Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes: March 2022
- Learning Directorate
- Part of
- Education, Equality and rights
Minutes from the group's meeting on 3 March 2022.
Attendees and apologies
- Andrew Drought, Chairperson
- Andrea Reid, Senior Education Officer, Glasgow City Council
- Douglas Hutchison, Director of Education, Glasgow City Council
- Victoria Smith, GTCS, Director of Education
- Selma Augestad, EIS
- Nahid Aslam, NASUWT
- Samir Sharma, QIO and Equalities Lead, Glasgow City Council
- Khadija Mohammed, SAMEE
- Annette Foulcer, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
- Matthew Sweeney, COSLA
- Michael Roach, Head of Education, Inverclyde Council
- Ndaye Lisa Badji, IYS, Head of Advocacy and Partnerships
- Farah Farzana, CEMVO
- Katie Rafferty, RespectME
- Nuzhat Uthmani, P7 Teacher, Glasgow City Council
- Asif Chishti, Modern Languages Teacher, Fife Council
- Judith Mohamed, Headteacher, Arbroath Academy, Angus Council
- Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
- Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland
- Judith Ballantine, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government
- Emma Bunting, Equality in Education Team, Scottish Government
- Laura Ross, Curriculum Unit, Scottish Government
- Laura Meikle, Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government
- Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
- Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, Scottish Government
- Chris Priestley, Show Racism the Red Card
- Jonathan Shafi, Show Racism the Red Card
- Shahrukh Talat, Show Racism the Red Card
- Kirsty Robson, Show Racism the Red Card
- Lewis Hou, The Anti-Racist Educator
- Jovan Rao Rydder, IYS, Programme Manager
- Crisantos Ike, MSYP, Rutherglen
- Rosy Burgess, SYP, Events and Campaign Officer
- Peter McNaughton, ADES
- Carol Young, CRER, Deputy Director
- Maureen Finn, STEP
Items and actions
Welcome and introductions
The chair welcomed everyone to the 11th meeting of the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG).
Given that the programme is moving in to a transition phase, it was thought helpful to restate some of the key background to the programme, namely:
- that the REAREP was built upon the outcome of a three month period of stakeholder engagement undertaken by Ministers and officials with a wide range of education and equality and human rights organisations
- during that engagement, stakeholders told us that there are four key, interlinked areas which require focus in order to address racism in schools, these are:
- school leadership and professional learning
- diversity in the teaching profession and education workforce
- curriculum reform
- racism and racist incidents
- during that engagement stakeholders also suggested over 30 potential actions, which the subgroups have spent the last few months refining
- the Programme Board remain keen to receive proposals from members on the best ways on which to use the funding attached to the programme (subject to Ministerial sign off)
Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes from the last meeting (paper 11/02) were distributed with the papers for this meeting. An update was provided on the actions:
- secretariat to liaise with Education Analytical Services colleagues to finalise the Evaluation Framework specification draft and schedule for discussion and sign off by members at a future at a future Stakeholder Network Group meeting – This action will be the topic of discussion under agenda item three
- comments on the revised REAREP structure will be considered and taken into account in a finalised paper to be agreed by the group – This action will be the topic of discussion under agenda item four
- all subgroup leads to remove acronyms from their action plans – It was suggested at the last meeting that all acronyms be removed from the action plan. In practice, when creating the grid, including each of the acronyms in full, after each of the actions across all four sub groups lengthens the paper quite considerably. Members will see on the version of the grid being used for this meeting, the first time an organisation is referred to, the name is spelled out in full, with the acronym bracketed immediately afterwards. This means that the acronym is explained early on and readers can refer to the full name again if they need to. As some of the actions are being taken forward by such a comprehensive list of stakeholders, it’s been suggested that where that is the case, in the action owners column, we provide a link to a full list of the bodies involved
- schedule agenda item at future Stakeholder Network Group to further discuss the title of the Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying subgroup – This action will be the topic of discussion under agenda item six
- members to submit any further written comments on presented action plans by close of play on Thursday 10 February 2022 – This action is now closed
In the minutes there has been a revision to the wording in the penultimate bullet point on page six so that it reads “The point was made that ADES, like the majority of institutional structures in Scottish civic society, has representation at senior level which does not always fully reflect Scotland’s increasing diversity. ADES accepted the point and is committed to addressing the issue.” Members were asked if they are content with the revised wording.
Action: any comments on the revised wording in last month’s minutes should be sent to Secretariat by 18 March 2022.
Evaluation framework document
At the last meeting, Education Analytical Services colleague Keith Dryburgh presented the draft specification to the group. He had taken on board the comments made during the discussion and reflected them in the latest draft provided to the Group (see paper 11/03).
Members were asked for any final comments, or to confirm that they are content with the draft, in order that it can be signed off and go out to tender for potential suppliers who wish to undertake the development of the evaluation framework.
A couple of points were made:
- section eight paragraph 31 – the final bullet point refers to “avoidance of harm to respondents” – would prefer this bullet to refer to mitigating racial trauma where it does happen, acknowledging it can’t always be avoided
- section two paragraph five – the final bullet point uses the term “prejudice-based bullying” and should be removed, given that it’s considered to be inappropriate terminology. The bullet above it also includes the term “bullying”. The removal of the word bullying from the REAREP generally will be the topic of discussion under agenda item six
There were no further comments – subject to the amendments outlined above, it is considered that the document is signed off and the tender will be issued in due course.
Action: Secretariat to feedback final comments to Education Analytical Services colleague for final amendments and proceed to tender.
Revised programme structure
Judith Ballantine spoke to paper 11/04, which reflects the input members provided at the last meeting on the proposed new structure. The paper builds upon previous feedback from members and includes their input from the last meeting, including providing descriptions of the functions of each of the programme structure components as well as narrative on the channels of communication between each of them. Members were asked to bear in mind the deliverability of what is set out in the paper, given competing commitments and the time involved – it had previously been agreed that the new programme board shouldn’t just be a reworking of the stakeholder network group.
During previous discussions on the structure of a revised Programme Board, members were asked to submit suggestions for the role of Chair. A few names have been submitted and members were asked to give them appropriate consideration and provide any views to the Secretariat following the SNG meeting.
It was noted that in paragraph 19, which outlines a suggested programme board membership list, COSLA should be included.
Members were asked whether this iteration is close to what the new structure should look like, bearing in mind the paper is essentially holding a mirror up to what was said at the last meeting.
Some discussion took place:
- it was suggested that including four minority ethnic representatives on the Programme Board, as well as the subgroup leads has the danger of being a tickbox exercise. Instead, the four minority ethnic representatives could take the leadership position of attending the Programme Board to represent their workstreams
- support for this idea was expressed and it was further suggested that consideration be given to the four minority ethnic representatives becoming the chairs of their respective subgroups, if they wish to do so
- a question was asked about references made to the Children and Young People group, and whether they should refer only to Black and People of Colour Children and Young People. It was clarified that while the group has a diverse spread of representation based on how the children and young people identify, this includes white children and young people, some of whom are from non-visible minority ethnic communities. This reflects the fact that the Scottish Government’s overarching approach to race equality and anti-racism is aligned with the definition of race in the Equality Act 2010, i.e colour, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship
- previous stakeholder engagement with Black and People of Colour children and young people resulted in feedback whereby they were concerned that white children were not involved in that discussion - the point was made that tackling racism in school is not solely the responsibility of Black and People of Colour children and young people
- the issue of remuneration was raised, particularly in relation to those members of the Stakeholder Network Group who are not attending on behalf of an organisation which receives funding from the Scottish Government to do so. It was clarified that the Scottish Government generally doesn’t pay working group members because the vast majority of them participate as part of their senior leadership role, representing a large organisation, or as a representative of a third sector organisation which receives Scottish Government funding to engage on the issues being discussed. The REAREP was about civic society coming together on a voluntary basis to try and improve the lives of children and young people. It was noted that the budget and funding available to the REAREP was intended to make a difference on the ground to children and young people
- attention needs to be paid to connections across all aspects of the programme, and the clear lines of communication and sharing of information in order to influence other areas. There is a need to think about the processes and principles to be established to ensure that takes place. Determination will be needed to see the programme through
- it was suggested that the chairs of the subgroups could be rotated, allowing the sharing of responsibility but also empowering those who may not have undertaken the chair role previously. Rotating chairs is a process that has worked well for the School Leadership and Professional Learning subgroup, enabling realistic involvement and contribution in the matters discussed
Next steps – some adjustments to what was set out in the paper will be made on the basis of the feedback received, but it was considered that it is in the right area. Everyone is committed to the programme and will support the structures to take it forward.
Action: Members are asked for their input on who would be best placed to assume the role of Chair of the Programme Board, with the final decision being made by Ministers.
Action: Secretariat to make amendments to paper on basis of feedback received, including adding COSLA to list of membership of Programme Board.
Actions grid update
Thanks were expressed to all members, particularly subgroup leads and chairs, for the work they have done so far in contributing to the grid. It was noted that thanks also go to the very wide group of stakeholders engaged with at the end of 2020 who were responsible for sparking these actions in to life, before they were refined and agreed by members of this group and within sub groups, leading to the draft framework (see paper 11/05).
It’s clear that the suite of actions is developing well, however, these should be rounded out by subgroups during March, to ensure that robust detail is provided, particularly in relation to some of the outputs, where the detail is, occasionally, quite light. There is also a need to carve out milestones.
While a robust set of actions needs to be shared with Ministers, there should be a degree of elasticity built in, in order that actions can adapt to changing circumstances.
Whilst most sub groups will have at least one meeting in March, it may be that some discussion around refinements needs to be carried out by email.
The discussion was opened to members to explore where the sticking points are, and to consider how these can be resolved in order to get the list of actions and underpinning detail to a point where it can be referred to Ministers:
- it was suggested that it would be useful to see the resource and budget attached to each action/subgroup. It was explained that the budget for the overarching REAREP was £300,000 for the past financial year – it is hoped that the same budget will be available in 2022-23. Curriculum Reform has an additional £200,000 of budget for their work. There is no specific figure dedicated to each workstream, but funding should be used to deliver the ambitions of the subgroups, who should develop proposals for consideration and sign off by Ministers
- while some tangible progress has been seen in the School Leadership and Professional Learning subgroup (Building Racial Literacy Programme) and the Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce subgroup (recruitment of the GTCS Senior Education Officer – National Diversity Lead), the other two subgroups are at a slightly earlier stage, with some uncertainty regarding emerging ambitions. It would be helpful to see more detailed actions from them
- the scale and enormity of the work was a recurring point of discussion – members are keen to see pace of progress, but consideration must be given to the breadth of the task and the resources available to members, including time commitments
- it was noted that the action plan lacks sufficient detail around timescales. The next phase of planning should consider what the programme will look like when delivered as a package, and how to ensure that the implementation of the work is carried out collectively, in order to avoid overlapping or undermining guidance
- an implementation plan should be created to run alongside a comprehensive communications strategy
- as part of the communications strategy, it was suggested that alternative ways of presenting information be explored in order to make it more accessible, including to young people and parents
The next step for the actions grid is to get the document to a position where it can be signed off by Ministers.
Action: Subgroup leads to submit updated/final versions of action grids by Friday 25 March. Timescales and timelines should be considered and updated as far as possible.
Action: Updated version of grid to be finalised following submission of actions from sub-groups, and submitted to Ministers in due course.
Action: Secretariat to draft implementation plan, and continue to progress communications plan.
Presentation on Racism and Racist Incidents sub group’s name change
There has been discussion amongst members of what was originally the Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying subgroup regarding the removal of the word “bullying” from the name. Ndaye Lisa Badji from Intercultural Youth Scotland and Farah Farzana from CEMVO delivered a presentation outlining the rationale for this.
“Racist bullying” is a term no longer used by the subgroup, as it is not viewed as appropriate. The term causes offence and it is proposed that the term bullying should be removed altogether from the title of the subgroup.
There are concerns around the conflation of racism and bullying within schools. This occurs where there is a lack of understanding of the differences between racism and bullying. Young people feel that if an incident they feel to be racist is recorded as bullying, their concerns are not being considered, which can result in them not coming forward to report racism.
There is a concern that trying to address bullying within the scope of the subgroup would take up time, when the main focus of the subgroup is to address racism in particular. There is a wish to provide clarity and create guidance relating to racism and racist incidents, where none presently exists.
It was suggested that existing anti-bullying guidance fails to take into account racism, and the interactions between racism and bullying, but it is felt that the purpose of the subgroup is not to improve anti-bullying guidance. However, some members of the group would be willing to contribute to changes to Respect for All (the national approach to anti-bullying) to make it a more appropriate framework, but this shouldn’t be included in the scope of the subgroup.
A risk of not removing bullying from the title and subject matter, is that it continues to create confusion as educators are not clear on differences.
The group consider it appropriate to address this as part of a whole school approach document, including a clarifying statement about the difference between racism and bullying, but also the different approaches to be taken to tackling both. This will form a key output of the workstream.
It was proposed that the language used across the workstreams should be addressed in a similar manner, and that removal of the terms “racist bullying” and “prejudice based bullying” from all REAREP outputs would provide clarity and continuity, as well as focussing the work of the Racism and Racist Incidents subgroup. It was also pointed out that the term “prejudice based bullying” is used in other Scottish Government guidance, including Respect for All.
Comments were invited from members:
- it was expressed that many references have been made to racism and racist incidents experienced by children and young people, but the experiences of teachers and education workforce staff mustn’t slip through the gaps
- the use of language will be fundamental during the implementation and roll out of the actions of the programme. This proposal is being brought forward now to ensure that the implementation phase has clarity
Thanks were expressed to Ndaye Lisa and Farah for their presentation to members.
Agreement was reached to remove the word bullying from the title of the workstream – it will now become the Racism and Racist Incidents subgroup.
Action: Secretariat to ensure that the Racism and Racist Incidents subgroup name is updated on relevant documentation.
Presentation from Show Racism the Red Card on the Children and Young People’s Group
Representatives from Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) were welcomed to the meeting.
Chris Priestley is the Programme Manager for the Children and Young People’s group, which SRtRC are managing on the Scottish Government’s behalf. He introduced his colleagues, Jonathon Shafi and Shahrukh Talat, who are both education workers and will be carrying out the engagement with children and young people, and Kirsty Robson who is the communications and outreach manager for the project.
Questions were welcome at any time during the presentation, and the team also indicated that they would be happy to address further queries by email.
The first update to REAREP members focussed upon the establishment of the Children and Young People’s group
- members may have seen some media activity on the Captains programme. Kirsty advised she is in the process of pulling together a communications summary and this can be shared with members once available
- the project so far has a developing geographical reach across Scotland, with 19 of the 32 local authorities represented. The furthest north they have reached is Orkney. There is remaining recruitment to be carried out for the younger year groups and effort will be made to ensure that some of this is carried out in the south of Scotland
- a demographic breakdown of how the children and young people identify in terms of their ethnicity was provided. The data provided in the slide is being updated continually as more children and young people join, and the latest version will be issued to members
- recruitment of the Captains was undertaken by an application process, through schools and partnership programmes, and the MSYP network. Although the recruitment process has ended, SRtRC are happy to pick up any other suggestions from REAREP members
- there are children and young people on the group who share other protected characteristics which intersect with race, and Show Racism the Red Card will continue to ensure that the groups are as representative as possible
- meetings are starting from next week (w/b 7 March)
- with some schools it has sometimes proven difficult to distribute information and find out availability of the Captains. The second round of data capture has found more appropriate adults for young people to have as a contact, allowing better communication
- additional approaches to onboarding the Captains have been implemented, such as some media training for the CYP affected
- early years Captains will meet on 14 March for the first time. A small event is planned with a handful of early years Captains. Some supported communication will be carried out with them. On the basis of the success of this initial meeting, support will be provided to enable a meeting online
- young people will be protected to ensure that they are appropriately supported to take part in the project, endeavouring to ensuring that racial trauma is not relived, and mitigating it where it is unavoidable
- some testimonies available from children and young people were included in the presentation slides and it was suggested that members can read these
- SRtRC will ensure that mechanisms are available for open communication and an anti-racist culture. They noted that the voices of children and young people are important and there needs to be a level of understanding to allow them to contribute their expertise to the subject matter. The entire ethos of what SRtRC are carrying out is geared toward anti-racism in all its forms
Some points were raised:
- the involvement of white children in the CYP group was raised. It was encouraging to see the demographic of the group so far, but a wish was expressed for Black and People of Colour children and young people to have the most prominent voice. SRtRC confirmed that further data capture from participants has clarified the backgrounds of participants further – this information will be shared with members.
- a concern was raised about Black and People of Colour children and young people not feeling comfortable sharing their experiences in front of their white counterparts, and ensuring that safe spaces are available for those children to be able to fully contribute to discussions. Some members expressed that they were not reassured about the safe spaces. SRtRC acknowledged the concerns, and advised that while some participants may not feel confident sharing in front of a wider group, others may wish to do so, and it would not be appropriate to limit their ability to share their experiences with everyone involved. They confirmed that a stratified approach to participation will be taken, and approaches will be as bespoke as possible to ensure everyone is able to be involved.
- concern was expressed regarding the recruitment of Captains, and the consideration given to ensuring that additional protected characteristics (i.e. disability, LGBTI) and other factors such as socio-economic background were represented on the group. SRtRC explained that recruitment was related to the passion and interest in the project displayed in the essay responses within the applications submitted by the children and young people, and based upon recommendations. Intersecting protected characteristics of participants is becoming clearer as more information is gathered. This has led to ensuring that non-binary participants feel comfortable during any engagement. SRtRC will continue to consider how to ensure that they have a diverse range of participants.
- CEMVO noted a human rights approach when looking at participation in a group. They consider that participation should be primarily carried out by people who will be affected by the decisions made. Scottish human rights based approach
Thanks were expressed to the SRtRC team for their attendance at the meeting.
Secretariat have a fortnightly meeting with the SRtRC team, and further updates can be provided to members following these meetings as progress is made.
Members are welcome to get in touch on any topics related to the CYP group, at the following email addresses:
- Chris Priestley – Programme Manager - Chris@theredcardscotland.org
- Kirsty Robson – Communications and Outreach Manager -firstname.lastname@example.org
Information that will be shared with members:
- communications summary of media activity around the Captains project so far
- up to date version of the demographic breakdown of the makeup of the group, including data gleaned from the second round of data capture
Next steps and AOB
The Chair had to leave the meeting early due to illness. The Secretariat expressed their appreciation to all participants for their time and input and outlined the immediate next steps:
- the REAREP Secretariat will circulate the minutes of today’s meeting by 11 March
- sub groups should use the month of March to finalise their actions and associated detail and send them to the Secretariat by close of play on Friday 25 March
- consideration will be given to the restructuring of the programme and information about future meetings of this group will be issued in due course
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