Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes January 2022: paper - structure and governance review

Paper for meeting of working group on 27 January 2022.

Discussion paper: structure and governance review part 2 - January 2022 

This paper aims to:  

  • capture the points and suggestions made by members during the break out session at the last REAREP meeting in terms of how to improve the REAREP structure and process
  • translates those suggestions in to a proposed new structure
  • asks members whether this proposal reflects what they suggested and where additions or revisions still need to be made

This paper follows on from the one which was tabled at the November REAREP meeting and attempts to reflect comments made by members during the breakout discussion at that meeting, on changes they wish to make to the existing REAREP structure. 

While the majority of feedback which informs this paper was received during the focused discussion session, members have also given ad hoc and general feedback throughout the year and this has been captured here too.  

Generally, members think that the REAREP should continue in some form, with:

  • increased representation of Black people and People of Colour across the structure, specifically in leadership positions 
  • agreement on actions and ensuing workplans before the frequency of meetings at each level can be decided  

Programme Board 

Current iteration

In the current structure, the role of the Programme Board is one of quality assurance, providing oversight of the programme, ensuring that a coherent and responsive approach is taken in terms of emerging themes and priorities for action. It also brings expertise to bear, providing a number of lenses through which new aims and ambitions can be viewed (eg considering how and whether specific actions developed by working groups can realistically be implemented to agreed timescales by the education system). The Programme Board provides financial scrutiny in terms of ensuring that any proposals emerging from sub-groups provide good value for public money. It also provides a function pre-empting questions which may come from Ministers upon presenting new proposals to them, increasing the likelihood of them being signed off by Ministers at early presentation.

Currently it has representation from Learning Directorate, Equality and Human Rights Directorate, Education Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Agency and Association of Directors of Education in Scotland.  

Suggested future iteration

Members have been clear that a Programme Board function should remain in some form, but with a more clearly articulated, directional role, undertaking the following key functions (not in order of importance): 

  • scrutiny (of fundamental importance – particularly in relation to value for public money)
  • professional expertise
  • lived experience
  • transparency
  • leadership
  • coherence

The above functions should all be clearly explained in the new Programme Board’s terms of reference, in order that they are clearly understood by all members.  

The new Programme Board should be underpinned by better communication so that all members in all of the REAREP functions have a clear understanding of:

  • what the Programme Board’s role is
  • what the Programme Board’s functions are
  • what the Programme Board’s decision making process is 
  • why those decisions are being made (a feedback loop should be developed explaining what decisions have been made and why, and how members’ input has influenced these decisions)
  • who is represented on the Programme Board and why

We are considering the potential for the Programme Board to be chaired by an external individual with lived experience. It should also have increased representation from Black and People of Colour members in order to provide representation, lived experience and race expertise. Suggestion ways of doing that include:  

  • Black and People of Colour members from each sub group should sit on the Programme Board and/or 
  • Black and People of Colour members from each of the sub-groups should be invited to participate in the Programme Board when their work streams are under discussion, to ensure appropriate influence and visibility

One or two anti-racist organisations should also be represented, and there should be input from teachers - it was suggested that a teachers’ panel could be established for the REAREP as a whole which the Programme Board could work closely with.   

In summary this would create a new Programme Board with the following potential representation:  

  • Chair (External person with lived experience)
  • Scottish Government
  • Education Scotland 
  • ADES
  • SQA
  • Race Equality organisation
  • Black and People of Colour members from each sub group
  • grassroots anti-racist organisation
  • teacher panel member

It will be important to ensure that the final structure remains streamlined enough to enable effective discussions and decision-making.

Question for members: is there anyone, or any organisation missing from this list?

Stakeholder Network Group

Current iteration

At the beginning of the REAREP process, the large stakeholder network group was established as the most practical platform on which to regularly bring together stakeholders with an interest. It follows a model regularly used by the Scottish Government as part of policy development and delivery, particularly in the early stages. It brought together different organisations in both the education and race equality sectors, enabling everyone to work through themes identified in the early stakeholder engagement sessions, in order to inform the development of subgroups and actions. 

Now that the 4 themes and how we might evaluate the programme have been the subject of initial focussed discussions, it makes sense that the development of actions, including owners, outputs, outcomes and timelines, takes place during the current subgroup meetings, with scrutiny and coherence functions being delivered by a revised Programme Board. As a result there was general agreement in the discussion session that there is not the same requirement for the Stakeholder Network Group to meet monthly in its current format. The current format also takes up a significant amount of members’ time, in that it meets for two hours every month, and additional time is required to read and reflect on meeting papers.

Suggested future iteration

The general feeling was that enabling sub groups to ‘grow and get on with their work’ results in there being less of a requirement for a monthly stakeholder network group meeting, but that it should still exist in some format. Suggestions include:

  • quarterly meetings in person/online (depending on Covid restrictions)
  • ad hoc meetings, set up in response to the need to discuss specific issues

Regardless of which of these two options is pursued, the Stakeholder Network Group should retain a virtual or digital presence using a platform such as slack (suggestions for other platforms are very welcome) which would enable activity such as using the Stakeholder Network Group as a virtual sounding board, for example for feedback on draft proposals for the Programme Board.  

There should also be a much more finely developed channel of communication between the new Programme Board and Stakeholder Network Group, providing updates, sharing thinking and listening. There must also be a meaningful link developed with the new Children and Young People’s group.     

Risks inherent in scaling back the Stakeholder Network Group include members who are not on sub groups opting out or feeling as if they’re out of the loop in terms of developments and decision making. A knowledge hub which is accessible to everyone might help mitigate this.  

Sub groups 

Current iteration

Currently there are four sub groups which sit under the Stakeholder Network Group. They are as follows:

  • School Leadership and Professional Learning (Chair: rolling)
  • Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (Chair: Selma Augestad/Nuzhat Uthmani)
  • Curriculum Reform (Chair: Khadija Mohammed/Jovan Rydder
  • Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying (Chair: Cathy Jamieson)

Sub groups have become more action-oriented over the last few months, developing outcomes, and in the case of the School Leadership and Professional Learning sub group, beginning to deliver the Building Racial Literacy programme.  

Proposed future iteration

There was general agreement that the sub groups should essentially remain as they are in terms of themes, but with more innovative approaches being taken with some of them, particularly as different groups will work at a different pace, depending on the scale of the challenges they face. Regular frequency of meetings should be established in order that sub groups aren’t out of sync with what is happening in other parts of the REAREP structure. 

The newly established children and young people’s group will work closely with each of the sub groups, consulting with the Programme Board regularly, to ensure that the views of children and young people remain central to the process.  Consideration should also be given to having children/young person representation on the Programme Board.     

A stronger relationship between the sub groups and the Programme Board must be developed, similarly the inter sub group relationships require better development.     

In terms of agreeing actions and driving them forward in the sub groups, this should be underpinned by a clarity of what the evolving roles and responsibilities are likely to be for each of the layers of the process.  

Children and Young People’s Group

At the time of writing, the REAREP Secretariat has had an inception meeting with Show Racism the Red Card. By the time we discuss this paper at the meeting on 27 January, the Secretariat will have held their second meeting with them and will be able to give more of an overview of plans for the group.  

The proposed future structure includes a Programme Board which would be chaired by an external person with lived experience, supported by the Secretariat and meeting monthly; a Stakeholder Network Group with meeting frequency to be decided; and 4 thematic groups  which work closely with each other, the children and young people’s group and the Programme Board 

Question for members: does this vision reflect the suggestions you made in the breakout groups during the November meeting? What is missing? 

Finally, outwith the breakout session, the issue of support for members as they undertake REAREP discussions has been raised. You may be aware that the School Leadership and Professional Learning workstream has engaged with Compassion Captains while developing the Building Racial Literacy programme. Compassion Captains are counsellors who provide support to any member of the Building Racial Literacy group who feel that they require it.  

Question for members: Would replicating this support in other parts of the REAREP structure be something which members would find helpful?    

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