Race Equality Action Plan programme board minutes: January 2020

Minutes from the meeting of Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) programme board, held on 10 January 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • Paul Johnston, Director-General, Education, Communities and Justice (Chair)
  • Dominic Munro, Director, Fair Work, Employability and Skills
  • Joe Griffin, Director, Early Learning and Childcare
  • Sean Neill, Deputy Director, Health Workforce
  • David Wallace, Chief Executive, Social Security Scotland
  • Graeme Logan, Director, Learning
  • Andy Drought, Deputy Director, Workforce, Infrastructure and Reform
  • Shirley Laing, Interim Director, Housing and Social Justice
  • Nicky Richards, Director, People Directorate
  • Kaliani Lyle, Independent member
  • Laic Khalique, Deputy Non-Executive Director
  • Joanne Streeter, Head of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Jess Dolan, Joint Head of Equality Unit (for Stephen Gallagher and Lisa Bird)
  • Jon Hunter, Statistician, Equality and Social Justice Analysis


  • Stephen Gallagher, Director, Local Government and Communities
  • Lisa Bird, Deputy Director, Equalities, Human Rights and Third Sector
  • Gavin Henderson, Deputy Director Civil Law and Legal System


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

Items and actions


Paul Johnston welcomed everyone to the meeting. The focus of the meeting was to review the next steps for delivering the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP), in light of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee (EHRiC) session, and to begin discussions about improving race equality data.

Update from the EHRiC evidence session

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee (EHRiC) met on 19 December to discuss Race Equality and the progress that has been made. They had previously heard from race equality stakeholders (including Kaliani Lyle) and academics at two earlier sessions.

The Committee seemed largely satisfied with the work that is taking place, and were supportive of the employment focus of the board. The official report for all three evidence sessions is now available.  

The minutes of the private session which followed the evidence session confirm that the Committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry into ‘Race Equality, Employment and Skills’. There is no more information yet about the scope or timescale of the Inquiry.

Board members outlined the areas they intended to focus on in their Directorates during the final year of the REAP, with a focus on delivering impactful progress, with a discussion about ways of shifting from process to outcome. In drawing the discussion to a close, Paul Johnston invited members to join an extended session on 4 February, which would provide time and space to reflect on delivering impact. The session would also look at issues around measuring progress, and demonstrating accountability.  

There was a discussion about the importance of the REAP Programme Board working more closely with other delivery partners across the public sector to secure meaningful change. Two examples were mentioned – education and in particular the letters Rowena Arshad (Chair of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group) had recently written to Directors of Education seeking their explicit support for showing senior leadership to supporting key recommendations arising from the group. Health and Social Care was also mentioned and Paul Johnston agreed to pick up this discussion with Malcolm Wright.

Year 2 update and conference

It was noted that following the prioritisation exercise, the Equality Unit had begun drafting the REAP Year 2 update report. This is to be a concise, high-level interim report but timelines for publishing at the end of March are extremely tight. It was also noted that planning for the end of Year 3/end of REAP report would need to start in the Spring, as this will be a  much more comprehensive review of progress, covering all the REAP actions.

The Board noted that planning for the annual race equality conference was underway and were keen to contribute to it. Given the focus on employment, it was suggested that  large employers (eg Health Boards and Local Councils) should be encouraged to attend. 

Improving data

There are several actions in the REAP around the need to improve race/ethnicity data. The Board agreed that improved data will support development of work across all government departments. This will form a substantive part of the next meeting of the Programme Board. 

Jon Hunter, Statistician in Equality and Social Justice Analysis spoke about the Equality Evidence Finder, which presents data from a number of sources, including the three main household surveys. Analysts across the Scottish Government are working to update and improve the data. 

The interim progress report on the Scottish Government's Equality Evidence Strategy was published in November and provides a good overview of equality data, and be a useful starting point for further discussion. 

The Board agreed that we need increased engagement on this issue at Deputy Director level. Jon Hunter agreed to work with Deputy Directors and analytical leaders to nominate someone from their areas to meet and discuss what data we have, what data we need, and to share best practice. 

Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 4 February. It was agreed that this meeting should be expanded from 09:00 – 11:30 to allow the Programme Board sufficient time to reflect on key themes at this crucial point. 


  • Jon Hunter to convene a meeting of nominated leads around data
  • Paul Johnston to contact Malcolm Wright from Health and Social Care Management Board
  • Equality Unit to coordinate expanded 4 Feb meeting
Back to top