LGBT Inclusive Education Implementation Group minutes: September 2020

Minutes from LGBT Inclusive Education Implementation Group meeting on 30 September 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Stonewall Scotland
  • Education Scotland
  • TIE Campaign
  • Association of Directors of Education
  • Scottish Government Learning Directorate
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Scottish Youth Parliament
  • National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Equalities and Human Rights Commission
  • respectme
  • The Equality Network

Items and actions

Welcome, introductions and apologies.

Apologies had been received from Scottish Government Equalities Unit and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Note of last meeting (29 January 2020).

The note of the last meeting held on 29 January 2020 was agreed for publication.

Action plan and risk register

It was agreed to provide a snap shot of progress with the Action Plan for the next meeting. The Risk Register would be updated to take account of the impact of COVID.

a.    Young People Engagement: update

The Group supported the revised proposal to move the engagement event to an online setting but it was noted it was important to keep the engagement contained. It was important to be mindful of consultation fatigue amongst some young people and suggested trying to reach out to different groups of young people.

There was also potential for signposting and joining up between this event and respectme‘s campaign event for this year ‘What made it better’.

The Group also noted and agreed to the potential for a Young Scot survey to assist with young people engagement.

b.    Initial Teacher Education Institutions Engagement: update

The Group noted the Council of Deans had previously agreed to the Working Group’s recommendations on ITE institutions and had agreed to five commitments at a roundtable in February 2020 although it was highlighted some hiccups had been encountered. The commitments agreed to by the ITE institutions were:

  • they will integrate LGBT content within core modules
  • champion the inclusion of cross curricular LGBT content within new course textbooks, teaching materials and resources
  • confirm how student placement protocols will be used to support their duty of care responsibilities for students whilst on placement
  • raise awareness of LGBT inclusion amongst all their staff
  • equip all students to teach LGBT inclusion in any school in Scotland

Action point:

  • Secretariat to contact Scottish Council of Deans of Education regarding difference in views between ITE institutions in embedding learning on LGBT inclusive education to ensure a uniform approach
  • LGBT Youth Scotland activities need to be included in the spreadsheet showing current LGBT inclusive practice

Education Scotland noted they had been approached by a PDGE Course Lead from Glasgow University for input on an LGBT inclusive education lecture.

c.    Curricular benchmarks: update

The Group heard the paper submitted to the Curriculum Assessment Board had been accepted and the Board were happy to sign up to its proposals. Education Scotland and the Scottish Government would convene a Short Life Working Group (SLWG) shortly. Members who had already volunteered to be part of the SLWG were thanked.

The SLWG would look at experiences and outcomes and benchmarks as a package and would consider the outcomes from the revised RSHP guidance as part of the process to see what can be taken from there to strengthen the final package. Progress of the SLWG would be reported back to the Group (Action Point).

EIS noted their interest in the link with the racial equality work and the work on LGBT benchmarks. The Group noted the importance of focus on other protected characteristics. Support for the Benchmarks work was noted among the Group and it was further noted this could provide a blueprint for other protected characteristic work

The Group was also reminded that intersectionality was important as we this work is driven forward.

d.    Course specifications: update

An update from SQA is attached to this note.

e.    Teaching resources: update

EIS were happy to share further resources.

Education Scotland highlighted a need for the right resources, as these are key to success in practitioners who are confident in using them. Teaching materials and learning journeys need to map against benchmarks and E’s and O’s as some resources are currently too high level. There was further agreement on teacher confidence and that teachers want hands on materials.

TIE noted they were developing a suite of digital resources, which should be available by the end of 2020/early 2021, related to the curriculum with others more related to whole school approaches, they found it useful to categorise resources. TIE noted they had done a resource gap analysis for primary and secondary schools, which they would share with the Group (Action Point). Education Scotland highlighted the webinars and ‘Blethers’ they have been running for education staff.

Gaps were therefore noted at early years and primary level but also in intersectionality. On the SCES materials, it would be useful to get clarification on what can/can’t be included in the Hub (Action Point).

f.    Continuous lifelong professional learning: update

The Group heard funding had been set aside and a specification drafted for a procurement exercise to cover the related recommendations. The tender would be issued including the member organisations of the Group. There was no timescale on issuing of the tender but the Group would be kept updated (Action Point).

Development of evaluative approaches on LGBT inclusion to inform recommendations review

TIE queried with the PSE Review examples, is it one approach being proposed for evaluative approaches or is it effective practices? It would be sensible to consolidate the options being proposed.

respectme noted they had produced a self-evaluation assessment on anti-bullying and there was potential to follow this model. This would be presented at the next meeting (Action Point).

LGBT Youth Scotland suggested there needed to be some triangulation, with views from children, teachers and the Group covering short and long term. It was also suggested there needs to be a review of the remaining actions. A focussed paper would be prepared for the next meeting, reviewing the actions against the current recommendations and setting out the way forward within the principles of the Group and with an understanding of the impact on teachers and young people (Action Point). The paper would consider an evaluation of the longer term impact (perhaps over five years) on pupils, teachers, learning delivery, potential role of inspection as well as LGBT organisations own evaluations.

It was also requested the inspection prompt questions be recirculated (Action Point).

Any other business

EHRC noted they were hoping to reinvigorate a project on pupil exclusions in Scotland.

It was asked whether Joanna Murphy would remain as member of the group. This would be raised with NPFS by their representative.

TIE sought an update on their Families and Communities Fund bid.

It was suggested a draft communication strategy paper be prepared for the next meeting (Action Point). The strategy would draw on Department for Education RSHE guidance, the latest version of the NPFS parent/carer information leaflet and include a rebuttals style document similar to the one prepared for the RSHP resource (RSHP rebuttals to be circulated (Action Point)).

Date(s) of next meeting(s)

The next meeting would be held virtually and the date will be confirmed in due course.

 SQA update

For SQA to meet recommendation 15 of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group we have taken forward the project in the following way.

Identifying opportunities

Internal engagement identified that the most appropriate way to ensure SQA meets the above recommendation was to explore opportunities to embed and assess LGBT issues within course content and to highlight where there are existing opportunities through personalisation and choice for learners to engage with LGBT issues in their assessments. Desk research was carried out to identify across National Courses (National 5 to Advanced Higher) opportunities in each approach. 

This identified the following three categories of opportunity.

Embedded content – mandatory assessable content 

In each National Course, the Course Specification includes a ‘Skills, knowledge and understanding’ section which outlines the content which the course assessment will be based on. The inclusion of LGBT content in this section means that centres will be aware that this content is assessable. For example, in a Question Paper, this content may be mandatory and will be assessed every year; or it may be sampled every other year or so; or it may form an option section in some Question Papers where candidates choose to answer those questions. The format here largely depends on how the relevant Course Assessment is currently structured.

Selected content – optional material within a course assessment

This is the assessment of LGBT content, which is not actually specified in the Course Specification, but which is included in a Course Assessment, from time to time. An example of this could be the inclusion of a non-fiction text dealing with LGBT matters in ‘Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation’ assessment in National 5 English.

Personalisation and choice in coursework

This is the assessment of LGBT content essentially selected by the candidate, for example, in their Coursework assessment in a relevant National Course. 

Proposed next steps

Discussions with SQA Qualifications Managers, Subject Implementation Managers and National Qualifications Support Teams have identified the following opportunities under the relevant classifications.

Classification: embedded content

National course subjects:

  • History National 5 and Higher
  • Politics National 5 and Higher
  • Modern Studies Higher
  • RMPS National 5 and Higher

Classification: selective content

National course subjects:

  • English National 5 and Higher
  • Media
  • Care Higher
  • Sociology Higher 
  • Dance
  • Drama

Classification: personalisation and choice

  • Psychology Higher
  • Art and Design
  • Photography 

‘Embedded’ and ‘selective’ content

LGBT issues/content could be included in the course specifications of the subjects that fall into the categories of Embedded Content and Selective Content. For some subjects there are reading lists, where opportunities to include LGBT texts will be explored.

‘Personalisation and choice'

Good practice can be exemplified in National Courses where Personalisation and Choice is the preferred approach, for example, through case studies and showcasing project assessment work. These could be hosted on the SQA website in a dedicated LGBT area.


SQA currently exemplifies a range of good practice including LGBT on existing subject pages and there may be opportunities to develop and expand on these. There may also be opportunities to highlight and exemplify good practice in some subjects that are in the Selective Content category.


It was initially identified that LGBT content, in the Embedded Content classification could be included for delivery and assessment in Diet 2022. However, with the impact of Covid-19 on National Courses and the anticipated delay of implementation of the recommendations, this is unlikely to now be realistic. LGBT content in both Selective Content and Personalisation and Choice could be included on the SQA website by 2021.

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