Equality outcomes and mainstreaming report 2017

Update on Scottish Government's progress incorporating equality across its activities and delivering equality outcomes set in April 2013.

1.8 Mainstreaming Equality in Scottish Government Agencies

Accountant in Bankruptcy

Learning, Development and Performance Management: Fairness at Work sessions are included as a mandatory part of all inductions. An on-going management training programme was delivered in 2015 and one of the modules on this training programme is Equality, Diversity and Fairness at Work for Line Managers. The agency also supported a group of staff to complete a customer service qualification, part of which focuses on equality and diversity and how to ensure the service that is being delivered is appropriate. A series of staff awareness seminars is delivered every year. Since April 2015 topics have included guide dogs for the blind, dealing with the effects of bullying; and a session delivered by the Employee Assistance Service to raise awareness of the service available to staff.

Employee Assistance Service, help employee assistance, Employee Assistance Service Health & Wellbeing Service, help health & wellbeing, Help Health and Wellbeing Services logos

Further training included 4 sessions covering an overview of equality and diversity; a disability awareness session following the completion of the Paralympic games; a session on gender discrimination; and a race awareness session which was delivered during race awareness month. The agency also invested in the delivery of Mental Health First Aid Training, which saw 6 members of staff trained to this standard. Additional spaces on this training course were offered to Scottish Government employees. The agency also arranged for the Cynthia Show to be put on for staff. The show deals with the subject of mental health in a sensitive way. This interactive show brings issues to life and enables participants to explore their attitudes, communication, empathy and how these impact on our health and well-being.

Equality consideration in decision making: the standard template for all AiB committee meeting papers includes a section to detail potential equality or diversity implications of proposed recommendations or changes to process. The papers are presented to the Senior Management Team and Board, and the minutes of Board meetings are published online. This ensures that equality issues are considered and recorded for all decisions, not just those subject to full equality impact assessments. For example, in recognition that the majority of AiB's workforce is female, including a high proportion with care responsibilities, a decision was taken to sign up to Civil Service Learning, which provides access to a bank of e-learning products, rather than require (often early) travel to Glasgow or Edinburgh to attend training courses in person.

Access to information and services: AiB responds quickly to any requests for information in alternative languages and formats to ensure that there are no barriers to accessing information and services. Where a public document has been translated, the translated version will be published online as a resource for others to use. Case-specific translations will not be published online. On request AiB arranges for interpreters to attend meetings with Citizens Advice representatives to provide important information in relation to the insolvency process, options and consequences. AiB is responsible for the administration of a number of websites. All of the websites comply with website accessibility standards and can be accessed on all devices to ensure further compatibility.

Accessibility Statement

Accessibility Standards

This web site has been designed to comply with the international web accessibility standards issued by the World Wide Web Consortium ( W3C) as part of their Web Accessibility Initiative.

Procurement: In March 2016 AIB purchased 175 new operator chairs from an organisation on the SG supported business framework. A supported factory/business is "an establishment where more than 50% of the workers are disabled persons who by reason of the nature or severity of their disability are unable to take up work in the open labour market". Supported Factories and Businesses have a valuable role in assisting people with disabilities to integrate into the labour market and in helping to improve their overall independence and wellbeing, which is crucial in building a healthier and fairer Scotland.

Social Responsibility: In our sector we understand the importance of financial literacy and as such are keen to promote the concept of a Financial Health Service for Scotland. Skills4bills is a project where employees of the Accountant in Bankruptcy volunteer to visit local primary schools to show pupils, aged 10-11, how to be financially savvy. This is done through a game called Skills4bills. These sessions are delivered in conjunction with other financial education initiatives run by the schools with a view to firmly establishing an understanding of financial awareness.

primary school pupils taking part in the Skills4bills project

Disclosure Scotland

Disclosure Scotland ( DS) has focused on making equality issues an integral part of the way it operates and a key element of its culture. This is a progressive journey for DS, building on previous work on changing attitudes, language and behaviours. An increased focus on communication and awareness raising has assisted in this journey. DS staff have participated in equalities networking groups, including the Non-Departmental Public Bodies Mainstreaming Equalities Group, LGBTI Ally and Role Model Programmes as well as Family Friendly Working Scotland Events to learn from and share best practice.

Disability - Mental Health

Awareness Weeks

The Internal Comms Team ran events for Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2015 and 2016, including:

1. mindfulness sessions from the Glasgow Mindfulness Centre;

2. mindfulness sessions delivered by a member of the Internal Comms team;

3. talk from Tony McLaren, Head of Breathing Space;

4. talk from COPE Scotland.

In addition to organising face to face sessions, the team has put resources in place for staff, such as leaflets, keyrings and pens with helpline numbers, stress reduction booklets and posters. Posters have been placed around the office, received from the charity MIND, to promote the themes of both Mental Health Awareness weeks.

Information and support for staff

The Internal Comms Team launched the Disclosure Scotland Mental Health and Wellbeing Page in May 2016, to coincide with Mental Health awareness week. This page brings together guidance, e-learning, policies and contacts. It is updated and promoted regularly - most recently when a section on Mental Health First Aid was added in June 2016.

Scottish Government Mental Health Committee

The Internal Communications Manager represents Disclosure Scotland on this committee. In addition to wider Scottish Government work, the Internal Comms Manager has delivered face to face briefings to staff to raise awareness of the Scottish Government Mental Health Network and to increase membership. In addition, at these briefings staff were shown the 'Power of Okay' video from the SeeMe campaign, to help reduce stigma.

The Internal Comms Manager wrote an article about the Mental Health Network, which was published in May 2016 on The Scottish Government Intranet, Saltire. This was then publicised widely throughout DS using a range of communication channels to reach all audiences.

Mental Health First Aiders

Five Disclosure Scotland staff received Mental Health First Aid training this year. They are publicised on the intranet and have been added to the lists of physical first aiders throughout the building.

Gender Equality

Our senior team has 58.3% female representation, which exceeds government targets. International Women's Day has been promoted in Disclosure Scotland in 2015 and 2016. This involved an intranet article, posters, TV slides and discussions on Yammer, an internal discussion forum.

A member of Disclosure Scotland staff, Sharon Martin, wrote the anthem for the Scotland Women's National Football Team. She provided a blog for the Disclosure Scotland intranet, and in May 2016 this was promoted on main Saltire.


This year we launched the DS LGBTI Ally presence by having our previous CE, David Wallace sign the "No Bystander" Campaign. This was promoted on DS Intranet and Yammer.

Our Ally Kris McKeown created an Allies page on our Intranet, including an LGBTI Events page, which led to promotion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on the main page of DS Intranet.

Our Ally Kris McKeown created an Allies page on our Intranet, including an LGBTI Events page, which led to promotion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on the main page of DS Intranet.

During Learning at Work Week, our Ally held a session on LGBTI Allies. This was highlighted by our Chief Executive on Yammer and publicised on our Intranet.

Our Ally also supported a colleague in DS to request funding for the Stonewall Role Model programme in order for DS to have a balance of an Ally and a Role Model within the business.

Our new Role Model is now in place and has written a blog piece explaining the background to the Role Model Programme for DS Saltire, which was then promoted on SG Yammer.

Our DS Ally advised the attendees at the monthly Network Meeting of the work being done at DS, which Richard Foggo highlighted on SG Yammer and in the minutes of that meeting. "Meeting agreed this [ DS] was an excellent exemplar that could lead the way for other Agencies and internal Directorates."

The Internal Comms Team regularly interacts with the DS LGBTI allies to ensure their activities are promoted on the intranet, TV screens and the Disclosure Scotland Yammer site. The team also actively encourages members of staff working on diversity projects to reach out to wider SG, through use of the SG Yammer site and requesting promotion of articles by the SG Corporate Comms Team.

A member of the Internal Comms Team also created an intranet article for Bi Visibility Day in September 2016. This was also promoted through use of the TV screens and Yammer.

To mark the last Friday of LGBT History Month and Purple Friday, DS staff were asked to wear purple to show support for the LGBT Community and to raise funds for LGBT Youth Scotland. This was supported by an illuminating bite size briefing on "Making Pronouns Personal" which was delivered by DS staff.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender flag

Positive Action Pathway Mentoring Scheme Case Study

This was an initiative designed for employees from an ethnic minority who felt that they had been disadvantaged in the Civil Service due to their ethnicity. Three DS Managers participated in the programme to coach/mentor individuals. The Senior Governance Manager in DS commented on her participation in the programme:

"Over an 8 month period DS allowed me to meet with my mentee on a monthly basis, in official time, which I think was a big investment for DS at a time when they were very busy. During this time I supported the mentee to help her identify her development need, and to develop a plan, with goals. Through discussion and practical work the mentee was able to compile a full suite of competency examples and I worked with her to improve her interview skills through various methods, which culminated in a mock board. As a result she was successful in a TRS application as a training officer with another Government Department. For the future she feels she is better equipped to apply for permanent EO (B1) posts."

Equality Impact Assessments

The Business Change team has incorporated this within their initial project commissioning form. Any anticipated change within the organisation results in a question around EQIA. Each departmental area looking to implement a change, completes the form and then passes it to Business Change to ensure completeness of the business impact assessment. Point one on the form directs owners to the EQIA screening link to determine if an EQIA needs to be completed.

When forms are completed, Business Change intends to do further analysis to ensure that all potential impacts on people pertinent to the change are captured. This happens prior to the change being presented to the Senior Management Team for approval to convene a project team and create a full scope for the change. The changes can cover process, IT, legislative, people, financial etc.


We used the Crystal Mark (Plain English) templates and their external report on DS website to edit the existing website to improve its look, usability and navigation until a newer version became available in late 2016. Information can also be provided in larger print sizes. There are also introductions to guides to DS services in multiple languages on the DS website (Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Gaelic). The new website is compatible with the Website Accessibility Initiative criteria and the Equality Act 2010.

Next Steps

Disclosure Scotland plans to incorporate an analysis of diversity data into its monthly Workforce Planning Group Meetings. This will enable the monitoring of diversity statistics and benchmarking with other Agencies, as well as ensuring that mainstreaming equalities is embedded throughout planning processes.

To build on previous Fairness at Work training, DS intends to carry out refresher training/awareness raising in early 2017.

As part of its Social Impact Pledge, DS plans to encourage its Modern Apprentices to visit local schools to discuss apprentice opportunities within Disclosure Scotland.

Following discussions on Yammer a DS Disability Forum is being set up by staff.

Education Scotland

In its 2015 report, 'Improving Schools in Scotland: an OECD perspective', [11] the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD) described Scottish Education as "highly inclusive," with particular reference to the high level in the mixing of social backgrounds, the high academic achievement of immigrant pupils when compared globally, and the continued upward trend in positive destinations for school leavers.

Protected characteristics

Scottish Government data [12] on the percentage of school leavers gaining nationally accredited awards (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, SCQF level 4-6) show a general improvement in levels of attainment outcomes among almost all characteristics. School leaver destinations have also improved on the whole for most groups. Notable findings include:

1. girls consistently outperform boys;

2. young people from almost all minority ethnic groups consistently outperform white Scottish young people in attainment and perform above national averages;

3. girls from an Asian background such as Indian, Pakistani and Chinese are among the highest performing groups in Scottish schools;

4. improved levels of attainment and positive destinations for young people, including boys, assessed as requiring additional support arising from English as another language;

5. improvement in attainment for young people with additional support needs due to disability. Figures for positive destinations are improving faster than for non-disabled young people, though the gap remains too wide.

According to the OECD, the level of attainment among minority ethnic groups is suggestive of:

"An unusual degree of inclusion by international standards. Moreover, immigrant students in Scotland scored among the highest for immigrant students internationally (in this case in mathematics), similar to Australia and Canada in this respect."

The Scottish Government and Education Scotland continue to consider ways to collate data for some aspects of school life concerning some of the characteristics.

1. Education Scotland has continued to improve learning resources that will support positive consideration of LGBTI+ issues in classrooms

2. The new self-evaluation resource, 'How Good is Our School? 4', has an enhanced focus on how to evaluate approaches to promote equality and report and record prejudice-based discrimination

3. Education Scotland and partners, such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission and LGBT Youth Scotland, organised a successful conference with Renfrewshire Council in November 2015 to challenge such bullying

Transforming Lives Through Learning

Education Scotland's Corporate Plan sets out the strategic management priorities for the agency over a three year period. More detailed annual business planning supports delivery of the commitment to excellence and equity in Scottish Education.

Education Scotland integrates equality into its work and takes account of the duties in all of its programmes, approaches and interventions. Highlights include:

1. Diversity and Equality Network - Education Scotland collaborates nationally to develop its approaches to inspection, self-evaluation and prejudice-based bullying. This has contributed to the development of 'How Good is Our School? 4'

2. Gender balance - through a joint project with the Institute of Physics and Skills Development Scotland in a wide range of school clusters, learners benefit from improved resources, academic research and whole school approaches to promoting female equality in STEM subjects.

3. Employability - publication of the 'Careers Education Standard' encourages and supports practitioners to embed employability into their curriculum. The 'Work Placement Guidance and Guidance on Schools' supports young people with protected characteristics to make successful transitions into work.

4. Digital literacy and learning - the Scottish Schools National Intranet ( GLOW) provides opportunities for children and young people to learn beyond the classroom, for example access to educational resources and services for learners from the Gypsy/Traveller community or people who are unable to attend school due to disability.

5. Tackling sectarianism - in 2014-17, Education Scotland facilitated a series of events to challenge prejudice and discrimination based on religion. Revised teaching resources have been shared to encourage a more consistent approach and to engage learners at all stages.

6. Welcoming refugees and other visitors - support for older young people and adults in the community is directed by an overarching strategy for English for Speakers of Other Languages ( ESOL). Scottish Government and Education Scotland are working together to ensure provision is in place for welcoming new refugees from Syria and that ESOL practitioners across Scotland are adequately supported. Education Scotland provides resources for learners, and a well-received "Teaching ESOL to Refugees" event was held in Glasgow in February 2016, to support practitioners from local authorities.

7. Parental engagement and family learning - Education Scotland, with partners from the Catholic, Muslim and ethnic minority communities, is developing approaches to improving parental engagement in their children's learning. Updated and revised information is now published for practitioners working with marginalised families or those supporting disabled children.

8. Nurturing approaches - Education Scotland has developed a number of resources at primary and secondary level that support the implementation of a whole school approach, as well as the implementation of targeted interventions including Nurture Groups, to support learners with additional support needs, particularly those with social, emotional and behavioural needs. A key aspect of a nurturing approach is to help schools develop a respectful and inclusive ethos and culture, which promotes engagement of all learners including those with protected characteristics. By June 2016, the secondary schools training had been delivered to representatives from 22 local authorities and the primary schools training had been delivered to representatives from 17 local authorities (including all nine Scottish Attainment Challenge Authorities).

9. Mentors in Violence Prevention - this peer education programme is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. Senior learners work with younger ones to challenge established attitudes to gender-based stereotyping or negative behaviours, including the potential for violence. The core purpose is building healthy relationships within communities, which will in turn support learning in schools. Education Scotland is integral in developing updated materials within a Scottish context and linking the work with existing policy frameworks. Between 2015 and 2017 the number of local authorities with staff trained in MVP increased from 9 to 17.

Monitoring and evaluation

Education Scotland has developed and published HGIOS? 4, [14] which will support schools to consider themes of equity and equality as part of their own self-evaluation. These are cross-cutting themes in a variety of quality indicators, such as: Leadership of Change; Safeguarding and Child Protection; Curriculum; Family Learning; and Ensuring Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusion. The Family Learning indicator has equality and diversity embedded into all areas, and every school and early learning centre inspection includes an evaluation of the Ensuring Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusion quality indicator.

Until the introduction of HGIOS? 4, during each inspection head teachers and heads of centres were asked to respond to the question: "How well does the school or centre ensure equality and inclusion and promote diversity?" Education Scotland carried out a review of school responses from the last three years. In relation to equality and diversity, the findings include:

1. the emphasis given to learning about diversity through the study of different religions and cultures

2. promoting children's rights arising from engagement with rights-based learning programmes, leading to positive attitudes to diversity and overcoming prejudice

3. professional learning opportunities on issues of equality and diversity, including training, leading to staff being more informed about legislation and good practice

4. strength in practice with equality and diversity is underpinned by a strong commitment among staff, parents and children towards a positive inclusive learning environment

5. children and young people play a key role in promoting equality and diversity in forms of peer education

6. schools linking well with third sector groups, for instance to challenge prejudice-based bullying and stereotyping

Findings from the pre-inspection questionnaires are used to elicit any wellbeing concerns from learners and parents. Inspection evidence from 2011-16 indicates that primary and secondary staff are positive about children and young people's behaviour, and feel confident in their ability to promote positive relationships and behaviour and respond appropriately to negative behaviour. Schools are using a wide range of approaches to encourage positive relationships and behaviour, and understand that this needs to be developed within a positive ethos and culture.

Representing Scotland

Education Scotland provides the representative board member for Scotland for the European Agency in Special Needs and Inclusive Education ( EASNIE), which coordinates the work of over 30 European countries on inclusive education.

Education Scotland, together with Professor Stephen McKinney of the University of Glasgow, participates in a three-year thematic project (2014-17) called "Raising Achievement of all through Inclusive Education". Groups of expert project participants from schools and universities in 20 European countries visited three sites across Europe to promote inclusive education internationally. One of the chosen sites was Calderglen Learning Community in South Lanarkshire.

Scotland has taken a key role in the EASNIE international Country Policy Review and Analysis ( CPRA) project from 2015 to 2017. As a result of the project's findings, in November 2016 Scotland was invited to provide evidence to the European Parliament on its implementation of inclusive policies at national level. This was to contribute to evidence gathering on progress in implementing Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( UNCRPD). The evidence was published by Adam Kosa MEP in 'Inclusive Education for learners with disabilities Reflections and messages: A policy and technology perspective' (January 2017). [15]

Children and young people's participation

Education Scotland has engaged with young people nationally around issues relating to inclusive education and personal support. Two young people with additional support needs represented Scotland at the Luxembourg EU Presidency's "Take Action" conference in October 2015 as part of the EASNIE work programme.

In December 2015, a young person from Scotland attended an international conference in Brussels hosted by the European Commission, marking ten years since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the meeting, young people decided on the following key points:

Main Outcomes: |Everything is about us, with us, |Barrier-free schools, |Breaking Down stereotypes, |Diversity is the mix, inclusion si what makes the mix work, |Becoming full citizens

Ambassadors for Inclusion

Education Scotland hosted the first national meeting of Scotland's Ambassadors for Inclusion in December 2015, and since then it has met three times a year. About 22 young people with a wide range of additional support needs from 20 education authorities shared their views and experiences on inclusive education. Those who attended found the experience highly motivating and most of the Ambassadors have since been featured in their local media.

Word pool

The Ambassadors were generally very positive about the support they received. They identified as key strengths respect among staff and young people in schools, the benefit of mentors, the success of additional arrangements for assessments, and knowing there is someone to go to if pressures or stress arise.

The work of the Ambassadors was positively acknowledged in the Ministerial Foreword to 'Supporting Children's Learning: Implementation of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act' (March 2016). [16] Education Scotland will continue to engage and extend the role of Ambassadors for Inclusion locally and nationally.

Scottish Learning Festival

Education Scotland organises the Scottish Learning Festival ( SLF), which provides high quality continuing professional learning and a unique platform for educational professionals, both nationally and internationally, to engage with a diverse range of experts, colleagues and suppliers. "Achieving equality: ensuring every child in every community has every chance to succeed at school and in life" has been a focus for the 100 developmental seminars and keynote speakers over the last few years, and the seminars promoting inclusion and equality were among the most popular for the 8,400 attendees in 2015-16.

Scottish Public Pensions Agency

Diversity training

All staff have been required to attend diversity training, which focused on organisational culture, understanding prejudice, discrimination, bullying and harassment, the Equality Act 2010 and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.

Fairness at Work sessions

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency ( SPPA) commissioned and facilitated 'Fairness at Work' sessions for all staff, which focussed on 'behaviour and culture' in the workplace and on respect for diversity issues. A 'yellow card' system was introduced, through which staff could report any incidents to HR with the expectation that these would be followed up. This work is on-going and the findings from these sessions have been reported to the Strategic Leadership Team and to staff.

Core Skills

Core Skills days to identify training and networking needs and opportunities were arranged as a result of the People Survey 2015 where, following detailed analysis, it was recognised that there were a number of key areas which would benefit from support and action throughout 2016. The Strategic Leadership Team considered the results and recommendations and agreed the focus for the Agency in 2016 should be around:

1. inclusion and fair treatment

2. leadership and managing change

3. learning and development

This led to the involvement of external consultants and the Scottish Government People Services Team in the delivery of training in relation to Inclusion and Fair Treatment. This work, which has continued through 2016, has provided a valuable insight into what staff hope will improve in the future. Follow up work on this is on-going, supported by the People Network and the People Strategy Action Plan.

SPPA People Strategy

The refreshed People Strategy is an important outcome of the recommendations and the Nine Point Plan, which staff have recently been made aware of, will influence and shape the SPPA as it moves through a continued period of change towards its aim to have a well-trained, highly motivated workforce that delivers the highest customer service.

SPPA 9 Point Plan

1. Increase Leadership Visibility

2. Increase Team Working

3. Increase Leadership and Management Effectiveness

4. Develop Personal Growth

5. Promote culture of wellbeing/health

6. Give Back to Society

7. Promote Fair Deal for Staff

8. Make SPPA somewhere you want to join/stay

9. Embed a Workforce Planning methodology

People Network

The objective of the People Network is to create a well-informed workforce which has a clear understanding of the Agency strategic objectives and the workforce policies and guidance. This will be achieved by empowering the staff on the People Network to develop a shared understanding of the actions being taken and to communicate these over the wider Agency. This approach will further enhance the ethos of the working together relationship.

The People Network will:

1. enhance internal three-way communications

2. encourage engagement on Agency-wide matters

3. test ideas and act as a sounding board

4. review the annual analysis of the People Survey results

5. feedback to staff key points raised at People Network

6. undertake specific areas of work as agreed with senior management

Investor in People

SPPA currently has the Gold accreditation and a review is scheduled for January 2017 when SPPA will be moving towards the new Sixth Generation Standard.

Investors in People|Gold logo

Healthy Working Lives ( HWL)

The Healthy Working Lives Award Programme supports employers and employees to develop health promotion and safety themes in the workplace in a practical, logical way, which is beneficial to all. It also offers a structured path to a healthier workplace with the benefits of a nationally recognised award programme.

In 2016 SPPA achieved the gold accreditation. The assessment report evidenced that the agency had an excellent strategic approach, an enthusiastic and well organised HWL group and evidence of impact. During the assessment day, feedback from employees was strong and it is clear that HWL information and activities have a good reach across the organisation.

Healthy Working Lives logo

1. As part of the HWL, SPPA offers staff flu vaccinations in the office from NHS Borders. In 2015, 100 staff members were vaccinated and the same programme ran in November 2016.

2. SPPA offers staff monthly appointments in the office for an alternative therapy session with a highly qualified experienced massage therapist, specialising in deep tissue, sports and relaxing massage treatments.

3. SPPA has a sports and Social Club, which organises events for staff in and outside of work.

4. SPPA has a weekly running group and yoga group that staff can join.

Young Scotland Programme - Developing talent in the workplace and the community

SPPA has supported this programme since 2011 and has received excellent feedback from participants by helping them to develop their communication skills and broaden their horizons. Participants attend a residential course, where they are encouraged to think and talk freely about the big issues facing us as a society.

Through discussion and dialogue, the personal testimonies of inspiring speakers, and the delegates' own presentations on questions of 'current interest or controversy', the programme helps to build confidence, stimulate debate, and increase awareness of the world around them.

The minimum age for entry is 18, but there is no upper age-limit: the Young Scotland Programme is open to anyone in the formative years of their career, irrespective of age.

LGBTI Allies Network

SPPA has a member of staff who is part of the LGBTI Allies Network. The network offers support to the LGBTI community within the Scottish Government where appropriate, and makes the Scottish Government a better place to work by contributing to the development of a more diverse and accepting workforce.

LGBTI Allies Network logo

Modern Apprentices

SPPA supported five modern apprentices in 2015, who all gained permanent employment at SPPA. The agency currently has nine modern apprentices, who are working towards SVQ level 2 in Business Admin during 2016.

Modern Apprentices logo

Student Placements

SPPA supports local schools and colleges with student placements. In 2015-16 the agency supported two university students and five pupil placements from local schools. The two university students have been successful in gaining posts within SPPA.

Transport Scotland

Mainstreaming Equality

Scotland's Accessible Travel Framework

The vision of 'Scotland's Accessible Travel Framework' (September 2016) [17] is to improve the travel experience for disabled people, who should enjoy the same rights, choices and opportunities to use transport services and infrastructure as everyone else.

Our vision is that: "All disabled people can travel with the same freedom, choice, dignity and opportunity as other citizens."

The co-produced Framework advocates a "Nothing About Us Without Us" disability rights approach to involving disabled people in improving transport accessibility. It includes what disabled people said was important to change in transport and their stories of how disabling barriers prevent them from making successful journeys or travelling at all.

The desired outcome of this new policy is to enable more disabled people to make safe and comfortable door-to-door journeys by working together. The document does not detail every travel accessibility issue or drill down into every different impairment, but gives a commitment to a continuing conversation with disabled people over the next ten years to raise issues and ensure positive change.

The Framework contains a vision and four outcomes, which were agreed by disabled people, their representatives and people who work in transport. The Framework contains a high-level action plan for co-produced work to tackle the inequalities in access identified by disabled people.

The four Outcomes are:

Outcome 1: more disabled people make successful door-to-door journeys, more often.

This outcome is about helping all disabled people use the transport system in its broadest sense, when they want and as often as they want to.

Outcome 2: disabled people are more involved in the design, development and improvement of transport policies, services and infrastructure.

This outcome is about the rights of disabled people to be, and the necessity of disabled people being, involved in all aspects of transport to help show what works for them.

Outcome 3: everyone involved in delivering transport information, services and infrastructure will help to enable disabled people to travel.

This outcome is about the importance of ensuring people working at all levels of the transport system can understand the needs and wishes of different people with different support needs.

This includes needs arising from mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments, mental health problems and other often hidden disabilities.

Outcome 4: disabled people feel comfortable and safe using public transport - this includes being free from hate crime, bullying and harassment when travelling.

This outcome is about the experiences of disabled people during journeys - making sure people don't feel anxious, confused or worried, and that disabled people aren't subject to abuse or mistreatment, including hate crime.

Example actions include:

  • Scope requirements for training with disabled people and transport providers/operators, including covering hidden disabilities and basic British Sign Language phrases
  • Specify and agree common standards of service for disabled people if their public transport journeys are disrupted
  • Explore ways of making disabled people more aware about how they can influence decision-making in transport.

You can find out more about the Framework on Scotland's Accessible Travel Hub, accessibletravel.scot, run by the Scottish Disability Equality Forum ( SDEF) and supported by Transport Scotland. SDEF will also organise periodic engagement events and a longitudinal study with disabled people to find out if travel is getting more accessible over the ten year lifespan of the Framework.

Ferries Accessibility Fund

The purpose of the Fund is to improve the accessibility of ferries and ports and to enhance the ferry travelling experience of disabled people and others facing mobility or access challenges. Eligible applicants are encouraged to engage with Local Access panels, disabled persons organisations, user groups and other relevant representatives of disabled people in their area. Our overarching aim is to enhance the service and overall experience by disabled customers or visitors when using ferry services throughout Scotland.

Further information can be found on the Transport Scotland Website

Blue Badge Scheme

The Blue Badge sign

The Blue Badge scheme provides a national arrangement throughout the UK of on-street parking concessions for severely disabled people who experience the greatest barriers to mobility when seeking to access community based facilities. Using the Blue Badge means that they are able to maintain or regain a degree of independence with their travel in order to lead full and active lives.

Currently an extension to the scheme is being piloted to include people with mental and cognitive impairments, who are not aware of danger from traffic and are likely to compromise their safety or the safety of others. The pilot is being evaluated on a monthly basis to monitor its effectiveness and fairness, to ensure that those eligible for a badge are able to apply for one. The Analytical Services Unit in Transport Scotland has produced a qualitative findings report, which will inform the Working Group advising on the pilot's development.

Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland

Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) logo

The vision of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland ( MACS) is for a Scotland where anyone with a mobility problem due to some physical, mental or sensory impairment can go when and where everyone else can and have the information and opportunities to do so. Transport Scotland sponsors and provides secretariat support for MACS which was set up under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 to advise Scottish Ministers on disability issues in relation to transport. While supported by Transport Scotland and expected to reflect the views of disabled people and organisations representing them, MACS offers its views independently. At least half of the 14 members, and the convener, must be disabled people.

National Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme for Older and Disabled People

The NCTS provides free bus travel across Scotland on any registered bus service to people living in Scotland who are aged 60 or over, or who meet certain disability criteria. In addition, residents of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles who meet the criteria are entitled to two free return ferry journeys to the mainland each year. The scheme improves access to services, facilities and social networks for older and disabled people, and promotes more active lifestyles. A survey conducted in 2013-14 revealed that, as well as an average financial benefit of approximately £250 for every cardholder, the scheme increased users' confidence and independence, and improved their mental and physical wellbeing. Minor modifications in 2011 ensured seriously injured veterans could access concessionary travel, and in 2013 changes to the regulations enabled those people who receive Personal Independence Payments to maintain access to concessionary travel. In the past year, we have worked with Enable Scotland to simplify the application process to the Scheme for people with learning disabilities. A revised application form with easy read guidance has been produced and issued to local authorities. Stakeholder engagement is maintained through regular contact with key stakeholder and advocacy groups, and policy and operational changes are subject to consultation and equality impact assessment.

Community Transport Policy 2015

Community Transport ( CT) services in Scotland are mainly provided by voluntary organisations for people who are unable to use conventional services due to mobility difficulties or lack of suitable public transport where they live. They include community minibuses, community car services, wheels to work (mopeds and bicycles) and demand responsive services such as dial-a-bus and dial-a-ride. In addition, the Bus Service Operator's Grant ( BSOG) scheme helps keep fares down and enables services to run that might otherwise be cancelled.

CT services play a major part in reducing isolation and increasing social inclusion. They help people to be independent, to have a more active lifestyle and to rely less on social and health services. Scottish-Government provides funding to the Community Transport Association ( CTA) in Scotland to help provide advice and support to the sector. In particular, funding over the next three years will provide minibus driver training for Community Transport organisations throughout Scotland. This aims to deliver a pool of highly trained drivers and future instructors to support the long-term sustainability of the sector.

Major Projects

Each of our major projects is designed in accordance with Transport Scotland's 'Roads for All: Good Practice Guide for Roads', which contains requirements for inclusive design in the construction, operation and maintenance of road infrastructure. Inclusive design is an approach which aims to create environments that can be used by everyone regardless of age or disability. In terms of the development and assessment of trunk roads, the involvement of disabled people is a key element of inclusive design. Local Access Panels include disabled people with an interest in improving access to the built environment and Transport Scotland has involved them during the development of major projects such as the dualling of the A9 and A96.

A9 Duelling - Academy 9

School pupils living and learning alongside the Perth to Inverness dualling route are continuing to benefit from the educational opportunities provided by Transport Scotland's innovative "Academy9" Programme.

Transport Scotland identified a range of potential educational benefits, including the opportunity for children to learn more about what is involved in a major local engineering project (the dualling of 80 miles of single carriageway of the A9). This led to the launch in August 2015 of the Academy 9 programme, which aims to infuse elements of the various activities involved into the education curriculum. As a result, as well as providing added value to community engagement, we are increasing awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and civil engineering-related careers, culminating in the chance to train and work on the A9 and/or pursue other relevant career opportunities.

Rail - Stakeholder engagement

Transport Scotland established and chairs the Scottish Rail Accessibility Forum, which brings together Scottish Government, the rail industry and a range of national disability organisations to advise Transport Scotland on:

  • the implications of proposals arising from Department for Transport on issues relating to disabled access
  • how the rail sector in Scotland is able to support disabled people to use its services and how Transport Scotland can promote this
  • developments relating to the Code of Practice on Train and Station Services for Disabled Passengers and Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations ( RVAR)
  • the continuing roll-out of the "Access for All" funding stream including the selection of stations for future development
  • the development of the Transport Scotland programme of work relating to disabled access to rail services.

Person Using a ramp to board a train

Person Using a ramp to board a train

Investment in improved disabled access to the rail network

The rail directorate manages the Access for All fund in Scotland on behalf of the UK government. The Department for Transport has allocated £67 million of the £550 million GB-wide fund to Scotland to make existing Scottish stations step-free and fully accessible. Between 2006 and 2019 this fund will support the upgrade of 25 Scottish stations that have been given priority by Scottish Ministers.

Wider access gate sign at Waverley Station

Wider access gate sign at Waverley Station

Hyndland station

Hyndland station

Montrose station

Montrose station

This dedicated fund is complemented by Scottish Government investment at other Scottish stations. Improved access has been an integral element of the re-development of Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket and Dalmarnock stations in recent years. All new stations, such as those on the Borders railway and the Edinburgh gateway station, are step-free and fully accessible.

Train rolling Stock

The rail directorate manages delivery of the £475 million being used to introduce new, accessible rolling stock, as well as supporting an extensive refurbishment of trains to ensure the ScotRail fleet is fully modernised and up to the accessibility standards required.

ScotRail franchise

Scottish Ministers have specified a range of commitments to improve rail services through the Abellio ScotRail franchise:

ScotRail has established a Stakeholder equality Group, which is managed by disability organisations and informs, advises and monitors ScotRail performance in delivering services for disabled passengers.

ScotRail is required to produce a Disabled Persons Protection Policy, which is reviewed on an annual basis. This policy document sets out the range of services and information on stations and trains that will assist disabled passengers to plan, book and make their end-to-end journeys.

As part of this policy, ScotRail is required to provide a dedicated Passenger Assist service for those requesting specific assistance to use rail services.

ScotRail will provide alternative accessible transport, normally a taxi, at no additional cost to passengers who cannot use a station because it is inaccessible to them. They will be taken to the next nearest accessible station to enable them to use services from that suitable location.

The ScotRail franchise has committed £3 million specifically to support a range of smaller, access improvements at stations across the network.

The Rail directorate within Transport Scotland ensures Abellio fulfils these commitments as part of its contract obligations with Scottish Ministers.

Transport Scotland Analytical Services

Equality Budget Statement - Rural Economy and Connectivity ( REC)

Finance, Corporate, and Analytical Services ( FCAS) analysts currently lead on the drafting of the REC portfolio's chapter in the annual Equality Budget Statement, which is published at the same time as the SG Spending Review. To inform this, an analysis of the equality impact of changes in the portfolio's spend is carried out and a matrix completed. It requires close liaison with relevant policy leads across the portfolio, drawing upon existing Equality Impact Assessment's which they may have carried out.

Equality Impact Assessment

Transport Scotland's analysts are closely involved in the drafting of Equality Impact Assessments ( EQIA) within the organisation, drawing together new or existing evidence on the possible equality impacts of new or revised policies. Recent examples include providing evidence for the EQIA of the School Bus Seatbelt Bill, Blue Badge Eligibility extensions, and for rail we provided some high level analysis of the equality impacts of increases in rail fares, rail futures work, as well as in relation to provision of space for prams and buggies on trains.

Procurement of Social and Economic Research projects

In accordance with Scottish Government guidance, our analysts conduct an ethics assessment of all of our Social and Economic Research project procurement. A key part of this assessment is the consideration of equality issues in the procurement and also in the delivery of these projects. For all of our externally commissioned projects we ask that tenderers include a section in their tenders on ethics, where equality issues should be addressed. These sections are then scored, and each tenderer is expected to satisfactorily address this in their tenders, and could be excluded from the procurement exercise if they do not. For example, in the last twelve months we commissioned an evaluation of road safety resources in Scotland's schools. Although in the end it was decided not to carry out fieldwork in schools with children and young people, tenderers were expected to consider the ethical issues of conducting such fieldwork in their tenders, as well as ensuring the views of pupils from diverse backgrounds were considered.

Consultation design

Our analytical team is regularly involved in the design of public consultations on proposals for new or updated policies. Where applicable we ensure that the consultation includes questions on equality issues. For instance for a recent consultation on the School Bus Seatbelt Bill we ensured that there was a question on possible equality impacts of the inclusion of seatbelts on school buses, particularly for disabled children. Evidence collected by the consultation was used to inform the EQIA of the forthcoming Bill. The Analysis Report, Consultation on seat belt requirements for dedicated school transport, provides more details.

Recent project conducted

In 2015 a research project was commissioned on behalf of the policy team collecting evidence to inform the first ever Transport Scotland Accessible Travel Summit. Following the summit, we worked closely with policy leads to develop an outcome and indicator framework to monitor the new Accessible Travel Framework, which we plan to update.

Working in close collaboration with Scottish Accessible Transport Association ( SATA), in 2016 we updated their 'Place to Place' document, which brings together evidence on mobility and transport in Scotland for disabled passengers.

Analysts from FCAS are also members of the DfT's DPTAC (Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee) Research and Evidence group, which provides the DfT with research and evidence around disability and transport.

The Transport Scotland website provides information about access to the transport network for disabled people.


Email: Nicole Ronald, Mainstreamingequality@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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