Education Leadership and Professional Learning Subgroup - minutes: September 2021

Minutes from the group's meeting on 7 September 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Samir Sharma, Quality Improvement Officer, Glasgow City Council
  • Khadija Mohammed, Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE)
  • Carol Young, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER)
  • Murid Laly, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland

New members

  • Mark Langdon, Glasgow Life
  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Kirsty Campbell, Education Scotland
  • Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDec (Scottish Development Centre)
  • Victoria Smith representing Pauline Stephen, General Teaching Council (Scotland)
  • Olwen Fraser, Northern Alliance Regional Improvement Collaborative
  • Emamezi Obi-Baron, Education Scotland


  • Amy Allard-Dunbar, Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)
  • David Smith, ITE (University of Aberdeen), Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Rhona Jay, Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The fourth meeting of the sub-group took place on Tuesday 7 September.

Congratulations to Mark Langdon on his new position in UWS as lecturing and Community Education taking up in October.

Note of the last meeting

The group agreed that this was an accurate note of the meeting.

Future meeting dates have been agreed and meeting invitations sent to group members. Meetings are now scheduled for 90 minutes.

Summary of activity across the REAREP workstreams

Mélina Valdelièvre gave brief overview of the REAREP workstreams.

The main Stakeholder Network group (SNG) met on the 26th August and the discussions were mainly focused on evaluation. The SNG considered some key questions including how do we evaluate this whole programme of work that is so sensitive and very ambitious; what is the purpose of evaluation, how do we do it and who we want to lead it. The possibility of using external evaluators was considered to support this work. The next meeting of the SNG is on 23rd September.

The curriculum reform group had its first meeting on the 23rd August, looking at terms of reference and language in particular. Some members found it important to include for example white ethnic minorities and all learners in curriculum discussions since anti-racist curriculum will benefit all but most importantly thinking critically about the terminology used and focusing on black people especially people with lived experience of racism. Future meetings will look at narrowing down what is achievable, defining what is meant by the curriculum, focusing on experiences and outcomes, and also what success might look like. Focus more on the present and past impact of the Scottish colonial history and include early learning environments and as well as including community learning. Next meeting on 7th October.

Diversity in the Teaching and Education Workforce had its first meeting on 1st July. Looked at terms of reference, new national post in the GTCS with a remit of improving diversity in the workforce. Members advised to look beyond the confines of the teaching profession and focus more on all education staff. Issues of governance were also considered. This will be explored further in the next meeting. The vision there focused on Scotland’s Education Workforce at all levels reflecting and supporting the racial diversity of modern Scotland by enriching the education experience for the whole school population. Next meeting will be on 14th September.

The Racist Bullying and Incidents Sub-group first met on the 10th August and looked at an extensive time line of actions. The group concluded that it was good to be ambitious with all the different actions but it was best to also slowdown to make sure we get things right so that we are not overloading schools and the system with lots of guidance coming out each month around how to report and monitor racist incidents. Also there was a need to build practitioners understanding on how to support what counts as a racist incident as this may be really challenging if educators don’t have that confidence. This is where a focus on racial literacy Professional Learning is important. The group also considered the need to support wellbeing for those at the receiving end with different possible solutions. The vision of this sub-group is everyone in school communities is enabled to recognise and address racism including racist bullying and racist incidence and also provide effective support to all those affected. School communities should collaboratively develop positive cultures of respect in equalities supported by the provision of guidance and robust recording and monitoring. Next meeting of the group is yet to be determined.

Group members were keen to emphasise that racist bullying takes place between young people but there should also be acknowledgement that teachers can be responsible for racist incidents involving young children and their fellow colleagues which needs to be addressed.

Building Racial Literacy programme - draft for discussion

Mélina Valdelièvre gave brief overview of the paper outlining a proposed approach to development and delivery of a programme to support building racial literacy. 

The two main outcomes aimed for through the programme are:

  1. developing tools to support educators to be able to understand racism, to be able to name it, identify it and also continue learning about it. This programme will be just the beginning with the hope that the input will lead to ongoing professional learning in the future
  2. developing the skills, confidence and resilience to engage in racial dialogue. Building confidence to talk about racism to tackle racism in any context
  • important to consider the current challenging context for educators so starting off with a shorter prototype programme that could then be further developed 
  • the programme could also include self-directed learning activities online to support reflective reading, questioning and also collaborative learning
  • building networks will be an integral element to ensure learning continues after the programme
  • programme content could include consideration of positionality and racial identity development
  • keen to ensure this is a collaborative development process with a range of partners which would offer a start point of professional learning in this area for many

The group provided detailed feedback which will be captured in a separate paper and shared with those taking forward the initial programme design.

Action Point:
Members are asked to express their interest in co-designing the Building Racial Literacy programme at the meeting or afterwards by email. Khadija Mohammed and Carol Young expressed their interest at the meeting. A first design meeting will be arranged shortly.

Supporting educators to engage with new resources

There are three resources which have been publicised recently.

  • Education Scotland Race Equality Resource 
  • CRER anti-racist curriculum resource and 
  • ScotDec anti-racist curriculum resource

Education Scotland will host a session with colleagues from across the system at the Scottish Learning Festival on decolonising the curriculum highlighting the three different resources.

ScotDec is working with the author of the tool kit to co-facilitate training around using and promoting the tool kit. Training will be available in November with the potential for additional development activity to support consideration of global issues through an anti-racist lens.

Samir Sharma shared that Glasgow can support with communicating new resources within Glasgow City Council networks.

Members were asked to think about different ways to building awareness and create further opportunities for engagement.

Professional learning activities

To be discussed next meeting.

Communications and awareness raising

To be discussed next meeting.

Group membership and chairing

Members were asked to consider volunteering to chair and vice-chair the SLPL subgroup moving forwards. Member for Association of Directorate of Education Scotland (ADES) - Rhona Jay (Falkirk Council) has agreed to represent ADES on the group.

Back to top