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

Minutes of the meeting of the Personal and Social Education Delivery and Implementation Group, held on 02 June 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland

  • Children in Scotland

  • Connect

  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Chair)

  • EIS

  • General Teaching Council of Scotland


  • National Parent Forum of Scotland

  • Scottish Catholic Education Service

  • Scottish Government

  • Scottish Guidance Association

  • Scottish Youth Parliament

  • SSTA

Apologies received from the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities.

Items and actions

Note of last meeting (1 April 2021)

There were no further comments on the minutes of the last meeting. The Delivery and Implementation Group (DIG) agreed the minutes, which will be added to Scottish Government website in due course.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference have been updated to reflect feedback from the previous meeting. The DIG agreed to include a statement on considering outside influences such as reports, findings of working groups etc. as they arise. Membership outreach to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) organisations is ongoing. Scottish Government (SG) will update members list as any new organisations join. The DIG agreed to publish the terms of reference on the SG website, pending the changes above.

Action plan update

Timelines stated on the action plan are provisional and will require review as work progresses. Factors to consider include school term times; covid recovery; allowing school staff time to provide feedback and input on content, and to absorb changes in order to maximise uptake; and school staff workloads. Once sub groups are established, they will be able to suggest more achievable deadlines for individual recommendations. An early ask of sub groups is to establish their own timelines for fulfilling their allocated recommendations. The Personal and Social Education (PSE) DIG will co-ordinate with work streams across Scottish Government to see where recommendations align and might be fulfilled through other aspects of existing work, or work already done (avoid duplication), or where timelines might need aligned to other work. A consideration of how to approach consultation with pupils, teachers, parents, etc. need to be integrated into determining next steps, and should be built in to the action plan and sub group action plans. Actions to take forward: Request Ministerial clearance to move delivery deadline from March to June to align with end of school year, and clarification text of recommendation 11.2 and 11.3 in action plan (add ‘teaching’ in front of ‘qualification’ to distinguish from Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) subject qualification).

The DIG agreed for the current version of the action plan to be published on the SG website. The DIG agreed that an update on the action plan will be a standing agenda item for future meetings, with the action plan continually updated as work progresses.

[Addendum – following the meeting the joint chairs and the Secretariat discussed the Action Plan and agreed a revised action plan be developed and circulated to the group with focused actions and timescales for agreement by group members.]

Sub groups


A correction to the wording of Initial Teacher Education and Career Long Professional Learning (ITE and CLPL) subgroups was offered to reflect the General Teaching Council for Scotland's (GTCS) role in establishing professional teaching standards. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union will email suggested wording.

Discussed how to manage connection and crossover between sub groups to avoid duplication/contradiction, and ensure consistency on key issues. The DIG agreed to coordinate tasks to keep track of progress by sub groups towards action plan. An update from each sub group will be rolling agenda item. Actions to take forward: Create and update a virtual space where each sub group can upload their progress, that is visible by all members. At the first meeting of each sub group, the sub groups shall create their own action plan/remit message to help the sub group keep on track, and to be shared with the other sub groups to keep them informed. SG will create a paper, mapping out action plans of all sub groups showing where all the links are, including how different parts of the same recommendations are being delivered by different sub groups. This will be a high level map which breaks down tasks and responsibilities

The PSE DIG and associated subgroups need to be careful to set boundaries around the scope of their remits. All work needs to remain aligned with the assigned recommendations to avoid excessive workload and associated stresses. Engaging with pupils throughout the process will be of key importance. It will be important to engage with pupils right across the curriculum for excellence from early years and primary through to secondary school pupils, and ensuring the views of pupils with additional support needs are represented. There remains some muddying about the distinction between PSE and Health and Wellbeing (HWB) especially in early years and primary as opposed to secondary school. The Raising the Profile Sub Group are to determine who HWB/PSE leads are in schools, and how this is communicated to the school and wider community.

Additional groups

Under teaching resources, the group suggested creating two mini sub groups for early years/primary and secondary. The remit of these groups should be broadened to include learning and teaching. The teaching resource group(s) will map resources against the HWB Experiences and Outcomes, and source and create appropriate resources to meet these. The group suggested creating a cross-curricular sub group, but after discussion decided this was unnecessary. However all sub groups should be mindful of cross-curricular links and responsibility for HWB across the curriculum, while maintaining the distinctive remit of PSE. PSE Lead Officer Network (LON) has a group looking at sexual harassment that can be fed in to. The PSE DIG will be kept informed of work around the Mental Health Strategy, and offer support in the delivery of a whole school approach to mental health.


Organisations that have not already indicated their interest in specific sub groups should do so providing named nominees. Similar exercise has already been completed with PSE LON to avoid repetition and align that work to establish areas of interest. The PSE LON will feed into all sub groups. There should be a youth voice across all sub groups.

[Addendum – following the meeting the Joint Chairs and Secretariat discussed the number of proposed sub groups and deliverability. It was agreed a revised sub group structure be developed and circulated to group members for agreement. In particular, clear articulation of the recommendations each sub group will inform delivery of.]

Communications strategy

It was noted this would be an internal document for the group to clarify key messages and core narrative.


Agreed need to separate out into two documents as follows:

  • current strategy aimed at high level for immediate partners. For internal use to ensure DIG are consistent in messages and aims
  • a secondary document for external audiences, the purpose of which is to communicate key messages to facilitate conversations with professional partners, practitioners and wider community including parents

The group agreed upon the need to ensure focus and messaging is on HWB as well as PSE to avoid a disproportionate focus on secondary schools compared to primary and early learning centres, and maintain focus on HWB as a responsibility of all staff including in secondary schools. A primary focus should be on the relevance of PSE to children and young people. Action point: Create a child-friendly version of key messages using accessible language and bring revised version of comms strategy to next meeting.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Discussion of an FAQs response document will be brought forward to a future meeting for input.

Consultation and engagement

The Group’s approach to consultation and engagement needs to be structured as a continuous feedback loop, able to clearly communicate to children and young people how we have acted on what they have asked for was suggested. The group will look at methods of communication preferred by young people including efficacy of different social media platforms

[Addendum – following the meeting the Joint Chairs and the Secretariat discussed the purpose of the Communications strategy and agreed a preferred approach would be to develop communication papers specifically targeting key groups e.g. parents/carers, young people, organisations. A proposal will be circulated to members for agreement.] 

Any other business

There was no further business.

Date of next meeting

The group agreed the date of next meeting as 25 August 2021. Calendar invite to follow.

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