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

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 5 October 2021.

Attendees and apologies


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


  • Natalie Webster, Colleges Scotland

Items and actions

Introduction and welcome

The Minister welcomed Niamh Kerr, Rape Crisis Scotland to the meeting.

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting of 19 August 2021 were approved.

Draft terms of reference and strategic plan

The Core Group considered a discussion paper (copies previously issued) in relation to the terms of reference of the group and the proposed strategic plan for the group. Key points discussed included:

  • a dialogical approach should underpin the development of the Strategic Plan
  • the Strategic Plan should be at a high level, set out the purpose for the group and be time bound. A focus on prevention should be one of its philosophical underpinnings
  • the Strategic Plan should complement the work of universities and other partners, such as Emily Test, and ensure that there is no duplication of effort across the sector. It was important to evaluate the effectiveness of existing work
  • Universities Scotland is at an advanced stage of developing data sharing protocols
  • strategy development and looking at a Development Officer role are two parallel conversations. It should be noted that no decision has been made by the SFC in relation to hosting the proposed Development Officer
  • the Strategic Plan should also be informed by Monitoring and Evaluation

It was agreed:

  • that Scottish Government officials would set up a series of one to one meetings with members of the Core Leadership Group
  • that a draft ToR and Strategic Plan, following on from these one to ones, be considered at a November meeting of the group
  • a further period of consultation would then be available after that so that a final version of the ToR and Strategic Plan be considered at the December meeting of the Core Leadership Group

The Minster thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

It was agreed that Scottish Government officials would liaise with the Core Group to set the November and December meetings.

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