Personal and Social Education Delivery and Implementation Group minutes: April 2021

Minutes of the meeting of the Scottish Personal and Social Education Delivery and Implementation Group, held on 01 April 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
  • Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland
  • Children’s Parliament
  • Community Trade Union
  • Connect
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Education Scotland
  • EIS
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Scottish Commission for Learning Disability
  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Guidance Association
  • Scottish Secondary Teachers Association
  • Scottish Youth Parliament

Apologies received from Scottish Catholic Education Service and School Leaders Scotland.

Items and actions

Terms of reference

It was confirmed that once agreed by group, all final and agreed papers of the group would be published on the Scottish Government (SG) website.  

The Group suggested additional organisations to be invited to join the group covering disability, early years, young carers, parent organisations and race equality organisations. Action point: SG to contact relevant organisations and invite them on to the Group.

Expectation and terms of engagement with children and young people are to be added to the terms of reference. In future meetings the PSE Delivery and Implementation Group (DIG) will discuss and agree upon an approach to consultation and engagement sessions including with children and young people and parents, and how this will be undertaken at different stages throughout the process.

The current deadline for delivery of the recommendations is March 2022. A proposal was put to the DIG to move this to end of June 2022 to better align with end of school term.

It was noted that the ToR needed to reflect the proposed incorporation of UNCRC into Scots Law. Action point: Add direct reference to UNCRC to terms of reference

PSE lead officers network (LON)

A summary was given of role of PSE Lead Officers Network, which is a network comprised of guidance teachers and other staff with responsibility for HWB in school and was established following publication of the PSE Review in January 2019. The Network is:

  • conducting a review of resources being used by PSE teachers across Scotland
  • developing a repository of resources from early years to senior phase
  • pulling these resources into a centralised resource/toolkit
  • identifying the main issues faced by teachers in delivering PSE such as monitoring and tracking, profile of PSE, sexual harassment etc

It was reported that the Network has already made a significant amount of progress on various recommendations in the action plan. It will link in with subgroups to create clear connection between PSE LON and Implementation Group. The repository and papers are still at draft stage- these will be publicly available after they have been quality assured.

The Scottish Guidance Association offered to help with different approaches to engagement. EIS and other teaching unions can help garner broader input outside of group meetings (timescales permitting). Action point: PSE LON will prepare short paper for next meeting on their work so far including the work of each of their sub groups.

Action plan

SG presented the draft Action Plan. In discussion it was noted that sub groups should be formed to take forward specific areas of work, in particular:

  • teaching resources (Rec 4, 5, 7, 9, 12)
  • initial teacher education and career long professional learning (Rec 11, 14, 15)
  • pupil engagement (Rec 8, 13)
  • third sector (Rec 12, 14)
  • service support (Rec 6, 14)

In discussion it was suggested that an additional sub group covering parent/carer engagement should be considered. It was confirmed that sub groups can opt in support from organisations who are not members of the Implementation Group in order to support delivery of the recommendation. Action point: SG will issue a summary of each sub group and what it will cover.  Members will be asked which sub group(s) they want to join.

Comments were raised in relation to recommendation 9 seeking stronger representation for learning disabilities, including prejudice and bullying/hate crime. This could include awareness raising around disabilities in education. There is potential for recommendation 9 to be considered by the third sector subgroup as well as the teaching resources subgroup, or create a separate protected characteristics subgroup with responsibility for rec 9.

Raising the profile paper

SG presented the paper to the group and highlighted that the main responsibility for implementing recommendations of the Raising the Profile paper will sit with ITE and CLPL sub group. The Group raised some comments on the paper e.g. needing clarity on who is the target audience for Raising the Profile paper; and the need to ensure publication of paper is well signposted to all school staff, especially primary teachers, PSE/Guidance teachers, and middle and senior management

PSE LON identified raising the profile as the number one issue due to consistent feedback that PSE is not taken seriously. The DOG acknowledged the importance of protected time for PSE in all sectors. Content of PSE should equip pupils to deal with challenges of 21st century. This is vital learning, but PSE is not given same profile or status as academic subjects. The PSE DIG, sub groups, and the PSE LON need to seek consistent input from parents/carers and children and young people on what they want to get out of their educational experience, including with regards to their health and wellbeing. Appropriate training for staff needs to be provided, and schools/local authorities strong relationships with third sector organisations to allow delivery of content on a range of issues. If schools are asking pupils what they want to learn about, they need to be able to deliver on those requests in a robust way.

The paper raises the need for more investment in PSE teachers including options for a PSE teaching qualification. The DIG will take forward work on how to increase the focus on PSE/HWB in initial teacher education.

The PSE DIG will explore ways to raise the profile of PSE with parents/carers, e.g. via parent councils. The aim of this is to help promote a culture among parents of discussing issues raised in PSE at home.

Any other business

COVID Recovery – focus on PSE/HWB is at the forefront of return to school considerations.

SG committed to looking at scheduling meeting times that suit education practitioners.

SG highlighted that core messaging via external networks can be a good platform to disseminate progress of the group as well as its core aims. Members agreed that this would be a good resource to have at hand. Action point: SG to present a draft communications strategy paper at the next meeting.

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