Publication - Minutes

Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes: April 2021

Published: 7 Jun 2021
Date of meeting: 29 Apr 2021
Date of next meeting: 27 May 2021
Location: Virtual meeting

Minutes from the group's meeting on 29 April 2021.

Published:
7 Jun 2021
Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes: April 2021

Attendees and apologies

Present:

  • David Roy, Chairperson
  • Prof. Rowena Arshad CBE, former Head of Moray House School of Education
  • Maureen McKenna, ADES 
  • Victoria Smith, GTCS, Director of Education
  • Selma Augestad, EIS
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, NASUWT
  • Khadija Mohammad, SAMEE
  • Annette Foulcer, SQA
  • Simon Cameron, COSLA
  • Samir Sharma, QIO and Equalities Lead, Glasgow CC
  • Michael Roach, Head of Education, Inverclyde Council
  • Amy Allard-Dunbar, IYS, Policy Co-ordinator
  • Jovan Rao Rydder, IYS, Programme Manager
  • Daniella Faakor Damptey, SYP, Angus South
  • Rosy Burgess, SYP, Events and Campaign Officer
  • Lewis Hou, The Anti-Racist Educator
  • Carol Young, CRER, Deputy Director
  • Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council
  • Lorraine Glass, RespectME
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, P7 Teacher, Glasgow CC
  • Judith Mohamed, Headteacher, Old Machar Academy
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Jacqueline Nimmo, Education Scotland
  • Aqeel Ahmed, Equality Unit, SG
  • Judith Ballantine, Teacher Education, Leadership And Reform Unit
  • Siân Balfour, Teacher Education, Leadership And Reform Unit
  • Laura Ross, Curriculum Unit
  • Phil Alcock, Support and Wellbeing Unit
  • Catherine Jamieson, Support and Wellbeing Unit
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat

Apologies:

  • Pauline Stephen, General Teaching Council of Scotland
  • Katie Ferguson, RespectME
  • Parveen Khan, CEMVO, Race Equality Officer
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES
  • Dr. David Smith, SCDE
  • Liza McLean, Deputy Director, Learning Directorate
  • Zarina Naseem, Curriculum Unit

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the third meeting of the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG), noting apologies. New attendees, and those who were attending in someone else’s place were introduced.

The Chair noted that the pre-election period runs until 7 May. During this period there will inevitably be commentary on different media platforms on the manifesto commitments published by various political parties. Civil servants are restricted in what they can say, even on manifesto commitments which relate to their policy areas. On a separate, but related, note the pre-election period also means that the minutes of these meetings, the Terms of Reference and any other related papers from this programme cannot be published on the SG’s website. These will be published after 7 May.

It was noted that both CRER and IYS have published anti-racism guidance for the manifestos, available on their websites. The IYS guidance has a focus from young people’s perspective.  

The Chair noted that evaluation of the REAREP programme is currently being considered and explored. Discussions have been held with SG Analytical colleagues and a meeting will be convened to discuss evaluation before the summer break. In the meantime, SG colleagues will work up a formal proposal for evaluation. It is possible that an external contractor will be sought, in order to obtain independent expertise and analysis. If that is the case, a research advisory group will be made up of members from this group.

Action:

  • SG to notify group members once Stakeholder Network Group page goes live on SG website

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting (paper 03-02) were distributed with the papers for this meeting. An update was provided on the actions:

  • to consider options around a shadow group of children and young people that could work alongside the wider group
  • seek additional representation on the SNG from children and young people’s groups – These two actions are interlinked. A specification is currently being produced to enable a tender process to attract one (or more) organisations who will take forward this work on our behalf. This will continue to progress with the aim that the shadow group will be up and running for the start of term in August
  • circulate minutes to group members for comments approximately 1 week after meeting – This approach has now been adopted, therefore this action will be removed as a rolling item

As a general comment on the minutes, it may be helpful to note that when providing comments, the aim should be to clarify any information which may have been omitted and/or inaccurately represented.  It isn’t necessary to add context or commitments which will emerge as part of workstream development. Any comments or discussion between meetings is welcomed and members are encouraged to get in touch if they wish to engage in further conversation about any topic.

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

Revised school leadership and professional learning paper

Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland (ES), presented the revised School leadership and professional learning paper (SLPL) (paper 03-03), noting the following next steps:

  • the creation of the sub-group, which is already underway
  • the sub-group will create and take forward the actions from the revised paper

Agreement was sought on the revised paper as an approach to the work relating to the school leadership and professional learning workstream.

It was suggested that the draft aim be revised slightly to include the word ‘identify’, as indicated below in red font:

Draft aim:  “Scotland’s educators are confident and empowered to promote equality, foster good relations and identify, 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.”   

Members indicated that they were happy to see the revised paper, and that the ethos within the draft actions is terrific. It is hoped to find outputs which will lead to success, and it is important to get beyond the rhetoric of leadership, which can sometimes be a nebulous concept. 

There was some discussion on terminology used to capture this programme’s remit. The programme’s approach is consistent with the Race Equality Framework and Action Plan, both of which are predicated on the SG’s interpretation of race, which is in line with the definition in the Equality Act 2010. For the purposes of the Act, “race” includes colour, nationality and ethnicity. The REAREP will take a broad, but differentiated approach, recognising that the challenges faced by visible minority groups will be different to those faced by non-visible minority groups.  

Concern was expressed that using the term ‘minority ethnic’ in its broadest sense, may make it more difficult to ascertain whether schools really are increasing the number of teachers from visible minority groups. In order to address this, mechanisms for monitoring that level of granularity should be designed in to outputs and the evaluation process from the beginning.    

Thanks were expressed to Lesley for taking forwards the SLPL paper and making arrangements for the sub-group.

Action:

  • Education Scotland to make final amendments to SLPL paper and continue with arrangements for sub-group
  • the sub-group for the Diversity in the Teaching Profession workstream should liaise with the SG’s Data Group in order to establish what data is necessary to effectively monitor and evaluate progress of the workstream

Paper: Diversity in the Teaching Profession

Siân Balfour, Equalities in Education Unit, presented the paper on Diversity in the Teaching Profession drawing out the following key points:

  • the Diversity in the teaching profession workstream is slightly further ahead than the other workstreams due to the work of Professor Rowena Arshad and the members of the Diversity in the Teaching Profession (DiTP) working group
  • the main areas of progress in Professor Arshad’s initial DiTP working group, report were:

o    to close the awareness gap and improve levels of racial literacy within the sector
o    improve the attractiveness of ITE to students from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds and encourage more of them to consider a career in Education
o    improving the levels of data – across the sector, that includes data relating to teacher ethnicity as well as data held centrally by universities around student applications, entrants and qualifiers and
o    improving student placement experiences and support for Black and minority ethnic individuals

  • Professor Arshad’s final report, published in March 2021, highlighted areas which require new and continued focus to overcome remaining barriers, and have a workforce which better represents Scotland’s diverse communities
  • the actions, provided as an annex to the paper being presented, list black and purple actions. The purple denotes actions which members have previously seen, as they appeared in the initial proposal paper shared at the inception of the group, while the black denoted actions have been re-drafted using the findings of the final DiTP working group report
  • while the title of the workstream is diversity in the teaching profession, the target output for the sub-group (once formed) would be to consider the broader context of diversity in the education workforce as a whole

The group then moved into breakout groups to discuss the paper that had been circulated beforehand.  See Paper 03-04 – Diversity in the Teaching Profession workstream.

The group were asked to consider the following questions:

  • agree a vision for the workstream. Does the vision as set out in the Race Equality Framework - Scotland's education workforce better reflects the diversity of its communities – capture the ambitions of this worksteam?  If not, what is missing from it?
  • agree a set of actions. Looking at both sets of actions/proposals it’s clear that there is some overlap between the 2 groups. Where this occurs, breakout groups should endeavour to eliminate overlap or duplication, in order that a streamlined set can be achieved

Feedback and a summary of discussion from the breakout groups can be found as  Annex A to these minutes.

Next steps 

The Chair expressed his appreciation to all participants for their time and input and outlined the immediate next steps: 

  • comments from the breakout groups will be circulated alongside the minutes.  Upon receipt the group are asked to provide any additional comments they may have.  A revised paper on diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce will be revisited at the start of the next meeting
  • members of the group should express their interest in the sub-group for this workstream by contacting Sian.Balfour@gov.scot 

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 27 May at 15:00. The focus will be on curriculum reform.

AOB

Maureen McKenna gave an update on actions she has taken in Glasgow City Council recently, to improve the diversity of the teaching workforce. A paper setting these out was circulated prior to this meeting.  

Maureen noted the budget attached to supporting the creation of 5 promoted posts for Black and minority ethnic candidates, which will be fixed term for one year from August 2021 to August 2022.

These posts would be in an individual’s own school, unless there are exceptional circumstances to be considered. Applications will be restricted to Glasgow City Council teachers on a permanent contract who identify as being from a Black or minority ethnic background. The aim is to provide five successful candidates with strong experience of an acting role to help them with applications during 2021/22 and beyond. Successful candidates will be part of a core team reporting to their own headteacher, with communication and support from Glasgow City Council Education Services. This initiative is a good illustration of what can be done in terms of positive action within the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. 

A paper will be issued alongside the advertisement setting out the reasoning behind these posts and measures being taken, to ensure positive messaging within schools. The posts will be advertised on 14 May 2021.

Action:

  • Maureen McKenna to provide brief verbal update on progress of project at each meeting. Secretariat to add item to agenda

Papers