Education Reform Programme Board minutes: December 2021

Minutes from the meeting on 14 December 2021.

This document is part of a collection

Attendees and apologies

  • Clare Hicks (CH) Chair
  • Graeme Logan (GL)
  • Geoff Huggins (GH)
  • Michael Chalmers (MC)
  • Stephen Pathirana (SP)
  • Alison Cummings (AC)
  • Helena Gray (HG) Peter Hookway (PH)
  • Liza McLean (LM)
  • Jamie Hume (JH)
  • Ken Muir (KM)
  • Stephen Kerr (SK)
  • Rachel McGregor (RM)

PMO Governance

  • Jill Robertson


  • Jaxon Parish


  • Nicky Richards
  • Elizabeth Boyling

Items and actions

Summary of Decisions and Action Points

  • PB141221-D01: Governance Model agreed by Board members (decision).
  • PB141221-AP01: Terms of Reference - Consider reflecting link between this work and that of wider education system and health and social care.
  •  PB141221-AP02: Consider suggested changes to ToR and Aims and Objectives document as highlighted by Board Members.
  • PB141221–AP03 PH  to sending wording on the Finance Business Partner role to JR
  • PB141221-AP04: JR to arrange discussion with SK to discuss proposed risk management and risk review mechanism.
  • PB141222-AP05: Plan risk deep dive session, add to agenda for 2 Feb 22 meeting

Welcome, introductions and apologies

CH (Chair) welcomed members to the first Education Reform Programme Board (ERPB). Acknowledged timing of first meeting under the context of current emerging Covid situation and wider business needs, but important to ensure first ERPB took place, acknowledged this context may change in the New Year. Noted apologies and representatives in place of.

ToR and programme aims and objectives

CH noted the importance of input from across the entire education and skills portfolio; acknowledging the Programme has impacts wider than just schools. Highlighted also that the Programme needs to consider how to take advantage of digital and will consider how to build this into current and any potential future reform work.

KM noted some themes were not reflected in ToR, including the link between the education system and health and social care, and the wider children and families’ agenda e.g. The work on the National Care Service and the wider factors that impact and facilitate children’s learning.

MC agreed with KM points and asked that consideration be given to also capturing GIRFEC in context of ToR, and “The Promise” and UNCRC in Programme Aims and Objectives.

CH acknowledged the importance of these points and the need to consider how they are reflected in the Programme, noting however the need also to keep a focus to the scope of the Programme  and the Board.

Action - consider reflecting link between this work and that of whole education system and health and social care in the Terms of Reference.
Owner - LM and JR. 
Deadline - 27 January 2022

SK highlighted he understood his role on the Board as being to advise and support on Programme and Project Management. He offered a number of suggestions around the key responsibilities of the Board in relation to the Programme in the ToR and these were noted.

SP suggested more explicit reference to the evidence base that will drive decision making within the Programme aims and objectives.

GH pointed out the need to ensure aims and objectives also reflect a focus on the importance of functional, corporate and capability of any new organisations, not just policy direction.

HG highlighted whether there was the need to consider the wider economic landscape and contribution to the economy within the context with this work.

Action - Consider suggested changes from Board Members to ToR and Aims and Objectives documents.
Owner - LM and JR. 
Deadline - 27 January 2022

PH noted the specific role of the Finance Business Partner on the Board and agreed to share wording to include within annex A of ToR

Action - PH to sending wording on the FPB role to JR
Owner: PH 
Deadline - 10 January 2022

Governance model

Chair talked through the design of the Governance Model.  

SK noted the role of Ministers in terms of governance, and highlighted that it will be important to ensure appropriate escalation pathways and that the Board does not become disempowered.

Decision - Governance Model agreed by Board members

Consultation update – Professor Ken Muir

KM gave an update on his consultation and stakeholder engagement work, noting the rich range of information and evidence gathered, and key themes arising. There have been over 800 responses to the consultation and over 4000 responses from learners aged 12-18.

SP noted the need to consider how applied skills are part of the whole school system, if we are to prepare children and learners to enter the workforce more effectively.

SK noted that employers are moving away from current Scottish Vocational Qualifications due to issues with currency and relevance.

KM acknowledged that importance any reform needs to be future proofed in regard to skills agenda.

Programme risk heat map

JR talked through the risk heat map and invited comments.

AC asked about budgetary risks. CH noted there are budgetary risks which are likely to be upgraded in terms of risk rating as plans for the work are further developed.

SK offered a discussion on the risk review mechanism for the Board, and the role of the Board in this.

Action - LM, JR and SK to discuss risk management and review mechanism
Owner - JR. 
Deadline - 27 January 2022

SK highlighted the role that risks have in informing future agendas for Board meetings. Suggested deep dives in to risks as a helpful exercise for the Board to do. 

Action - Plan risks deep dive session, add to agenda for 2 Feb 22 meeting
Owner - JR 
Deadline - 27 January 2022

Any other business

There was no other business. Chair thanked attendees for their contributions and closed the meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

2 February 2022 at 12.30pm to 2pm

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