Publication - Minutes

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

Published: 15 Dec 2021
Date of meeting: 28 Oct 2021
Date of next meeting: 25 Nov 2021

Minutes from the group's meeting on 28 October 2021.

Published:
15 Dec 2021
Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme - Stakeholder Network Group minutes: October 2021

Attendees and apologies

Present

  • Andrew Drought, Chairperson
  • Victoria Smith, GTCS, Director of Education
  • Nahid Aslam, NASUWT
  • Samir Sharma, QIO and Equalities Lead, Glasgow City Council
  • Selma Augestad, EIS
  • Khadija Mohammed, SAMEE
  • Annette Foulcer, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
  • Matthew Sweeney, COSLA
  • 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
  • Farah Farzana, CEMVO
  • Nuzhat Uthmani, P7 Teacher, Glasgow City Council
  • Asif Chishti, Modern Languages Teacher, Fife Council
  • Judith Mohamed, HT, Old Machar Academy, Aberdeen City Council
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Jacqueline Nimmo, Education Scotland
  • Mélina Valdelièvre, Education Scotland
  • Aqeel Ahmed, Equality Unit, Scottish Government (SG)
  • Judith Ballantine, Equality in Education Team (SG)
  • Zarina Naseem, Curriculum Unit, (SG)
  • Laura Ross, Curriculum Unit, (SG)
  • Catherine Jamieson, Support and Wellbeing Unit, (SG)
  • Scott Sutherland, Early Learning and Childcare (SG)
  • Pauline Hendry, Secretariat, (SG)

In attendance

  • Lorraine Glass, RespectME
  • Stuart Downes, Support and Wellbeing Unit (SG)
  • Lynne Robertson, Education Scotland
  • Jordan Daly, Time for Inclusive Education
  • Liam Stevenson, Time for Inclusive Education
  • Laura Meikle, Support and Wellbeing Unit (SG)
  • Khalid Hussain, NASUWT and Additional Support Needs Teacher

Apologies

  • Maureen McKenna, Director of Education, Glasgow City Council
  • Prof. Rowena Arshad CBE, Former Head of Moray House School of Education
  • Daniella Faakor Damptey, SYP, Angus South
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES
  • Katie Ferguson, RespectME

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

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

He noted that Farah Farzana replaces Parveen Khan representing CEMVO, and she was welcomed to the group.

The chair noted that Professor Ken Muir, independent advisor to the Scottish Government on the reform of Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland, attended the SNG meeting in September. A very informative discussion took place, and there was one question which required follow up regarding anti-racism training for SQA staff. Annette Foulcer, SQA, was able to update on this matter, confirming that no training has yet taken place, but advising that an action plan is being developed to take this forwards and will include anti-racism training for all SQA staff, which will be delivered by external providers.

The chair noted that the agenda and papers circulated for this meeting were presented in a different format, based upon feedback received. It is hoped that this format is more accessible. The chair noted that feedback and improvement suggestions are continually welcomed and encouraged, helping Secretariat to shape meetings in a way that works for everyone.

Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes from the last meeting (paper 08/02) were distributed with the papers for this meeting. An update was provided on the actions:

  • make arrangements for Cabinet Secretary to attend this meeting at a future date, Ms Somerville has agreed to attend the next meeting of this group at the end of November. This will provide an opportunity for her to hear about the work which this group and sub groups have undertaken so far
  • scrutiny as a future agenda item, the recently announced change to the future of HMIe may provide an opportunity to feed into thatthis was covered by Professor Ken Muir and is now complete

Rolling items from previous meetings:

  • equalities in education team to consider options around a group of children and young people that could work alongside the wider group, the third tender exercise to try and identify a group or groups who wish to apply to take this work forward has now gone live for bids, the closing date for submissions is 16 November 2021
  • secretariat to notify SNG members once Children and Young People’s Group specification has gone live for bids, covered in the action above
  • diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW) subgroup to liaise with the Scottish Government’s Data Group in order to establish what data is necessary to effectively monitor and evaluate the progress of the workstream
  • the DITPEW sub group and SG data group are meeting for the first time on 17 November to consider what data is already available, and where gaps exist which require addressing
  • equalities in Education team to look for input from the group on the evaluation tender specification, officials will initiate process with analytical and procurement colleagues, and will be back in touch to draft and agree a specification that everyone is happy with and captures what is needed
  • the Secretariat is very keen that members, particularly those with lived experience, shape the tender specification for this work, given how busy everyone is currently, instead of holding a meeting, we’ll gather that input from members using an online platform which will be open for a couple of weeks
  • we’re setting this up at the moment and an email will issue shortly asking for your input in order to shape the tender specification

There was one comment about the previous minutes relating to the School Leadership and Professional Learning update under agenda item three, in that the minutes did not accurately reflect the level of interest by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). This paragraph has been deleted, and a final version of the minutes shared with members.

Updates from subgroups

School Leadership and Professional Learning (SLPL)

Carol Young, member of the subgroup

Another new member has joined the SLPL subgroup, Rhona Jay, a representative from ADES. The group have also agreed to dispense with a permanent chair and will instead rotate the position to manage the capacity of members.

The group have created a further subgroup to focus on the Building Racial Literacy Programme, which has now met three times.

Evaluation has been a point of discussion for the SLPL group, following an update from Mélina on how other groups are evaluating their work. The group have agreed an action point to see how safe spaces can be created to carry this out.

The next meeting of the group will discuss professional learning activities.

Diversity in the Teaching Profession and Education Workforce (DITPEW)

Judith Ballantine, SG 

This group has not met since the previous SNG, but are scheduled to meet on 17 November and again in December.

This subgroup is in a slightly different position to the other subgroups in that it has a legacy from Professor Arshad’s final report which provides a firm footing for the subgroup’s work. The group are still finalising their actions. In light of discussions had, both in the subgroup and in the SNG, there is a desire to make sure that the actions properly reflect the desired outcomes. Initial input has been received, but there is more work to be done around the scope and ownership of actions.

However, one action that has progressed is the development of the job description for the national post, which will sit with General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Good progress has been made and the remit is almost ready to be signed off.

Curriculum Reform

Jovan Rao Rydder, member of the subgroup

This group meets once every six weeks, and the first meeting focussed on setting up the purpose, language and principles which will underpin the work.

The second meeting of the group was more action-oriented, and discussion centred around how to embed anti-racism in the curriculum framework. An options paper was created, with pros and cons listed. The group are interested in combining multiple options. A development review and design group will be created within the subgroup, and members will be tasked with fleshing out and adding depth to the options discussed.

The third meeting of this group will take place on 18 November and will focus upon the development of resources to support anti-racism across the curriculum, identifying where gaps exist, what they are and how to address them.

Overall, the group is taking an action-oriented approach to the work, and working to establish a clear timeline. The co-chairs of this group emphasise the importance of meaningful engagement and accessibility within the subgroup space, in particular for minority ethnic young people. Close work is being carried out with young people and youth organisations in the group to figure out a good model for working together.

Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying

Cathy Jamieson, SG, chair of subgroup

This group met for the second time on 12 October, and are currently focussed on discussing the action plan and the terms of reference. A main discussion point centres around the terminology around racism, racist incidents and bullying. 

The group wish to centre the voice of children and young people and are exploring options to achieve this.

Consideration is also being given to engagement with other workstreams. A link has been made to the work of the DITPEW subgroup relating to the monitoring and tackling of racism towards teachers in schools. Workstream leads will ensure a joined up approach in taking this forwards.

A question was asked about the action plan, but this is not yet finalised. However, the draft plan can be shared with members for information.

The next meeting of this group will take place in November.

Action

  • Cathy Jamieson to share draft action plan with SNG members for information

Strategic role across all four subgroups

Mélina Valdelièvre provided her insights from having an overview across all four workstreams. Some areas of overlap between the workstreams have been identified. Workstream leads will continue to work together to ensure that duplication of effort doesn’t happen within the programme:

  • Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying and DITPEW – several members have highlighted the importance of considering the racism that teachers and education practitioners face
  • reporting and monitoring of teachers’ experiences of racism and safeguarding their wellbeing is just as important as it is for children and young people
  • addressing the issue of teachers’ experiences of racism should also help address the issue of under-representation in the sector
  • SLPL and Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying, professional learning is crucial to support educators in their ability to identify racism and lead anti-racist change that safeguards the wellbeing of pupils who experience racism
  • Curriculum Reform and Racism, Racist Incidents and Bullying the curriculum supports children and young people in understanding racism and empowering them to engage in anti-racism
  • this was apparent in the curriculum workstream’s options paper, discussed at their last meeting, which empowered children and young people’s understanding of racism and anti-racism
  • this will help reduce the reoccurrence of racist incidents, bullying and microaggressions
  • SLPL and Curriculum Reform professional learning is necessary to empower leaders to become more confident in designing an effective anti-racist curriculum
  • SLPL and DITPEW recruitment of diverse applicants, consideration should be given to the good practice already demonstrated in Glasgow City Council

The importance of capturing the voices of children and young people has been highlighted by every member and is an area of overlap among all four subgroups. A short term strategy for obtaining views on specific key questions was suggested, pending establishment of a Children and Young People’s Group, Education Scotland officers who regularly work with children and young people in schools may be able to ask specific age appropriate questions to gather ad hoc feedback.

Any other business related to the workstreams

Jacqueline Nimmo announced that the Education Scotland anti-racism resource website will be launched on Monday 1 November Promoting Race Equality and Anti-racist Education. The physical resource was issued in August, and the website has now been completed. It is hoped that the work of the subgroups will be emphasised within the resource as progress is made.

Two of the four subgroups are receiving a walkthrough of the website from Education Scotland, if the other two would benefit from this, please get in touch with Jacqui.

Time for Inclusive Education (TIE)

The chair welcomed Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson from Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) to the meeting. It was noted that prior to the last Scottish Parliament election, the SNP’s election manifesto included a commitment to explore using TIE’s implementation model to deliver an anti-racist approach in Scotland’s schools. 

TIE delivered a presentation and engaged in some discussion and a Q&A session on how they took forward their ambitions to embed LGBT Inclusive Education in Curriculum for Excellence. The slides from the presentation are included as an annex to these minutes.

Jordan and Liam outlined the background to their programme, how it was developed and the phased implementation plan they have for 2021 and beyond. They also acknowledged that there is a lot more work to be done to ensure sustainability of the programme.

A significant resource which has been produced is the LGBT Education platform. This is intended to evolve over time as schools pick up the work, allowing schools to contribute to the site to share good practice. It ensures resources and professional learning materials are consolidated in one place. Everything available on the website fits with the national approach and curriculum in Scotland. The implementation toolkit available on this platform sets out a structured pathway for schools to follow in order to effectively embed LGBT inclusive education in their curriculum.

Jordan and Liam ended their presentation with some reflections on the process of developing and implementing their programme:

  • trust and collaboration – when they began the process, they had little trust in officials, with the fear that their ambitions might be watered down, but found that officials helped them to ensure that recommendations were fit for purpose and were very invested in getting the correct approach
  • it was imperative that lived experience was at the heart of their approach throughout
  • innovative thinking, they found that civil servants tended to think “inside the box”, but external bodies assisted with thinking “outside the box”, bringing these two approaches together helped provide solutions
  • their working group had a specific lifespan, the timescale needed to be short, it was considered there was no time to wait to deliver change, deadlines were applied to every subgroup, which helped to sharpen minds and focus attention
  • red and amber lines, they reflected that they found it difficult to step back from their red lines and be flexible, but the reality was that wholesale change and fundamental reform of Scottish education was outwith their remit
  • pragmatism and the swift delivery of LGBT education was a priority, they didn’t give up their principles or values, but by making some red lines amber they were able to find a way to move forwards, collaborative working ensured targets and goals were achieved

The meeting was opened to questions.

Q – Asif Chishti asked how TIE achieved buy-in from Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers? How successful has this been?

A – A separate subgroup was created with all ITE institutions on the group who agreed to advance and move work forwards in this area. TIE have also worked closely with the Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE), and created ITE inputs in Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities and are looking at implementing in Strathclyde and Stirling before the end of the year.

Q – Carol Young asked whether there was any useful information gleaned from the evaluation and monitoring of the work implemented so far? If not far enough ahead in the evaluation process yet, what aspects of the proposal have had the biggest impact in their personal opinion?

A – There is no evaluation report as yet, but one is due in December. However, a four week review has recently been carried out and shows that just short of 1,000 teachers completed the teacher training available, the platform was accessed 11,000 times, with 5,000 downloads of resources. The feedback received has been positive. Of the 300 schools represented on the lgbteducation.scot platform, TIE have engaged with 158. There is a responsibility to ensure that delivery is expanded out to local authorities and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses via showcases and webinars. TIE recognise that although their programme has been launched, it needs to be maintained so it doesn’t fizzle out. Creating an impact on learners has been stage one, via professional learning and curriculum resources. Within days of the launch, communication had been received from teachers advising they were already using the resources, and providing helpful feedback. The biggest practical impact has been the tools provided to the teachers.

Q – Jovan Rao Rydder expressed interest in the process of trying to create solutions within the bounds of the education system.

A – Whilst TIE found that the education system had boundaries, they were encouraged to find creative solutions to avoid the pitfalls of legislation and time constraints. Statutory guidance already available within schools was linked with the work of TIE. The Learning Themes provides a good example of this, it is not possible to tell schools that they must be talking about or teaching certain things, so instead a content framework was developed, allowing a different path to resolving an identified problem.

Q – Mélina Valdelièvre asked whether early learning centres (ELC) and community family learning was included in the TIE programme, and if not whether it would be added eventually?

A – TIE consider that the approach must first be ironed out in primary and secondary school settings before being moved into other areas such as ELC and community family learning. However, the stage one course which is available on the lgbteducation.scot platform is available and can be completed by early years staff.

The group then moved into breakout rooms to further discuss potential links between the work of the TIE programme and the REAREP. A paper outlining the feedback from the groups is included 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:

  • the secretariat will circulate the minutes and write up of today’s break out discussions

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 25 November 2021, at which the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills will be in attendance. The focus of the meeting will be on:

  • reflections on what the group has achieved during its first year working together
  • consideration of whether the Programme’s existing structures are working in an optimum way and what changes and improvements should be made going forward to successfully deliver actions

Papers