Education Reform Inspectorate and Agency Delivery Board minutes: January 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 16 January 2023.

This document is part of a collection

Attendees and apologies


  • Gillian Hamilton (Chair)
  • Jamie Petrie
  • Sean Stronach
  • Greg Dempster
  • Janie McManus
  • Maureen Hamilton
  • Harold Hislop
  • Patricia Watson
  • Lesley Whelan
  • Laurence Findlay


  • Frances Douglas
  • Kerrie Laird
  • Magnus Hughson
  • Les Byle (PMO)
  • Andrea Bradley
  • Tracy Reilly
  • Ken McAra

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies 

GH opened the meeting and extended a warm welcome to attendees. Apologies were noted as above.  

Minutes and actions from 19 December 2022 Delivery Board meeting

The minute of 19 December 2022 was agreed as accurate. There were no outstanding actions.

Risk register

Members noted and agreed the proposed updates to the risk register. The following risks could be closed, subject to the agreement of our representatives from PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) and FDA (The Association of First Division Civil Servants):

  • CT-04, in relation to staff engagement
  • CT-08, in relation to financial systems for the new agencies
  • CT-19, in relation to staff consultation

It was noted that the controls and actions in CT-10 required to be updated to reflect the extent of staff engagement taking place across Education Scotland (ES). It was also proposed to make a change to the wording of this risk to “Resulting in a lack of buy in to the reform of Education Scotland”.
The board agreed to add the following new risks:

  • CT-22, in relation to Communications
  • CT-23, in relation to budget for the new agencies

Following a discussion, it was agreed that a third risk in relation to the transition from the existing organisation to the new bodies was required.

It was agreed that the two issues on the issues log should remain. An additional issue was proposed in relation to the fact that the commissions from SG (Scottish Government) in relation to new work, including the horizontal commissions had not yet been shared with ES.

Action: MH to seek agreement from PCS and FDA representatives in relation to the changes to the risk register and to update the risk register and issues log as agreed.

Chair’s update

The Chair provided an update to the board. She noted that a Business Case had been submitted to SG colleagues, seeking additional funding for 2023/24 to support the work of the reform of ES. She also noted the importance of securing early feedback from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in relation to the draft Target Operating Models (TOMs), to allow the project teams to progress and to develop final versions. A meeting to hear her views was taking place this week and it was expected that ES would receive feedback very soon.

She highlighted that the project teams had been asked to develop three, costed options of the TOMs, with different budget options and the teams were working to a deadline of the end of January to complete this.  

We were still awaiting the commissions for new work from SG colleagues, including commissions for the horizontal work which included roles and responsibilities, HR and digital.  

The Stakeholder Reference Group was meeting on 18 January 2023. A paper outlining the proposed approach to engaging and consulting with stakeholders was being discussed by this group. There would also be input on key messages included in the draft TOM for the new inspectorate and feedback from the group sought.  

Board members noted the request for costed options of the TOMs and questioned whether this was a good use of ES staff time, if budgetary constraints meant that the budgetary status quo was likely to prevail. It was noted that there may be opportunities to invest now to provide future savings in the new organisations.

The importance of having clarity in relation to the budget, feedback from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and the commissions in place and in relation to future work was highlighted by board members. It was also important not to lose sight of the feedback secured from the Muir Consultation with the wider profession.

New Education Agency update

It was noted that the project team for the new agency had enjoyed a period of leave over the last few weeks. Meetings with service design colleagues from SG had taken place to help the project team to identify the key services that would be offered by the new agency. A transition roadmap was being developed which will identify the key steps that needed to be in place prior to the “go-live” date for the new agency. Discussions in relation to options for shared services for digital and other corporate functions were also taking place.

Board members noted the importance of ensuring that the essential work being undertaken by ES continued during the transition period and were pleased to note that a transition roadmap was being developed.

The new agency project team was also working with the inspectorate project team to identify dependencies in relation to the reform. The team remain confident that the TOM for the New Agency will be ready by the end of January but would appreciate further clarity on the expected delivery deadline.

New Inspectorate update

Board members heard that the draft TOM for the new inspectorate would be in place by the end of January. It was noted that the main function of the inspectorate to carry out inspections would remain. A transition roadmap was being developed to support the planning for the period from now until the inception of the new inspectorate. This would highlight key areas of work that would need to start soon, if they were to be in place for the new organisation.  

The project team were working with the service design team from SG to ensure that the draft TOM would meet the necessary requirements.  

Communications update

It was noted that SG, SQA and ES were developing a website for the education reform. The website would be hosted by SQA, but ES would have the opportunity to contribute to the content of the site. It was expected that the new website would be in place by early February.

A range of channels were being used to engage with ES staff and to keep them updated on key aspects of the reform work. These channels included monthly Leading Together Days, Connect with Colleagues sessions, our weekly all staff bulletin and a dedicated page on the organisation’s intranet.  

Board members also highlighted the importance of regular SG communication with the profession setting out progress made across the reform programme.

Any other business

It was agreed that we would extend the Delivery Board meetings to last for two hours.

The Chair noted that in due course it may be necessary to have two Delivery Boards. This would be dependent on a number of factors, but it was likely that a decision on this would be made soon. This would also provide the opportunity to refresh / increase Delivery Board membership as needed.

Action: future meetings to be extended to last for two hours.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Delivery Board will take place on 9 February 2023.

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