Publication - Minutes

Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education minutes: March 2018

Published: 1 Jun 2018
Date of meeting: 13 Mar 2018
Location: Victoria Quay, Edinburgh

Minutes from the meeting of the Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education Working Group held on 13 March 2018.

Published:
1 Jun 2018
Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education minutes: March 2018

Attendees and apologies

Present

  • Gareth Allen, Directorate of Advanced Learning and Science, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Saira Kapasi, Head of Violence Against Women and Girls, Justice Unit, Scottish Government (Co-Chair)
  • Nicola Cogan, Justice Directorate, Scottish Government
  • James Boyce, Directorate of Advanced Learning and Science, Scottish Government
  • Steven Paxton, Directorate of Advanced Learning and Science, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
  • Mrs Fiona Drouet, #emilytest
  • Anni Donaldson, Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Equally Safe in Higher Education Lead, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde
  • Kelly Claffey, Equally Safe Higher Education Team, University of Strathclyde
  • Mhairi McGowan, ASSIST, Glasgow
  • Anne-Marie Hicks, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Jenny Lees, Campaigns and Engagement Manager, NUS Scotland
  • Shuwanna Aaron, NUS Scotland, Women’s Officer
  • Dr Matson Lawrence, Scottish Funding Council
  • Detective Inspector Julie Marshall and Detective Chief Inspector Rory Hamilton, National Rape Task Force and Human Trafficking Unit, Police Scotland
  • Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
  • Susannah Lane, Head of Public Affairs, Universities Scotland
  • Sandy Maclean, College Development Network
  • Roseanna Macdonald, Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Kathryn Dawson, Rape Crisis Scotland

Apologies

  • Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, Police Scotland
  • Neil Rennick, Director of Justice, Scottish Government
  • Ria Phillips, Justice Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Isabelle Kerr, Rape Crisis Centre, Glasgow
  • Marie-Claire Chaffey, Senior Procurator Fiscal Depute, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Scott Anderson, Education Scotland
  • Suzanne Marshall, College Development Network
  • Helen Martin, STUC

Items and actions

1. Welcome and introduction

Gareth Allen, Scottish Government, welcomed Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and Principal Lead for GBV at Universities Scotland and Roseanne Macdonald, Scottish Women’s Aid, to the Working Group, and invited those attending to introduce themselves.

2. Notes of previous meeting

The notes of the meeting of the Working Group of 26 January 2018 were approved, subject to an amendment, to reflect that developing work around Fresher’s Week and the start of the College Year was a task rather than an objective of the Working Group.

3. Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education: Toolkit

Anni Donaldson, University of Strathclyde advised that the Toolkit would be complete by the end of the month. It would consist of two sections: context and a checklist (including templates and research tools). The Toolkit would initially be hosted on the University of Strathclyde’s web site, and would also be available on a memory stick, and have an initial print run of 200 copies. Independent hosting arrangements would be considered in due course. The University of Strathclyde is currently working with the Scottish Government on launch arrangements. The Toolkit could also be disseminated through the offices of Universities Scotland and the College Development Network. Anni acknowledged the contribution of stakeholders to the development of the Toolkit.

Saira Kapasi explained that the Scottish Government is looking to continue the approach that has been started by the Strathclyde team, and encourage further collaborative working. The Government is currently considering a proposal that has been submitted to further support the adoption of the Toolkit across universities, and consider how the Toolkit could be applied to colleges. The Scottish Government is keen to retain the experience that has been gained from the Strathclyde team and have that available to support other institutions to apply the principles of the Toolkit. This will ensure a consistent approach across Scotland. A further report on proposals to roll out the Toolkit will be submitted to the next meeting of the Working Group. This will address, amongst other things (a) a national coordinating and support role for the dissemination; (b) an ESHE Toolkit early adopting approach; (c) an implementation plan to support HEI’s adopting the Toolkit; and (d) progress reports to the Working Group.
Action: Proposals for the dissemination of the Toolkit to be brought to the next meeting.

4. Fresher’s Week and Start of College Year: Outline Initial Ideas

Steven Paxton introduced a discussion paper on potential actions around Fresher’s Week and the start of the college year. The paper proposed a number of pilot areas and learning therefrom to inform a wider campaign. A number of comments were made on the paper.

  • campaigning and awareness raising work should ideally start as students register for the University or College, not just in Fresher’s Week, and also with proper training be in place for staff to support this
  • campaigning and awareness raising should take place across all institutions and should utilise the helplines already in place from Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland
  • while a national approach would be welcome, it was acknowledged that institutional infrastructure to support was a consideration
  • campaigning and awareness raising could make use of the work already undertaken by NUS Scotland in relation to Support Cards
  • campaigning and awareness raising should focus on prevention

It was agreed that a Sub Group (including members of the Working Group and stakeholders such as LGBT Youth Scotland, Zero Tolerance and Shakit Women’s;’ Aid) be formed to look at potential action around Fresher’s Week, and that this should also consider existing campaigns and services available to support.

Action: Steven Paxton to arrange for the Sub Group to meet.

5. Draft Wording for the Letter of Guidance from the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC)

Gareth Allen advised that the Minister was keen to hear the views of the Working Group in connection with her Letter of Guidance to the SFC, and potential text on Equally Safe in Further and Higher Education. Some draft initial wording was distributed at the meeting. A number of suggestions were made:

  • there should be a stronger emphasis on prevention, links to the Toolkit and an upfront statement about the gender analysis approach
  • reference should be made to working with students as active players and acknowledging and embracing existing knowledge in the sector
  • there should be reference to quarterly or six monthly reporting and institutional Gender Action Plans * the SFC need to explore reporting with the sector and how this could happen

The Scottish Government will develop further draft text, taking account of these observations, and reissue to the Working Group for further comments.

Action: Steven Paxton/Gareth Allen to revise the draft text and reissue to the Working Group for comment.

6. The Emily Test Petition

Mrs Drouet explained that she had handed in the Emily Test Petition (http://emilytest.co.uk/) to Ms Somerville on 20 February 2018 at the Scottish Parliament. The Petition had attracted almost 13,000 signatories. Mrs Drouet welcomed the opportunity to shape the Ministerial Letter of Guidance to the SFC.

Mrs Drouet had also met with Universities Scotland where she had discussed the importance of reporting requirements, the role of tutors, first responders, bystander training, notices on the back of student doors and the NUS Scotland cards. She will also be meeting with the College Development Network Chief Executive.

Mrs Drouet emphasised, that the adoption of the Toolkit had to be more than a ‘tick box’ exercise, the importance of continuing the work undertaken by the Strathclyde Team, and the importance of the joint working between Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland.

Action: The Working Group noted Mrs Drouet’s presentation and congratulated her on the success of the Petition.

7. Updates

7.1 Engaged Conversations

Steven Paxton updated the Group on the progress made with the Engaged Conversations, through which the Working Group was engaging with a wider set of stakeholders. Conversations had, thus far, taken place with Education Scotland, VAWG Network (Improvement Service), UCU, Scottish Women’s Aid, Education Scotland, UCU. Conversations were planned with Unite the Union, Unison, EIS, Highland Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Head of Child Protection (Scottish Government), Education Scotland (second conversation). Key points emerging from the conversations were: the Importance of reporting pathways and training for all university/college staff; the need for a consistent approach for HE/FE in tackling GBV; links to Community Planning Partnerships and highlighting tackling GBV in Local Outcome Agreements.

A full report on the Engaged Conversations will be submitted to the June meeting of the Working Group.

Action: Noted. Steven Paxton to submit a full report to the June meeting of the Working Group.

7.2 Review of Pinset Mason Guidelines

Anne-Marie Hicks, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, advised that the review was on-going and there could be improvement within a Scottish context in relation to:

  • corroboration
  • disciplinary procedures
  • reporting a crime
  • more work on referral to support services
  • misconduct – sanctions but no clarity
  • high risk behaviours (stalking and domestic abuse)
  • Risk Assessment
  • noted that the guidelines are student to student only, therefore look to extend this to staff as well

It was suggested that Scottish guidelines would be, perhaps, be more appropriate. Universities Scotland offered to work with stakeholders in developing this.

Action: Saira Kapasi, Scottish Government to pull together a group to take this forward. Susannah Lane, Universities Scotland to advise on the status of the guidance and assist on what action can be taken to develop guidance fit for the Scottish Context.

7.3 Update on Developments in the UK Context

Susannah Lane, Universities Scotland submitted a paper outing current developments at a UK level in tacking GBV.

Action: Noted

8. Dates of Future Meetings

Steven Paxton, Scottish Government submitted a report setting out the dates of future meeting from June to September 2018.

Date Time Venue
1 June 2018 10.00 am – 12:00 noon Conference Room 4 and 5, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh
27 July 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 noon Conference Room 4 and 5, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh
28 September 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 noon Conference Room 4 and 5, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh

The Working Group noted the dates.

9. Chair of the Working Group

Gareth Allen, Scottish Government, proposed that the role of Chair be rotated with, if the Working Group agreed, Saira Kapasi and Gareth Allen rotating as Co-Chair and Chair.

The Working Group agreed the arrangements.

Action: Saira Kapasi, Scottish Government to act as Chair for the next meeting of the Working Group.

The meeting finished at 10:55 am.

Contact

Gareth.Allen@gov.scot

Advanced Learning and Science Directorate,
Higher Education and Science,
6th Floor,
5 Atlantic Quay,
150 Broomielaw,
Glasgow
G2 8LU

Telephone: 0300 244 6722