Race equality action plan: final report

Progress made on the actions in the Race Equality Action Plan 2017 to 2021 and action taken to tackle race inequality in response to the 2020 to 2021 COVID-19 pandemic as well as action from 2021 onwards to implement the aims of the Race Equality Framework 2016-2030.

ANNEX I – General and Cross-Cutting

These annexes provide updates on all original actions from the Race Equality Action Plan followed by updates on the reprioritised and refocused actions from the end of Year 2. Additional activity in Year 3 that has taken place in response to either COVID-19 or Black Lives Matter is then captured.

Action status categorisation is as follows

  • Complete*
  • Ongoing**
  • Paused
  • Reprioritised

*We cannot see this work as being done just because an action has been completed within a timeframe. For some actions, the marking of a status as complete may mean that the specific one-off action as originally proposed has been undertaken however work continues in this area and this is reflected in the update.

** Actions may be marked as 'ongoing' for the same reason. Much of the work reflected in these annexes is long-term in nature and continues beyond the end of the REAP.

Multi-year actions
We will have new governance arrangements involving senior officials to ensure co‑ordination and drive on race equality over the lifetime of this action plan. Complete The governance structure implemented for the Race Equality Action Plan consists of a Programme Board, providing senior level leadership and strategic direction, and a Delivery Group, providing operational oversight and accountability for the actions arising from the plan. The Programme Board is chaired by the Director-General Education, Communities and Justice, with membership drawn from Directors with responsibility for key themes within the REAP and representation from key delivery partners. The Programme Board was set up with an initial remit to meet quarterly, however, following the re-prioritisation exercise at the end of Year Two and in response to the impact of COVID and Black Lives Matter, the decision was made to increase the frequency of meetings. Eight meetings took place in 2020 and two have taken place so far in 2021. Delivery Group membership is made up of Deputy Directors supported by lead policy officials in relevant policy areas. The Delivery Group met three times in 2020 and has met once to date in 2021. During the lifetime of the Race Equality Action plan, the Expert Reference Group for COVID-19 and Ethnicity became a new part of the landscape and the work that they have undertaken, and their recommendations, is core to our current work and the direction of future Race Equality action and activity.
We will encourage public bodies subject to Ministerial control to identify a senior official with lead responsibility for race equality and to carry out regular reviews on race equality issues. Ongoing We recognise that there is much more for us to do to ensure and embed accountability both within Government and outside. This has been further highlighted through the recommendations of the Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity. As part of our work in response to the Equality and Human Rights Committee's report on race equality, employment and skills we are holding a Public Sector Leadership Summit on 24 March 2021 involving leaders and representatives of public authorities in areas of health, education, and justice with representation from local government and public bodies. The programme will include independent expert, race-experienced facilitators. A core purpose of the summit is to achieve commitment from public sector leaders to understand institutional racism and take forward the committee's recommendations.
Working with public sector partners, including COSLA, we will focus on embedding the co‑ordination and delivery of race equality in policy and practice. This will be part of the 2018-19 work-plan of the Scottish National Equality Improvement Project (SNEIP), including improving data collection and use, reviewing induction and CPD training for staff and sharing examples of innovative workplace practices/positive action. Ongoing The Scottish National Equality Improvement Project (SNEIP) continues to provide a means through which the Scottish Government can work closely with a wide range of public authorities, including COSLA and others, to shape the review of the Scottish Specific Duties under the PSED. Going forward SNEIP will be able to advise the Scottish Government in an oversight capacity on the experience of public authorities' compliance with the PSED; this includes assisting in shaping distinct pieces of work, such as the review of the operation of the Public Sector Equality Duty. SNEIP is now in a renewal phase and will be considering how best public bodies can move forward the race equality agenda at its next meeting, likely to be in summer 2021. Improving data collection and use is a plank of the new mainstreaming strategy which is now in development; and colleagues in Communities Analysis Division are also working up an extensive programme of equality evidence improvement projects. Discussions are continuing with SNEIP about best to share examples of innovative workplace practices/positive action, and we have recently commenced the co-ordination of a regular update to SNEIP members which will provide opportunities for further sharing. The ongoing review of the operation of the PSED in Scotland also provides an opportunity to review the effectiveness of the equality framework in terms of how well it supports the co-ordination and delivery of race equality in policy and practice.
Jointly with the Scottish Councils Equality Network we will hold a roundtable event in spring 2018 to develop opportunities and practical shared actions for Scottish local authorities to reach the ambitions of the Race Equality Framework and its Action Plan. This specific roundtable event did not take place, however there is regular engagement between policy teams and COSLA in relation to specific areas of race equality work, for example race equality in Education and in Employment. We will engage with COSLA and other public sector partners as we develop the bridging plan to ensure activity is linked to the Race Equality Framework and its principles and outcomes, and that we implement robust feedback and accountability mechanisms to help support this.
We will review the training and guidance relating to equality and procurement provided to procurement professionals and to suppliers. Complete The guidance relating to equality and procurement was reviewed, and the updated guidance was endorsed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). This guidance is available from our sustainable procurement tools platform. The sustainable procurement tools link to Scotland's National Performance Framework providing a line of sight between our procurement activity and local and national strategic priorities through the National Outcomes and Indicators. Public sector procurement practitioners are being encouraged to consider equality systematically alongside other social, economic and environmental factors through use of the tools and associated equality guidance. The tools, along with the associated guidance are free to access for any parties with an interest in our approach to sustainable public procurement. In partnership with EHRC we developed a course on "Equality in Procurement" through our sustainable procurement training framework. That course has trained around 90 public sector procurement practitioners from across the Central and Local Government sectors. This delivery of approximately 600 hours of training has encouraged public sector procurement practitioners to identify and pursue equality outcomes in relevant procurements since 2018.
Multi-year actions
Action Action Status Update
We will develop a resource for evidence-based quality criteria for equality training for public sector workers. Working with partners we will have this in place by 2018-19 and encourage its use to the public sector. Complete Scottish Government agreed that this resource would be developed by CRER. Following extensive background research into the effectiveness of equality training interventions, the resource "Race Equality Training in Scotland's Public Sector: Ten Standards for Training from an Anti-Racist Perspective" has now been published and is available from www.crer.scot
We will modernise the Equality Evidence Finder web resource and improve the presentation of our online ethnicity evidence to better meet the needs of its users over the next two years. Over the four year period of the Equality Evidence Strategy, we will prioritise identified gaps, define projects and work with research partners to improve the evidence base on ethnicity. Complete The Scottish Government's Equality Evidence Finder web resource was revamped and modernised in 2019 following engagement with users. Key new features include:
  • Interactive user friendly charts.
  • Improved navigation features leading to increased usability.
  • Improved accessibility.
  • A new section presenting available data broken down by socio-economic status.
  • An NPF Evidence Finder, showing NPF indicators and the equality breakdowns within these.
  • A new section displaying COVID-19 analysis.
The Equality Evidence Strategy provided a steer for the Scottish Government to improve Scotland's equality evidence base over the past four years, including on ethnicity. An interim progress report, published in late 2019 highlighted improvements Equality evidence strategy 2017 to 2021: interim progress report - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) The strategy will be refreshed in late 2021 and, moving forward, will be informed by an Equality Data Improvement Programme and guided by a high level steering group.
We will ask enterprise agencies how we can increase the number of businesses who produce pay gap reports and action plans and continue to signpost businesses to the relevant guidance available. Ongoing This work has not been progressed as we had planned, however we recognise that pay gap information is crucial to tackling inequalities and we are looking at scope to take this action forward in a more impactful way.


Email: charlie.goodwin@gov.scot

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