Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities Core Leadership Group minutes: December 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities Core Leadership Group on 15 December 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Mr Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education, Youth Employment and Training (Chair)
  • Fiona Drouet, Emily Test
  • Nicole Beattie, NUS Scotland
  • Suzanne Marshall, College Development Network
  • Rachel Adamson, Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
  • Jill Stevenson, University of Stirling/AMOSSHE
  • Niamh Kerr, Rape Crisis Scotland
  • Davena Rankin, UNISON
  • Natalie Webster, Colleges Scotland
  • Susannah Lane, Universities Scotland
  • Nicholas George Edwards, University of Aberdeen/University HR Network
  • Debbie Browett, Steven Paxton, and Daniel McCarron, Scottish Government

Items and actions

Introduction and welcome

The Minister welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted that there were no apologies.

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting of 30 November 2021 were approved.

Further consideration of the draft strategic plan

The revised draft Strategic Plan was presented for consideration by the Group.

The Group suggested amendments to the Plan to i) recognise that online harassment is one of the many forms of GBV; ii) include consideration of the resource implications of implementing the Group’s strategic objectives.

Action: Scottish Government officials to amend the Strategic Plan and circulate with the Group for agreement by correspondence.

Post Meeting Note: The final version of the Strategic Plan was agreed by the Group.

Development of an annual operating plan

Scottish Government officials proposed to conduct a series of one to one consultations with Group members in early 2022 to form the basis of an Annual Operating Plan, with a draft version of the Plan to be presented for discussion at the next meeting.

The Group agreed with this approach.

Action: Scottish Government officials to begin consultation with Group members on the Annual Operating Plan in early 2022.

Needle spiking discussion

Scottish Government officials provided an update from the roundtable discussion on Needle Spiking which was held on 8 December 2021.

The Group will reflect on whether the issue of spiking will be a future area of activity, as per the Annual Operating Plan.


Scottish Government officials informed the Group of recent correspondence received from the 1752 Group calling for new guidance for multiple complaints of sexual harassment in higher education, and agreed to circulate their response.

Susannah Lane advised that Universities UK have also responded to the 1752 Group on this matter and will share their response.

Action: Scottish Government officials to circulate both responses to the Group.

Date of next meeting

The Minster thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

It was agreed that the date of the next meeting will be on 24 February 2022.

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