Race Equality Action Plan programme board minutes: February 2020

Minutes from the meeting of Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) programme board, held on 4 February 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Paul Johnston, Director-General, Education, Communities andJustice (chair)
  • David Wallace, Chief Executive, Social Security Agency (arriving at 10am)
  • Dominic Munro, Director for Fair Work, Employability and Skills
  • Gavin Henderson, Deputy Director Civil Law and Legal System
  • Graeme Logan, Director of Learning
  • Joe Griffin, Director for Early Learning and Childcare
  • Kaliani Lyle, Independent member
  • Laic Khalique, Deputy Non-Executive Director
  • Lisa Bird, Deputy Director EHRTS
  • Nicky Richards, Director, People Directorate 
  • Sean Neill, Deputy Director Health Workforce
  • Mandy Watts, Race Employment, Fair and Inclusive Workplaces Unit 
  • Paul Tyrer, Acting DD Social Justice (for Shirley Laing)
  • Jess Dolan, Joint Head Equality Unit
  • Joanne Streeter, Head of Diversity and Inclusion


  • Stephen Gallagher, Director, Local Government and Communities (covered by Lisa Bird)


  • Hilary Third, Equality Unit
  • Harry Dozier, Equality Unit

Items and actions


Paul Johnston welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Board agreed to extend the length of the meeting following the EHRiC session (19 December). The purpose of the meeting was for the Board to clarify its role and methodology for ensuring the continued improvement of race equality across Scotland.

Open discussion

Board members were asked to watch the TED talk ‘How do we make race a solvable problem – and improve policing’. The group’s discussion centred on ways that improvement methodology can be applied to the anti-racist work of the Scottish Government. 

It was agreed that actions should focus on delivering a measureable impact for communities. 

How the Programme Board works

Kaliani Lyle, former Independent Race Equality Advisor, reflected that the actions in the REAP don’t reflect the level of ambition from the Race Equality Framework and her recommendations. The Board discussed ways that it could increase the level of ownership of race equality across the public sector and improve infrastructure to deliver equality.

The Board agreed that it is important to align policy and delivery. The key elements required to support the development of actions to deliver real improvement are that they are:

  • data driven
  • establish clear goals
  • outline milestones
  • call out racism specifically
  • build in a commitment to reviewing and learning
  • are clear about which Minority Ethnic groups are affected

It was agreed that the Board would benefit from further support to develop the collective understanding of racism and racial inequality. It was agreed that a ‘Development Day’ for both the Board and the Delivery Group would help facilitate that.

Year 2 report

The draft REAP annual report was presented to the group. The focus of the discussion was on considering how we can strengthen our work to increase impact in year 3. Directors were also asked to provide more robust descriptions of work already delivered in years 1 and 2 of the REAP, in a way which helps to demonstrate where we’ve made progress. 

The Board discussed ways to improve impact, including ‘prosocial’ working in the wider public sector, and in areas such as procurement.

Paul Johnston encouraged Directors to be ambitious and bold in reviewing the draft so that the report will accurately reflect our achievements so far, and our level of ambition and commitment to real change during year 3, which is the final year of the REAP.  

External engagement

There was a discussion around how we can improve the use of external expertise in race equality work. It was agreed that any type of public engagement group on race should be centred around specific topics. To this end, Fair Work has been considering establishing a stakeholder advisory group with a focus on employment which will provide advice and support to the work they are taking forward over the coming year. It was agreed that criteria for this group would be shared with the Board, and will review the effectiveness/impact of the approach taken in due course.

Any other business

The Board noted that it is important to further develop links with groups like the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls. 

It was agreed that another interim meeting ahead of the publication of the Year 2 report would be useful.


  • Equality Unit to lead on a Development Day for Board and Delivery Group members
  • the Equality Unit will get in touch with procurement colleagues to see where links can be made with race equality and feedback to the Board
  • the Board agreed to hold another interim meeting in early March ahead of the publication of the Year 2 report
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