Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: October 2022

Minutes from the group's meeting on 13 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Mark Langdon (Chair), Glasgow Life
  • 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
  • Asif Chishti, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Rhona Jay, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Samir Sharma, Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Mike Corbett, NASUWT


  • 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)

Items and actions


Mark Langdon chaired the meeting and welcomed those in attendance with apologies noted. 

Note of last meeting

Asif has had a meeting with Middle Leader colleagues in the PLL team in ES regarding input into the Middle Leadership Programme re standards for equality and diversity and the role of Middle Leaders in increasing representation of BME educators.

Anti-racist system leadership

Following this year’s SLF there was, again, targeting of a number of colleagues involved in delivering seminars focused on anti-racist practice at SLF. This included racist abuse and trolling across social media. 

The group discussed what happened, the response from ES, SG, GTCS and a number of other national bodies and organisations. The group wish to ensure the education system can and focused on how to take a more pro-active anti-racist leadership stance at every level in the system.

A number of discussions have taken place with colleagues in Scottish Government in response to this including connecting with St Alberts Primary school as they was also subjected to racial abuse.

Ensuring the safety of colleagues working in this area as well as publicly taking an anti-racist stance were areas of importance to group members. The incidents have been reported to the police however due to legal restrictions there appears to be limited action which can be taken. 

The group called for stronger collective endeavours and actions and for anti-racism to be a priority for every single leader and educator. There is a risk of more radicalisation and white supremacist ideologies being promoted. 

GTCS indicated they have tried to respond in a strategic way, bringing forward things already in the pipeline with articles from Khadija Mohammed and one focused on building racial literacy which we were got to publish one in November and January both now scheduled for the November issue of Teaching Scotland with the front cover about anti-racism in Scotland. Colleagues in a number of roles across the system have agreed to be part of an article for TES. The DEC’s have also been targeted with a video posted about Wosdec and Scotdec on YouTube. 

Group members called for a co-ordinated response and action to counter this abuse and put anti-racism at the top of every agenda. Party 22 is a Glasgow initiative and the group discussed the need for a Party 23 Scotland i.e what are we all doing with a co-ordinated approach across the country. 
The group are aware that this is not just an education issue and there has been discussion around hosting a symposium to have a high level focus on what’s been going on. 

The focus for this group is to ensure as many teachers/teaching staff, early learning and childcare and community learning colleagues as possible can engage in BRL however as discussed previously capacity is limited at this stage both in organisations and also with educators due to the reform developments underway. There was a meeting yesterday with a couple of members from the REAREP from curriculum reform workstream and the programme board with Louise Hayward and she reminded those present to make the most of the opportunity to respond to the consultation and the national discussion consultation and this could be something to consider through REAREP. This could be in the form of a statement across all workstreams to be included with responses. A collective pledge that we could get leaders to sign up to would be good. 

Action – Mark, Mélina and Rhona to meet to discuss collective response and will share it at the next meeting.

Building Racial Literacy update

Cohort 2 has been running since August there are around 112 participant, since the inductions we have had 2 webinars. This year Rowena Arshad led the first session with Dr Geetha Marcus leading the second webinar focused on intersectionality and looking at the experience of gypsy traveller girls. There will also be a third webinar in November. The recall event for cohort 1 in September, aimed to get a sense of the impact of the programme, and 20 participants took part. There will also be a one year event in March 2023 for the first cohort. A third cohort will begin in December with around 130 participants but looking to see if we can increase capacity due to demand.

Brief update from across the workstreams

At the recent diversity and teaching profession workstream there was discussion on the data report that is coming out in April 23. The curriculum reform workstream will meet again in November and as Khadija Mohammed is now chairing the programme board Mélina is the new co-chair on the curriculum reform group. The racist incidents workstream has not met yet this session. The group agreed to consider which member would represent ELPL workstream at the Programme board.

Programme board membership

Samir Sharma was suggested to represent ELPL at the programme board. Samir advised he would be happy to represent the group at the Programme board but would need to discuss this with his director in the first instance. The group were keen to ensure serving teachers were on the programme board to give their perspective.

Further professional learning to support knowledge, understanding and build capacity

The group discussed what additional professional learning would be most helpful to consider in future. The BRL programme has proved to meet a need around racial literacy however there is limited capacity given the nature of the programme and the support infrastructure and to retain the quality of the learning experience. Members were keen to consider endorsement of other programmes and to support greater access to anti-racist professional learning. This included finding out more about Members expressed interest in knowing more about the anti-racist work going on in Wales and if there was any good practice which could be adopted Anti-Racist Wales. Also mentioned was a programme running in Tower Hamlets with Global Learning London which is very CYP focussed. Members have previously discussed expanding the group membership to include more voices and Mark has met with Jess from Children’s Parliament who have released this report Gender Equality in Education and Learning - Children's Parliament. The group agreed it would be good to invite someone from the Children’s Parliament into this group. NASUWT have a lot of members in Wales and they would be happy to meet and give a perspective on work there. 

Any other business

Action – Contact the programme board regarding a national event.

Back to top