Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: May 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 17 May 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Olwen Fraser(chair), Northern Alliance Regional Improvement Collaborative
  • Mark Langdon, Glasgow Life
  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Sarah Guy, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Samir Sharma, Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education


  • Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDec (Scottish Development Centre)
  • David Smith, ITE (University of Aberdeen), Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Victoria Smith, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Richard Bell, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
  • Rhona Jay, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)

Items and actions


Olwen Fraser chaired the meeting and welcomed those in attendance with apologies noted. 

Note of last meeting

The note of the last meeting was accepted as accurate. The group spoke about a few related aspects which including considering the links between the work of this group and the review of Learning for Sustainability and reference to the UNESCO Future of Education report. Group members were encouraged to consider the content of the report in advance of the next meeting.

Updates from workstreams

As most of the other workstreams haven’t met recently Mélina provided a brief update from Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce workstream. The data report from the DITPEW workstream has just been published. Figures indicate that the position has not much improved since the last report was published and this will be discussed more fully at future meetings of the workstream.

Group members were keen to see more data around the CLD and ELC workforce and ensure that actions and outcomes were widened to ensure we are addressing needs right across the education workforce.

Building Racial Literacy evaluation and updates

Mélina shared an overview of the BRL evaluation highlighting the main aspects. A longer term evaluation considering the impact of the learning across 3 cohorts will be put in place. 

Group members were keen to pick up on collaboration with ADES and COSLA to make greater progress and to consider the impact on learners longer term. The group discussed the increase in confidence reported however would also like to explore more fully the impact on competence and understanding. Questions were asked around the links back to policy and ensuring an outward focus and relating to current events in Scotland for example the Sheku Bayoh enquiry and implications for future work. 

The data from the evaluation report indicated that participants felt they were becoming more racially literate with a better understanding of racial identity as a social construct. It appears that the Building Racial Literacy programme could have the potential to be a catalyst for change at different levels in the system and group members were keen to see how this could be built upon with further development focused on leadership of race equality.

Applications are now open for Cohorts 2 & 3 (from 16 May to 13 June) with capacity for 100 participant per cohort and will be formed with hopefully 60% educators and 40% systems leaders. Group members were keen to ensure attention was paid to the learning environment and ensuring maintenance of a safe space and avoid power imbalances. Retaining the groups should support this eg racial identity, role and regional groupings supported on Slack and Teams. The Compassion Captains will also still feature as a key part of the programme support. 

Group members indicated it was important to retain the integrity of programme design and support those who have taken part in the programme to continue with their learning and take forward actions in their own context. Group members were keen to explore their role as vocal advocates and increase the energy and resources needed in this area.

Mélina provided an overview of next steps with the programme including further support for those who have just completed if they wish to continue their learning and support future cohorts. Three webinars have now been organised in June for past participants to share some of their new practice. Alumni from cohort 1 have also been offered opportunities to continue their development in designing their own anti-racist training for their own colleagues out with the BRL programme. We have two dates in June and August. Recall events have also been organised for September and March to gather longer term impact data.

Leadership of race equality and system level support

Workstream members agreed there was a need to focus more on leadership and to identify other ways to take work forward in a systemic way including discussions with ADES and COSLA. The Staff College Leading in Colour report could present an opportunity to further advance leadership action and systemic change. There may also be further opportunities to link more with colleagues from Wales around their work on decolonising the curriculum. 

There may also be opportunities to link with the Fair Work directorate in SG to support ministerial engagement.

Consideration of wider engagement opportunities

No discussion.

Any other business

Samir has agreed to chair the next meeting.

A Doodle poll will be circulated to identify a date for a 1 hr meeting in August.

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