Publication - Minutes

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

Published: 6 Oct 2021
Date of meeting: 26 Aug 2021
Location: Virtual meeting

Minutes from the group's meeting on 26 August 2021.

Published:
6 Oct 2021
Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes: August 2021

Attendees and apologies

Present:

  • Judith Ballantine, Chairperson
  • Maureen McKenna, Director of Education, Glasgow  
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES
  • Selma Augestad, EIS
  • Nahid Aslam, NASUWT
  • Samir Sharma, QIO and Equalities Lead, Glasgow 
  • Khadija Mohammed, SAMEE
  • Annette Foulcer, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
  • Matthew Sweeney, COSLA
  • Michael Roach, Head of Education, Inverclyde Council
  • Amy Allard-Dunbar, IYS, Policy Co-ordinator
  • Rosy Burgess, SYP, Events and Campaign Officer
  • Carol Young, CRER, Deputy Director
  • Parveen Khan, CEMVO
  • Katie Ferguson, RespectME
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, P7 Teacher, Glasgow City Council 
  • Asif Chishti, Modern Languages Teacher, Fife
  • Judith Mohamed, Headteacher, Old Machar Academy, Aberdeen
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Jacqueline Nimmo, Education Scotland
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland 
  • Aqeel Ahmed, Equality Unit, Scottish Government (SG)
  • Siân Balfour, Teacher Education, Leadership and Reform (SG)
  • Laura Ross, Curriculum Unit, (SG)
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare
  • Keith Dryburgh, Education Analytical Services 
  • Charlie Goodwin-Smith, Equality Unit
  • Neve Rawlinson, Equality Unit
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, (SG)

Apologies:

  • Prof. Rowena Arshad CBE, Former Head of Moray House School of Education
  • Jovan Rao Rydder, IYS, Programme Manager
  • Jim Metcalfe, Chief Executive, College Development Network
  • Daniella Faakor Damptey, SYP, Angus South
  • Catherine Jamieson, Support and Wellbeing Unit, (SG)
  • Zarina Naseem, Curriculum Unit, (SG)
  • David Roy, Teacher Education, Leadership and Reform (SG)

Items and actions

Welcome, introductions and update

The chair welcomed everyone to the sixth meeting of the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG).  

She noted that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville who was meant to attend the meeting had sent her apologies. Officials are in discussion with her Private Office about the possibility of her attending a future meeting, in order that she is able to gain an insight in to the really quite substantial efforts made by this group over the last 6 months.  

The chair noted the comms activity linked to this meeting which had received good traction: a news release issued which highlights the publication of Education Scotland (ES), the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) and Scotdec’s resources and noting the work this group has taken forward in its first 6 months. The chair extended thanks to everyone who had highlighted these resources on their respective social media platforms and encouraged members who hadn’t, to do so. The news release and links to the resources can be found on the Scottish Government’s website and Twitter feed:  @ScotGovEdu.  

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting (paper 06/02) were distributed with the papers for this meeting. An update was provided on the actions:

  • make arrangements for Cabinet Secretary to join SNG meeting at end of August. – This action remains open. Officials will work with Ms Somerville’s Private Office to identify a new date for her to attend
  • Equalities in Education Unit to liaise with policy colleagues in Early Learning and Childcare to establish any work already under way that links with the work of this group and provide an update at the next meeting. – This action is closed. The issue of early years education and whether it should be included in this programme has been raised by some members of this group.  Scott Sutherland from Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has joined the group and consideration will be given on how to fold in the work he and colleagues are doing on anti-racism in ELC settings
  • Equality Unit colleague to provide update to SNG on Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) and how our work will fit in with that. – This action is closed. Charlie Goodwin-Smith from the Scottish Government’s Race Equality Team is attending this afternoon to provide an overview in terms of next steps with the Race Equality Action Plan
  • scrutiny as a future agenda item. The recently announced change to the future of HMIe may provide an opportunity to feed into that. – This action remains open. We’re hoping to have Ken Muir attend a future meeting of this group and that issue may arise then

Rolling items from previous minutes:

  • to consider options around a shadow group of Children and Young People (CAYP) that could work alongside the wider group. – This action remains open. An open competition was held using the Scottish Government’s procurement process and interest was received from organisations in taking that work forward. That assessment has almost concluded and the outcome will be shared shortly
  • secretariat to notify SNG members once Children and Young People’s Group (CAYP) specification has gone live for bids – covered in the action above
  • DITPEW subgroup to liaise with the Scottish Government’s Data Group in order to establish what data is necessary to effectively monitor and evaluate progress of the workstream – This action remains open until the DITPEW has been properly established and will meet with the Data Group to consider what data is already available, and where the gaps exist

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

Workstream updates

An update was provided on the latest position of each workstream subgroup.

School Leadership and Professional Learning (SLPL)

Carol Young, member of the SLPL subgroup.

This subgroup has the advantage of being established the longest, and has met three times. Detailed thinking has been undertaken at these meetings, and actions have been planned which will contribute to the agreed overarching aim.

The group have identified some themes that need to be taken account of, namely the role of values; leadership; culture and ethos; and nervousness and reticence among teachers which can inhibit action being taken and progress being made.

Four headline areas for action will be developed further into sets of concrete actions that will lead to different pieces of work and outputs:

  • the provision of a range of professional learning opportunities which builds racial literacy, while challenging the perception that in a school with few minority ethnic learners this type of career-long professional learning (CLPL) is not required
  • formal and explicit planning for improvement in equalities and anti-discriminatory practice will be developed and implemented as part of school improvement planning
  • supporting whole-school approaches to anti-racism with a commitment to promote that approach and create capacity building for professionals
  • embedding a culture and an understanding of structural racism and anti-racist practice into learning and teaching across the curriculum

It was highlighted that the actions of this workstream will be influenced by the work of the other three subgroups, as school leadership and professional learning is crucial to them all.  

Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW)

Selma Augestad, chair of the DITPEW subgroup.

The subgroup met for the first time on 1 July 2021. As well as members of the Stakeholder Network Group, they have also welcomed some additional members to provide specific expertise and input to the group – Yasmeen Hussain representing Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE), Navan Govender, from The Anti-Racist Educator and Simon Cameron representing the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

The focus of discussion at the first meeting was around the vision statement and purpose as part of a draft Terms of Reference for the group. One of the early priorities for this work, is the creation of a new national post to provide focused leadership. This was one of the recommendations made by the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group in their final report. The post will be funded by the Scottish Government, but will sit within the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). A draft job remit is currently being agreed with input from the subgroup.

Maureen McKenna suggested that the subgroup could document lessons learned in relation to creating job remits, for example, when using the provisions relating to positive action as set out in the Equality Act. Different local authorities – and departments within them – have differing understandings of the nuances around positive action and advice for local authorities on how to use those provisions more effectively would be useful.  It was suggested that this topic be added as an agenda item for the subgroup.

Selma confirmed that similar issues had been raised during a pre-meet of the group, acknowledging that any job remit must be legally robust in terms of protected characteristics.    

The second meeting of the subgroup is being rescheduled for the first half of September, where they will conclude discussions around their Terms of Reference and aim to finalise a set of actions.

Curriculum reform

Laura Ross, member of the Curriculum Reform sub group.

The subgroup met for the first time on 23 August 2021 and appointed a chair, Khadija Mohammed, and a deputy chair, Jovan Rao Rydder, to lead and steer the subgroup over the months ahead. The focus of the first meeting was on process in relation to clarity on the language being used, and the principles being applied to the group. Agreement was reached on the key pillars of the work ahead of the group, as being the Curriculum Framework and the resources that can support learning and teaching. Additional priorities include the senior phase (specifically qualification and career advice), engaging with parents/families and the wider community, and supporting pupil-led learning. 

The importance of the wider programme and the interactions with the other three subgroups was highlighted, especially the SLPL subgroup.

Helpful feedback had been received from young people attending the subgroup that papers and information related to the REAREP are not always presented in a way which is wholly accessible. Officials will seek advice, including with young people on how best to implement this feedback, ensuring that meetings and papers are more accessible and do not create barriers to engagement. It was highlighted that this helpful feedback may be relevant for consideration by other subgroups.

Racism and racist bullying

Nuzhat Uthmani, a member of the Racism and Racist Bullying subgroup. 

The subgroup met for the first time at beginning of August and agreed the following draft vision:

“Partners aim to embed a culture of positive systemic and preventative action developed in collaboration with young people, to address incidents of racism and racist bullying in schools through the provision of guidance, effective practice, and recording and monitoring, that supports and evaluates action to prevent and respond to racism and racist bullying in schools”.

There can be a lack of clarity and protocol in schools which means that handling comes down to local leadership and teachers in the school and whether they deem behaviour to be racist or not.  This can result in young minority ethnic people having low confidence in reporting incidents of racism or racist bullying.  

How incidents are handled is just as important as any monitoring and recording procedure. It is important to give schools and practitioners the tools and resources that they need to support children and young people, and to give practitioners confidence in dealing with incidents of racism and racist bullying. 

This workstream aims to embed a culture of positive action to address incidents of racism and racist bullying in schools through the provision of guidance, effective practice, recording and monitoring that aims to address the harmful impact of racism and racist bullying on young people in schools.

A point was raised about the draft vision being targeted towards pupils, and commenting that it would be good to see a reflection of a commitment towards staff and parents in the vision.  The subgroup is conscious of the staff and parent experiences and the need to develop racial literacy alongside the lived experiences of staff and parents from all backgrounds and ethnicities.

The point was made that racism between staff and pupils is not currently reflected in the draft vision, with further comment that the actions appear more focussed on racist incidents between children.

Strategic role across all four groups

Mélina Valdelièvre provided her insights from having oversight across all four workstreams:

  • each workstream is at a different stage of development, but all are still identifying missing perspectives, with a strong focus on visions and outcomes
  • racial literacy underpins all four workstreams and there are excellent links between the workstreams, with strong collaborative working. Overlap offers opportunities to reinforce the key issues
  • the development of appropriate guidance will help, including the resources published today.  It is important to make sure these are effectively shared and disseminated appropriately
  • amplifying what already works well can be a challenge

Education resources

Three new anti-racism resources for teachers have been published recently, all of which were flagged up in a Scottish Government news release prior to this meeting:   

Education Scotland (ES) published a resource today, called Promoting Race Equality and Anti-Racist Education 

Jacqui Nimmo spoke about the resource, which represents a lot of work over a long period of time. Thanks were expressed to all who were involved in the creation of the resource. Rationale for the content and approach:

  • definitions – Scottish Government approved terminology is used throughout the resource
  • the recourse is predicated on the Equality Act’s definition of race
  • the resource is to be seen as a bridge between the REAREP work and practitioners
  • the Wakelets offer further reading
  • the resource will be housed on a website, so it can be continually updated

It is anticipated that it will be used as an introductory document by schools and practitioners to develop racial literacy skills and inform how to imbed anti-racism in the curriculum through curriculum mapping work. ES emphasise that this should not sit separately, or as a ‘bolt-on’ but must instead be embedded in their work. The planned session at the Scottish Learning Festival in September will illustrate some practical examples.

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER): Introduction to Anti-Racist Curriculum Development. Carol Young expressed her appreciation to Learning Directorate and Education Scotland that this resource was included as part of the media release. Like the ES guide, Carol explained that the CRER resource is to be seen as introductory, and used in addition to a broad set of resources. The resource is explicitly from an anti-racist perspective, with an emphasis on actively creating change, rather than schools simply having the right ethos or expanding their knowledge.

A range of themes have emerged from the creation of the resource, namely that anti-racism is everyone’s business and anti-racism belongs in all schools.  Learners must be kept at the front and centre of the work, and Carol advised that they had great responses to a call to young people to ask what teachers need to know to develop inclusive curriculum.  She thanked the Scottish Youth Parliament as a group for their input on behalf of young people, which was very helpful input for CRER’s resource.  

There is an evaluation plan on the resource website to gather more views on the resource and how it can be used most effectively.

ScotDec’s’ Anti-Racist Toolkit for Teachers. Laura Ross from the Curriculum unit spoke to this resource. She noted that it was supported by EU funding, not SG monies, commissioned by ScotDec and created by Titilayo Farukuoye in her independent anti-racist educator role.

The resource encourages practitioners to undertake self-reflection, and make it clear that anti-racism is part of a long term process, involving both learning and unlearning. If anyone would like contact details for Scotdec to discuss this resource further, Laura would be happy to supply these.

Some discussion took place about the involvement of young people in the development of the resources, particularly the ES material.

Jacqui clarified that engagement with young people took place via previous stakeholder engagements, via practitioner contacts who work with young people based in schools, as well as input from this group. 

Amy noted that IYS’ contribution to the resource was not as a result of consultation with groups of young people, but was instead the result of expert views provided by IYS employees.

REAP update

Charlie Goodwin-Smith from the Race Equality Team spoke about what the next iteration of the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) will look like, as well as providing an overview of the Immediate Priorities Plan, which is an interim bridge between the previous REAP and the next iteration.

The Race Equality Framework (REF) was established in 2016 and will run until 2030 and represents the long term equality vision.  It envisioned a series of action plans, the first of which was the REAP which ran from 2017 until 2021, and the final report which was published in March this year, during a time of enormous change regarding COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.  The final REAP report made a commitment to review approaches going forwards, requiring a large scale strategic review, and ensuring that momentum is maintained on delivering outcomes.  

To achieve this, the Race Equality Team commissioned CRER to carry out a review of all SG race equality work since 2000 and an evaluation of its success.  It will be published on 13 September and its key findings highlight a lack of momentum, and the focus on process as opposed to outcomes.  

He also noted the recommendations from the Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity (ERG)and how these will play in to the next iteration of REAP activity, maintaining momentum and delivering action. 

Building on this, the Immediate Priorities Plan for Race Equality (IPP) will be published on 13 September. It is a short term plan, running until February 2023. It was emphasised that this is a not a new REAP, but instead outlines actions and commitments for the next 18 months, and is a vehicle for public accountability. The immediate priorities outlined in the plan include:

ERG recommendations that have not been fully implemented, and recognising the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on minority ethnic Scots. A fair and equal recovery from COVID-19 is central to current Scottish Government priorities.

Cross-government priorities on race equality, such as the REAREP.  The Equality Unit have worked with policy leads in areas across the government to identify key priorities for race equality in the coming months, including the national mission to tackle Child Poverty, as well as the commitments made by the incoming administration.

It is important to report on this work for scrutiny and transparency.

A non-exhaustive list of commitments and priorities includes:

  • Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit
  • Workplace Equality Fund
  • Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan – including focus on minority ethnic families
  • new Hate Crime Strategy
  • collection of ethnicity data though the autumn/winter COVID/flu vaccination programme
  • external oversight of Race Equality Implementation work
  • anti-racist Key Performance Indicators for Senior Civil Servants
  • a Gypsy/Traveller Accommodation Fund
  • a public consultation on Empire Slavery and Scotland’s Museums
  • improving equality data across government, including making it accessible for minority ethnic people

Working together to inform each other and build on each other’s work, avoiding duplication. The SG relies on the valuable insight of stakeholders.

Governance and oversight – an interim governance group will be established by October 2021. One of the ERG recommendations was to have an external oversight board.  This is really important and provides the government with the important scrutiny and challenge needed, and that was provided during the initial part of the pandemic by the ERG.

The large scale strategic review will inform a programme of work to design a post-2023 race equality implementation programme.  It is recognised that this must be done correctly, building a good anti-racist multi-year strategy going forward.  It is also important to be outcomes-focused, and deliver better lives for minority ethnic people in Scotland.

If anyone wishes to follow up on the any aspects of the REAP or Immediate Priorities Plan, please contact Charlie at charlie.goodwin-smith@gov.scot

Evaluation paper

A paper (06/03) on the topic of evaluation was distributed with the papers for this meeting. Keith Dryburgh principal research officer presented on this topic. The slides from the presentation are included as an appendix to these minutes. 

Following the presentation, the group split into breakout groups. A paper outlining the feedback from the groups is attached as an appendix.

Next steps and AOB

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

  • note that the Secretariat will circulate the minutes and write up of today’s break out discussions
  • those wishing to volunteer for the evaluation sub group should contact the Secretariat who will work with analytical colleagues to take that forward. This will be considered further.  

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 23 September 2021. The focus of the next meeting will be decided upon and announced shortly.

Papers