Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: November 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 10 November 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Asif Chishti (Chair), General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland
  • Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDec (Scottish Development Centre)
  • Olwen Fraser, Northern Alliance Regional Improvement Collaborative
  • Sarah Guy, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Rhona Jay, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Louise Barrett, Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)


  • Mark Langdon, Glasgow Life
  • Samir Sharma, Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council

Items and actions


Asif Chishti chaired the meeting and welcomed those in attendance with apologies noted. 

Note of last meeting and actions

No change to the note of last meeting.

Action – Mark, Mélina and Rhona to meet to discuss pledge to anti-racism and will share it at the next meeting – Still to action 
Action – Contact the programme board regarding a national event – Scottish Government are planning to have an anti-racist summit in December for Scottish ministers

It was requested to keep as a standing item the issue of information sharing and collective, coordinated messaging and actions to build momentum in the system. 

Consultation responses

Considering that the next ELPL meeting would be after some of the consultation deadlines, the group agreed that they would share their overall thoughts in relation to the Hayward Assessment Review and the National Discussion at this meeting. Workstream leads would then share a note of these contributions by email for review and this would either be submitted as part of the wider REAREP or as the ELPL workstream, depending on the Programme’s Board preference.

Hayward review

Main areas of discussion:

  • burden of assessments can get in the way of embedding anti-racist education
  • positive attainment outcomes do not equate to positive experiences of education. Too often, the attainment outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic learners have often been used to prove that racism isn’t an issue. Qualifications and assessments are not a fair assessment of a learner’s experience of education
  • if Scotland is to move forward with more formative assessment relying on coursework marked by teachers, how will we ensure that racial bias does not affect grades? Estimated grades for Black and Minority Ethnic learners are often lower than actual grades for blind-marked exams - See pages 54-55 of the 2020 SQA Equality Impact Assessment
  • higher levels of racial literacy in the education workforce will be essential to minimise the impact of implicit bias on grades. For that to happen, more time and resource is required for educators to engage in ongoing and high quality professional learning. Education leaders should also be supported to consider what measures can be used to minimise the impact of bias
  • assessments need to be culturally responsive, but also more diverse and balanced for ALL learners. For that to happen, those who develop assessment materials should develop high levels of racial literacy. Greater resource, time and professional learning should be made available to ensure that the education system is more racially literate
  • teachers should also have a voice in the process of changing assessments

National discussion

Main areas of discussion:

  • more time is need for educators (including in the ELC sector) to engage with issues of race, racism and racial bias. High quality professional learning needs to be available and accessible for all
  • learners also need to be given more time in the curriculum to engage with issues of race and racism. Parental Engagement – a need to create safe spaces for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic parents
  • cohesion is required between General Teaching Council Scotland Standards, values of social justice, curriculum, assessment and professional learning. These should not be operated in siloes. If there is a cohesive narrative about the purposes of education and the curriculum, then other aspects should follow on from that
  • the culture of education needs to be an anti-racist culture. That means, a culture without race evasiveness, a culture where challenge (e.g. being challenged about the racist impact of some practices) is embraced by educators and where learners have a voice. Educators should be given the space to engage in practitioner enquiries to embrace those challenges and cooperative learning pedagogies should be used to empower learners. The principles outlined in UNESCO's Futures of Education report would promote this culture and could be adopted
  • young people voices need to be heard about what they would like in the curriculum i.e. climate change
  • it is EVERY child’s right to be racially literate (it is not a right reserved only for Black and Minority Ethnic children)

Action -  Carol to share CRER document on children’s rights from a race perspective. 

Building Racial Literacy update

Cohort 2 are halfway through the programme and Cohort 3 will be starting on 13th December. All the ELPL workstream members were asked to save the date for Cohort 2’s Sharing the Learning Summit: Tuesday 20th December (9am – 4pm online) as they will be invited as guests.

The summit is a good opportunity to share the learning from the programme and influence the system. The group was asked to consider who else could be invited to the summit and email them to Mélina to coordinate. So far, the group suggested:

  • Joe Griffin
  • Cabinet Secretary
  • SBTE members
  • Professors Hayward, Campbell and Harris
  • ITE providers
  • CLD Standards Council

ELPL members would be welcome to extend the invitation to other colleagues, including colleagues from other nations.

Members enquired about the future of BRL – will there be a fourth cohort? There has been no clarification of future funding as this is currently agreed on an annual basis. ELPL workstream leads will be required to start building a funding proposal and part of that would include reference to evaluation materials as well as guidance from workstream members. 

Evaluation meeting

As part of the REAREP evaluation, evaluation workshops have been organised and attended by various workstream members. Members were concerned that the actions outlined in workstream plans were not specific enough. Comments on the evaluation framework should focus on indicators and measures, rather than specific actions and outcomes as these continue to evolve. ELPL workstream members are welcome to send feedback about indicators and measures based on the meeting invitations that were sent out with relevant attachments.

Members expressed concern about the evaluation framework’s downward facing model. In other words, if the actions don’t lead to the expected outcomes in a few years’ time, there is a risk that teachers and workstream leads will be the only ones held accountable, when there needs to be more upward accountability for long term manageability. 

Members suggested the Board meets with the Cabinet Secretary to request stronger commitment, similar to the narrative around The Promise (Care Review) which led to a firm national commitment to provide levels of accountability similar to action underway in Wales.

Action: The ELPL representative on the Programme Board to share members’ concerns about the Evaluation Framework with the Programme Board.

Update from the programme board

The programme board discussed how we can make submissions for the Hayward Review and the Nation Discussion.  The Terms of Reference were approved at the Programme Board but there were further comments on the anti-racist principles. There will be an update from the 4 subgroups at the next programme board.

Any other business

The discussion around the pledge will take place at the next meeting.

Members will also consider membership of the group. Members should consider whose voices are  missing.   The group agreed that a Member of the Children’s Parliament could be invited to join the group.  

Khadija will be requesting the Programme Board to drop the “race equality” from the REAREP title and to emphasise the anti-racist nature of the work and members supported this. 

Members asked who is responsible for equality data collection.  With the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) Review, there seems to be missing overarching responsibility for joining the REAREP and PSED review. PSE data is separate from the data that Scottish Government collates.  

Action - Raise equality data with Judith and Sam at the Programme Board.

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