Attendees and apologies
- Stephen Gallagher, Director for Local Government & Communities (chair)
- Dominic Munro, Director for Fair Work, Employability & Skills
- Lesley Fraser, Director for Housing & Social Justice
- Joe Griffin, Director for Early Learning and Childcare
- Lisa Bird, Deputy Director Equalities, Human Rights & Third Sector
- Gavin Henderson, Deputy Director Civil Law & Legal System
- David Roy, Head of Teacher Education and Leadership (attending in place of Fiona Robertson)
- Joanne Streeter, Head of Diversity & Inclusion
- Kaliani Lyle, Independent Member
- Mary Berrill, HM Inspector (Senior Education Officer Inclusion), Education Scotland
- Sam, Young Scot
Also in attendance
- Harry Dozier, Equality Unit
- George Ritchie, Equality Unit
- Paul Johnston, Director-General, Education, Communities and Justice (chair)
- Fiona Robertson, Director of Learning
- Nicky Richards, Director, People Directorate
- Sean Neill, Deputy Director Health Workforce
Items and actions
Stephen Gallagher welcomed everyone to the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) Programme Board meeting. He gave apologies on behalf of Paul Johnston who normally chairs the group.
The Board approved the minutes of the previous meeting and agreed to sign off the remit by email ahead of the next meeting.
Sam, a member of the Young Scot Fairer Futures board, spoke about his experience at school. Some of the racist bullying he experienced resulted in health issues and absences from school. Even with parental involvement he continued to experience racist bullying. He felt the school just wanted him 'off their backs'.
Sam recommended that teachers receive training specifically on how to handle racist bullying. He also pointed out that there is not enough information for students on who to report racist bullying to. Many are discouraged by the lengthy process to formally report it as a hate crime.
The Board thanked Sam for his reflections and sharing his experience.
The Board agreed that anti-racist training for teachers should be a priority. They felt that there needs to be more done around mental health and the impact that racist bullying has on minority ethnic young people.
Mary Berrill gave an update on the work of Educations Scotland and the audit of resources available around race equality. They noted there are a lot of resources on anti-sectarianism but not as much on anti-racism.
Mary pointed out that the curriculum for excellence isn’t prescriptive on what is taught about the history of ME communities in Scotland and the UK. However, Education Scotland is currently creating principles for developing effective resources, case studies and appropriate equality outcomes in schools.
The Board discussed the need for culture change in schools, aligning policy and delivery. There was a feeling that many schools, as well as other organisations, are meeting the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law. For example what happens when schools don’t meet inspection standards? They also discussed how to incentivise change in schools to put equality at the centre of education.
4. Independent Race Equality Adviser
The Board discussed proposals for a new Independent Race Equality Adviser.
Kaliani Lyle, who previously held the post, said that it was a good idea to have another adviser and every person will bring their own experience to the role. She advised that, in an eventual job description, we should be clear what is expected of the adviser and how the role fits with current groups and infrastructure.
The Board agree that a continued Independent Race Equality Adviser would provide necessary independent and external challenge to the work of the REAP. They would also help keep focus of future work on impact and need for systematic change. The role will also help government work to continue to reflect the culture and values of the sector.
The Board discussed the need for the next adviser to have some understanding of improvement science. It would also be desirable for them to be able to support race equality work in terms of improvement methodology and measurement. There was also a need for this expertise within government. This would help shift the dialogue of equality towards measurement and improved methods for delivering impact.
The REAP Delivery Group held their first meeting in February. Their first meeting was focussed on the remit of the group. They also discussed how individual actions in the plan could be pulled together as a programme of work. The Delivery Group will work to provide the Board with regular updates that provide assurance on progress and add value to Board discussions.
The Board was reminded of the upcoming Race Equality Employment and Engagement Event later in March. The main topics of the event were:
- tackling institutional racism
- opportunities for ME enterprise and entrepreneurship
- intersection of race and gender employment gap
The group thanked Sam again for his contribution to the meeting.
- Paul Johnston to work with colleagues in Health to promote attendance at Board meetings
- Delivery Group to provide paper for next Board meeting
- Harry Dozier to provide outcomes from the Race Equality Employment and Engagement Event at next meeting
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