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

Minutes from the group's meeting on 27 May 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • David Roy, Chairperson
  • Maureen McKenna, Director of Education, Glasgow  
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES
  • Victoria Smith, GTCS, Director of Education
  • Dr. David Smith, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Selma Augestad, EIS
  • Nahid Aslam, NASUWT
  • Khadija Mohammad, SAMEE
  • Annette Foulcer, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
  • Matthew Sweeney, COSLA
  • 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
  • Carol Young, CRER, Deputy Director
  • Katie Ferguson, RespectME
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, P7 Teacher, Glasgow City Council 
  • Asif Chishti, Modern Languages Teacher, Fife
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Jacqueline Nimmo, Education Scotland
  • Aqeel Ahmed, Equality Unit, Scottish Government (SG)
  • Judith Ballantine, Teacher Education, Leadership and Reform (SG)
  • Siân Balfour, Teacher Education, Leadership and Reform (SG)
  • Zarina Naseem, Curriculum Unit, (SG)
  • Laura Ross, Curriculum Unit, (SG)
  • Phil Alcock, Support and Wellbeing, (SG)
  • Catherine Jamieson, Support and Wellbeing Unit, (SG)
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, (SG)

In attendance:

  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Titilayo Farukuoye, IYS
  • Crisantos Ike, MSYP, Rutherglen
  • Victory Ekpekurede, MSYP, East Kilbride
  • Chelsey Clay, SYP, product and policy officer
  • Nighet Riaz, University of the West of Scotland 
  • Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDEC
  • Jacqui Kennelly, Research and secondary teacher
  • Hakim Din, Education and race consultant


  • Samir Sharma, QIO and Equalities Lead, Glasgow 
  • Prof. Rowena Arshad CBE, former Head of Moray House School of Education
  • Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council
  • Liza McLean, Deputy Director, Learning Directorate
  • Hazel Bartels, Curriculum Unit

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the fourth meeting of the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG). Guest attendees were introduced and welcomed to the meeting. 

It was noted that the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills is Shirley-Anne Somerville. A brief will shortly be submitted to her, outlining our programme of work and core objectives. 

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting (paper 04/02) 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 (CAYP) that could work alongside the wider group – This action remains open. We have a draft specification and it will be published soon. It will be distributed to the group for information once it is published
  • to notify group members once SNG webpage goes live on SG website – This action is closed. The website is now live and members have been sent a link to the site that will include all papers and copies of previous minutes
  • Education Scotland to make final amendments to SLPL paper and continue with arrangements for subgroup – This action is closed. The SLPL subgroup have now met for the first time and plan to work on the actions to ensure they are able to establish them in an outcomes framework
  • to liaise with the SGs Data Group in order to establish what data is necessary to effectively monitor and evaluate progress of the workstream - The Data Group met on 18 May and were made aware of the DITPEW subgroup. Once formed, the subgroup will liaise with the data group regarding what data is already available, and where the gaps exist
  • rolling agenda item to be added for Maureen McKenna to provide a brief verbal update on the progress of the project to improve diversity of the teaching profession in Glasgow City Council – This action is closed. An update will be provided by Maureen

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.


  • Secretariat to notify SNG members once CAYP specification has gone live for bids

Maureen McKenna provided a brief update on the positive action being taken by Glasgow City Council to attract and encourage minority ethnic teachers to apply for Principal Teacher posts. The closing date has not yet passed, but there has been good interest and she hopes for some strong applicants. It was noted that SAMEE are running an event to provide support around interviewing skills. A further update will be provided at the next meeting.  

Revised DITPEW paper

Siân Balfour, Equalities in Education Unit, presented the distilled Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW) paper (paper 04/03), based around the discussions and feedback received at the previous meeting (29th April). She outlined next steps as:

  • the creation of the sub-group, which is now underway
  • the sub-group will then agree and take forward the actions from the revised paper and consider the outputs and owners for actions

Agreement in principle was sought on the revised paper as an approach to the work relating to the DITPEW workstream.

Some specific feedback was offered on two of the actions: 

  • action 6 - When talking about “barriers” we should make specific reference to structural and institutional racism
  • action 5 - it might be helpful to emphasise funding initiatives which would contribute to positive teaching experiences for minority ethnic young people considering joining the profession

Paper: curriculum reform

Laura Ross, Curriculum Unit, presented the paper on Curriculum Reform (paper 04/04), drawing out the following key points:

  • Scottish Government colleagues will be in touch to discuss participation in the Curriculum subgroup after the meeting. The willingness to facilitate members’ involvement, given the other pressures everyone has on their time, was emphasised
  • the paper outlined a lot of work to be done in partnership with the subgroup. The discussion of the paper should look for any misrepresentation or areas that require more detail or substance
  • Scottish Government have been listening to the need for change and it was emphasised that SG wish to work alongside external stakeholders in progressing this work
  • as previously mentioned in the meeting, an updated submission specifically on Curriculum Unit’s work will go to the Cabinet Secretary in due course
  • Learning Directorate is undertaking a session on anti-racism in June

Education Scotland outlined progress in this area, noting that their anti-racism resource document will be an online resource for practitioners which reflects Education Scotland’s public commitment to change. It recognises the key need for resources, supported by professional learning. In appendix C of the document, it  notes that curriculum mapping is under development. This is work that has been ongoing for the past year. Members offered to support the work also highlighting that they are involved in shaping resources that will support the curriculum mapping work. The resources will be piloted, using a series of webinars.

The English as Additional Language service was discussed.  Its focus is on the use of texts and literature and learning through the media and aspects of decolonising the curriculum as mentioned in the framework. In terms of challenges, one of the biggest is developing racial literacy in practitioners. If teachers aren’t racially literate they can’t encourage learners to recognise and understand race inequality and racism. It was suggested that existing resources in classrooms are reviewed, and recognition given where the resource is unacceptable.  

It was noted that the Network have discussed issues of racial literacy and teacher confidence on a number of occasions and this remains a theme that underpins all our collective work.  

The group was informed that the school libraries annual fund for 2021-22 is £200,000, enabling them to make innovative choices exclusively around racism and anti-racism. School librarians are encouraged to think about culture and racism but not in a tokenistic way, such as having sections for Black authors or Asian authors. Inclusion of texts must be embedded and normalised. It was also suggested that both fiction and non-fiction should feature.    

The local authority and ADES perspective on the paper was given. ADES represent 32 local authorities in Scotland, and have a membership of over 300 people. Key points included:

  • the authorities represented are diverse. ADES, as an organisation, has a series of networks which are involved in issues in Scottish education. Most relevant to this discussion is the curriculum assessment and qualification network, which has a commitment to race equality and anti-racism and meeting the needs of all learners
  • ADES view CfE as a cornerstone and foundation to build a curriculum that meets the needs of every child in Scotland. It includes interdisciplinary learning, and school as a community which is crucial
  • there is a need for high quality leadership and teacher development and the reach must extend beyond teachers, to the whole education workforce
  • a coverage based curriculum – where children simply get 2 hrs of a subject per week – is not ideal. It should be purpose based – including knowledge, values, and skills

It was suggested that while the curriculum is flexible, this can cause challenges where teachers lack knowledge or confidence in particular areas, as they may choose not to focus on them.

The group then moved into breakout groups to discuss the paper that had been circulated beforehand and to consider the following questions:

  • to what extent do these proposals address the structural and operational issues identified within the curriculum? Do gaps and unmet need remain within the plan that should be highlighted in advance of the Curriculum Subgroup activity?
  • are there data gaps in the Curriculum workstream plan that should be prioritised?
  • how can we meaningfully involve young people in this work over coming months?

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

Next steps and AOB

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

  • 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 curriculum reform will be revisited at the start of the next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 23 June at 15:00. The focus will be on racism, racists incidents and bullying.

There will be no meeting in July. We will return in August and have a meeting focussed on evaluation of the programme while also starting a cycle of reporting from sub-groups. 


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