRL past participants support to design and deliver their own training.

Anti-racist leadership: taking stock of progress, sharing examples of practice and opportunities emerging

LR gave an update on the recent successful session that took place with the ADES Curriculum, Assessment and Qualifications network to introduce the anti-racist principles. LR noted that it would be useful to find out what is happening on a local level and to engage with senior leaders in LAs/ADES to find out this information.

CD noted that the Learning for Sustainability action plan that she has been involved in creating doesn’t explicitly reference anti-racist education despite a massive overlap and highlighted this could be an opportunity to bring these agendas together.

DP highlighted from the inspection side that the current approach is not designed to gather data on anti-racism specifically. DP is currently working on a briefing note for inspections which will have a specific aspect on anti-racism that aims to be in place by next year. AC asked DP to report back the groups best wishes back in regards to this briefing note and highlighted that HGIOS 5 could be an opportunity to review the language in regards to anti-racism. 

SS and MV updated the group on a recent session with Glasgow City Council Strategic Leadership Team to format their anti-racism charter using elements from the BRL programme and the anti-racist curriculum principles. This charter will go out in August to schools and events will be taking place to ensure the charter is understood. MV highlighted the work that SS had done to secure a full day with Strategic Directors of GCC, including Heads of HR. 

Members discussed how to progress this within other LAs, SS highlighted that Douglas Hutchison (DH) could share this with other directors across Scotland and that members would be welcome to approach DH in regards to this charter. LR noted that it could be useful to visit other LAs and share this charter.

Action: SS to have a conversation with DH regarding sharing the charter with other ADES members.

ELPL action grid and ways of working (including future meetings after the summer)

Members reviewed the ELPL action grid, it was noted that Outcome One could make more explicit reference to links with colleagues including ADES. Output 1.2 could more explicit in fostering stronger links with leadership – how to strengthen these links and specific reference to LA leaders and stakeholders.

AC agreed that Action 4 should remove the reference to curriculum as it could lead to misunderstandings. 

Any other business and next steps

Members agreed that the next meeting should take place at the start of next term, date of next meeting tbc.

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