Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes April 2021: paper - school leadership and professional learning workstream

Paper for meeting of working group on 29 April 2021.


This paper endeavours to distil:

  • the issues discussed in REAREP paper 02/03 on School Leadership and Professional Learning (tabled at the meeting on 25 March) 
  • feedback received during the breakout sessions at that meeting
  • additional written feedback received from Stakeholder Network Group members following the meeting 

Emerging themes

During the breakout sessions a large number of important and diverse points of view were surfaced, which was very useful in terms of beginning to identify emerging themes in respect of this workstream. It’s clear from those discussions and comments received subsequently, that they are as follows:  

  • values
  • leadership
  • culture and ethos
  • nervousness and lack of confidence which is inhibiting action being taken and progress being made

Draft aim and actions 

The actions set out below, originated from the proposals paper shared at the first meeting and have further evolved as a result of the breakout discussion sessions at the last meeting, as well as additional comments received from members since then.  Several iterations of the aim have been considered, and the version included here reflects the ambitions in the Race Equality Framework (REF) as well as comments received from members.  

The aim and actions should set the context for this work being taken forward by the SLPL subgroup and it is important that there is agreement amongst SNG members that they are articulated accurately, in order that they can effect change.

Draft aim:  “Scotland’s educators are confident and empowered to promote equality, foster good relations and prevent and deal with racism.  As a result of understanding race in a school context, and by deploying skilled and passionate leadership they can empower and support an anti-racist culture across school communities.”   The following action, which sits under this aim in the Race Equality Framework, looks to achieve the former by doing the following:  “Ensure that equality and intercultural competency training resources are developed and made available to practitioners at all stages of their careers – through initial teacher education, induction and career long professional learning”

Draft actions

Professional Learning

Draft action 1: Provision of a range of professional learning opportunities which build confidence, supports leadership at national, regional, local and establishment levels and captures the local context and profile of the school community while challenging the perception that in a school with few minority ethnic learners this type of CLPL is not required.  This action should be developed and delivered collaboratively with local partners and third sector organisations.   

School leadership

Draft action 2: Formal and explicit planning for improvement in equalities and anti-discriminatory practice will be developed and implemented as part of school improvement planning.

Draft action 3: Support whole-school approaches to anti-racism to effect meaningful and sustainable change with a commitment to promote that approach and creating capacity building for professionals. The whole school approach includes a focus on the four contexts for learning, all ages 3-18, and emphasises the key role of the learning across the curriculum and of parents and learners in the wider life of the school community.

Draft action 4: Embedding a culture and an understanding of structural racism and anti racist practice, led by race cognisant educators, into teaching and learning across the curriculum, for example what fiction is being covered in English literature, what pioneers and influencers are being used in expressive arts, all needs to be explored. 


9.  During the discussion on agenda item 3, we hope to move to a position where members can agree, in principle, that the Race Equality Framework’s aim and associated action set out in paragraph 4,  and actions set out in paragraphs 5 - 8 are the starting point for the SLPL working group – currently being established by Lesley Whelan at Education Scotland - to begin to consider potential outputs and owners for them.  The working group will also take in to account the wider feedback collected during the breakout sessions at the last meeting, in order to ensure that the development of outputs is robust.  

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