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

Minutes from the group's meeting on 25 March 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • David Roy, Chairperson
  • Professor Rowena Arshad CBE, Former Head of Moray House School of Education
  • Maureen McKenna, ADES
  • Sharon Smith, General Teaching Council of Scotland
  • Dr David Smith, SCDE
  • Selma Augestad, EIS
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, NASUWT
  • Khadija Mohammed, SAMEE
  • Annette Foulcer, SQA
  • 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
  • Rosy Burgess, SYP, Events and Campaign Officer
  • Carol Young, CRER, Deputy Director
  • Parveen Khan, CEMVO, Race Equality Officer
  • Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council
  • Katie Ferguson, RespectME
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, P7 Teacher, Glasgow City Council
  • Judith Mohamed, Headteacher, Old Machar Academy
  • Asif Chishti, Modern Languages Teacher, Dunfermline
  • Uuganaa Ramsay, The Anti-Racist Educator
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Jacqueline Nimmo, Education Scotland
  • Aqeel Ahmed, Equality Unit, SG
  • Liza McLean, Deputy Director, Learning Directorate, SG
  • Judith Ballantine, Teacher Education, Leadership & Reform, SG
  • Siân Balfour, Teacher Education, Leadership & Reform, SG
  • Zarina Naseem, Curriculum Unit, SG
  • Phil Alcock, Support and Wellbeing Unit, SG
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat


No apologies were submitted.

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the second meeting of the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG). Attendees were asked to introduce themselves.

Acknowledgement and thanks were offered to Professor Rowena Arshad and the Diversity in the Teaching Profession Working Group on the publication of their final report - Teaching in a Diverse Scotland: 3 Years On, and the final event, which was held on Tuesday 23 March. This now concludes the work of the group. A new annual data publication, that brings together information on teacher ethnicity was also published – Diversity in the Teaching Profession Scotland: Annual Data Report - March 2021. Diversity in the Teaching Profession and the Education Workforce, will be the focus of the next meeting, with the reports featuring as part of the discussion.


The minutes from the last meeting had been 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 – SG are committed to doing this and currently exploring options for a shadow group with Children’s Rights colleagues. This includes ensuring that there is representation from Black and minority ethnic young people and children

  • seek additional representation on the SNG from children and young people’s groups – this relates to the above and SG are in discussion with Children in Scotland and the Children’s Parliament, and the latter will sit on the shadow group
  • re-draft the Terms of Reference (TOR) – up-dates have been made and will be discussed as a separate agenda item
  • to consider the language used around this race equality work and consider whether changes are required to better reflect the anti-racism element – in response to feedback, the title of the programme is now Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme (REAREP)
  • to consider the order in which the workstreams will be discussed at the next SNG meetings, and the best method for doing this –The schedule for discussion of the four workstreams has been set as follows:
  • professional learning and leadership is the focus of this meeting
  • diversity in the teaching profession will be tabled for discussion in April
  • curriculum will be tabled for the May meeting
  • racism, racist incidents and bullying will be tabled for the June meeting

There were no further comments and the minutes were agreed.

The future process for the minutes will be to circulate a draft for comment approximately one week after each meeting in order that a set of minutes are agreed in advance of the next meeting.

Action: SG – circulate minutes to group members for comments approximately 1 week after meeting.

Terms of reference

Members were thanked for submitting their comments on the Terms of Reference, which have been incorporated into the latest draft that was sent out with the papers.

There were no further comments and the Terms of Reference was agreed, and will be published on the Scottish Government’s website. 

Paper: school leadership and professional learning

Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland (ES) presented the paper on Leadership, drawing out the following key points:

  • leadership cannot be considered in isolation
  • a whole system approach is required to effect deep and meaningful change across the education system
  • the overarching aim and outcome of the workstream must be agreed upon to help determine the actions needed to achieve the aim

Some general comments on the paper were then offered:

  • there must be scope for broadening the solutions beyond just training
  • training cannot just be a ‘tick box’ exercise
  • lack of leadership impacts on education and the whole school environment in a structural way. Simply bringing a diverse range of people into these roles does not break down barriers or change the environment, racism is still present structurally
  • there is a need to continue to look at the language and terminology being used around diversity and what that means and looks like. All groups and individuals are encouraged to use the language they feel most comfortable with or they feel is most appropriate
  • the draft vision has some useful components, but the outcome is not explicit
  • it must be made clear that leaders are accountable for creating meaningful change
  • while the paper is useful, it needs to better link to the Race Equality Framework (REF) and the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP). The group was assured that actions emanating from this group will explicitly link to the REF and the next iteration of the REAP, currently in development
  • the quality indicator for HMIe needs to be more specific. It is currently felt to be too generic, with a general focus on equality and diversity, as opposed to being able to support a specific focus on race. The group was informed that HMI colleagues will be presenting to the next meeting of the Programme Board on the topic of Inspection and Race Equality
  • the issue of historic institutional racism was raised. In Glasgow City Council, systemic change is being looked at both internally and externally in order to move forward with real outcomes and outputs that make a difference

Dr David Smith, Chair of the Scottish Council of Deans gave an up-date on the ITE self-evaluation framework symposium, being jointly planned with ES and due to be held in June 2021. In a specific response to a question around union representation at the event, he explained that as it will be held virtually, broad participation will be encouraged. The 11 ITE providers will be showcasing their work within the equalities agenda, some of which will touch on race. 

The group then moved into breakout groups to discuss the paper that had been circulated beforehand See Annex A - School leadership and professional learning.

The groups were asked to consider the following questions:

1. Do you agree with the draft, overarching aim set out in paper 02/03? For the avoidance of doubt, the overarching aim is the end point, or the vision which is realised once all outputs and outcomes have been achieved. 

2. The paper contains 3 draft proposals which were captured during stakeholder engagement sessions. Do you think these proposals are correct, and in line with the over-arching vision, or are there any other aspects which need to be considered?

3. Thinking in the short, medium and long term, what do you think the actions are which need to happen to achieve these proposals? 

Feedback and a summary of discussion from the breakout groups can be found at Annex B.

Next steps and AOB

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 professional learning and leadership will be revisited at the start of the next meeting

Once draft actions are circulated, if any member wishes to have a further discussion, they should not hesitate to get in touch with Learning Directorate colleagues before the next meeting. Given the increased frequency of leave in April, please copy any comments to David Roy, Judith Ballantine, Pauline Hendry and Lesley Whelan.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 29 April at 15:00. The focus will be on diversity in the teaching profession. 


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