Attendees and apologies
- Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government (Chair)
- Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS)
- Scottish Anti-Racism Education (SARE)
- CEMVO Scotland
- Coalition For Racial Equality And Rights (CRER)
- Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
- Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
- Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
- General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
- Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)
- Education Scotland
- Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government (secretariat)
- Early Learning and Childcare Team, Scottish Government
Items and actions
Welcome from chair
The chair welcomed colleagues to the meeting and apologies were noted.
Minutes from January meeting
The chair advised that the minutes from the meeting held on 25 January had previously been circulated and comments were invited from members.
The minutes were not agreed. SARE advised they had a number of comments on the minutes which they would circulate via email.
Action: SARE to share comments on the minutes of the January meeting via email.
SG agreed to consider SARE’s comments. Updated minutes of the meeting will be circulated for clearance by correspondence.
Action: SG to circulate updated minutes from the January meeting to members to seek clearance via correspondence.
Following on from discussion of the minute of the January meeting, the group discussed the action to establish the Objective connect space. SARE advised that the comments on the Whole School Approach framework (WSA) were not showing in the Objective Connect version. SG agreed to look into this.
Action: SG to ensure that comments are showing in the Objective Connect versions of the documents.
The chair provided an update on the actions from the meeting held in January:
- minutes of October and November meetings to be agreed via correspondence - updated minutes were circulated for clearance. Comments due back Friday 18th March. Nil returns considered agreement
- to propose removal of the term bullying from the workstream title at SNG - covered under item 4 on agenda
- SARE to share comments on ToR via correspondence - complete
- SG to set up Objective Connect space for members to share information and comment collaboratively on documents - complete. Members should have received invite. Please contact secretariat if not
All other actions were suggested updates to the ToR and WSA which have been considered – WSA will be discussed under item 5 on the agenda.
Minutes from focussed discussion
The chair advised that the minutes from the focussed discussion on bullying had previously been circulated and comments were invited from members.
The minutes were not agreed. SARE advised they had comments in relation to point 2.10 in the minutes that they would share with the group. SG agreed to consider the comments, then circulate the minutes to seek agreement via correspondence.
Action: SG to circulate updated minutes from the focussed discussion to seek agreement via correspondence.
The group discussed where concerns regarding racism towards school staff would be reflected in this work. The discussion began to focus on the action plan and the WSA and so was picked up again under agenda item 5.
Update from IYS and CEMVO on Stakeholder Network Group (SNG) March meeting
Following the focussed discussion on bullying, it was agreed that a proposal would be made at the Stakeholder Network Group (SNG) to remove the term bullying from the workstream title. IYS and CEMVO attended SNG to provide the update and proposal.
It was confirmed that there was agreement from the SNG to remove the term bullying from the workstream title and that focus of the whole school approach will be on anti-racist approaches. This means that the references to anti-bullying within the whole-school approach will be minimal, and limited to explaining the differences between racism and racist incidents and bullying. Consequently, there is agreement to update Respect for all, to ensure that the appropriate links are also made within that context. The agreement to the removal of the term bullying from references to this workstream includes all related paperwork, meeting requests and filing systems. There was also agreement from the SNG to remove the term bullying from all of the other workstreams.
Updated outline of whole school approach (WSA)
The chair advised that the skeleton outline of the WSA had been converted into a document to enable the process of drafting to begin. The original skeleton outline has been appended to the end of the document to enable workstream members to cross reference and reassure themselves that their contributions have been carried forward into the new document.
SARE advised they had a number of comments on the WSA which they would share with the group via email. SARE provided an overview of some of their comments which included:
- we need to shift the terminology around parental engagement from an authoritarian model to a collaborative model which is not currently clear in the WSA
- there is support available for parents in certain areas (English as a second language, for example) but there should be support available specifically for parents dealing with racism in education settings
- parents, carers and families is a broad title and each grouping can have different needs
- work required around Additional Support Needs (ASN) and Complex needs as children and young people are being diagnosed with an additional support need because staff are not recognising the signs of racial trauma
- we can’t talk about racism in terms of a detached process
- racism is violence and that is not currently captured in the WSA
- early years has been missed from the WSA
- this document should be acting as a benchmark and at the moment it is not
- bullying has been included at specific points in the WSA, more detail of which will be highlighted in SAREs written comments
- racism is a form of human rights abuse and that needs to be acknowledged before the term trauma informed can be used
Action: SARE to share comments on WSA via email.
Action: SG advised they would discuss concerns around CYP being wrongly identified was having additional support needs as a result of racial trauma with Additional Support for Learning policy colleagues.
SG clarified that the legal definition of “school” includes children and young people aged 3-18 and so early years is included within that. SG advised that many of the matters raised will come to fruition as the WSA is developed.
CRER noted that the WSA is shaping up well but that the tone and how it is delivered will be key to ensuring it comes from an anti-racist standpoint. CRER suggested the critical race theory framework could be used as a way to shape this work’s shared thinking to ensure consistency across the workstreams.
CRER advised they had planned to develop support for parents dealing with racism in education settings but had to pause it due to funding issues. CRER intend to continue to explore alternative funding options to pick up this piece of work at a later date.
SARE requested that if the Macpherson report is used in this work that is it considered in its entirety and that all recommendations are implemented. The chair advised they are reading the Macpherson report and that careful consideration will be required around how the group may refer to and use the report within the WSA. SARE also advised there is learning that can be taken from other racist incidents.
EIS advised that there is a need to focus on racism towards staff in the terms of reference (ToR), action plan and WSA. EIS suggested there could be a sub group established to focus on this area. EIS agreed to add suggested changes and comments to the TOR and action plan and to highlight where this should be pulled through in the WSA.
Action: EIS to provide comments on the ToR, action plan and WSA to ensure racism towards staff is reflected appropriately in the work.
It was suggested that a separate section on teachers and education practitioners should be included in the WS. EIS and ES agreed to develop that section together and invited other members to support them if they are interested.
Action: EIS and ES to develop a section on teachers and education practitioners in the WSA.
It was highlighted that there should be acknowledgement that racism and structural racism exists in Scotland within the WSA. There was a suggestion to include a section on the impact of racism, possibly with case studies highlighting manifestations you might see in children and young people experiencing racism.
SG welcomed suggestions on how to alter the structure of the WSA and make it more robust from members. SG suggested that the impact of racism on young people and acknowledgement that racism exists in schools could be included in the Ministerial foreword of the WSA.
CEMVO highlighted the importance of making references to SHANARI and GIRFEC in the WSA as well as ensuring the UNCRC, wider Human rights statements (educators have rights in there) and Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination are included in the legal framework section and referenced throughout the document.
Action: SG to include references to SHANARI and GIRFEC, UNCRC, wider Human rights statements and Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination throughout the WSA.
SG confirmed the process for drafting the WSA. Members are invited to add comments and text to the WSA in Connect. Members can either draft sections directly or ask for things to be added and SG can draft suggested content. This allows members to see how the WSA is developing.
Action: Members to add comments to the WSA in Connect.
It was proposed that in terms of recording and monitoring, this work would link to the self-evaluation framework under HGIOS4 to ensure that there is a clear link between monitoring and reviewing racism.
Concerns were raised from SARE around HGIOS4 as it only mentions racism once. SARE suggested that a specific evaluation framework focussing on racism should be developed.
CRER suggested the existing system for recording and monitoring is not consistent with the focus of this group. CRER suggested that there should be a mandatory recording and monitoring system. Suggestions were raised around linking this with the Public Sector Equalities Duties.
SG confirmed that it is not within the scope of this group to make changes to the inspections framework. SG colleagues will liaise with the Education Scotland scrutiny team to consider how the WSA may reflect the self-evaluation framework.
Updated action plan
The chair advised the action plan had been updated following earlier feedback. The chair advised that going forward, changes would be made in tracked changes to allow members to see where their comments have been made.
An update is required to be provided to the SNG by 25 March around the plans and actions that will be taken forward in this workstream. Currently only outcomes 1 and 5 have been agreed. Members were invited to advise if they are content with the wider action plan.
EIS advised that an action on racism towards teachers should be added and offered to provide a first draft.
Action: EIS to provide suggested action on racism towards teachers to include in the action plan.
SARE advised they had a number of comments on the action plan that they would share with the group.
Action: SARE to share feedback on the action plan with the secretariat.
SG agreed to consider all comments, acknowledging that there will be boundaries of this work.
SG confirmed that actions 1 and 5 would put forward to the SNG and would be advised that the other actions require more discussion before agreement can be reached.
Action: SG to put forward actions 1 and 5 of the action plan to the SNG.
Some members raised concerns about members of the group who are not part of a funded organisation not being paid for their input to this work. It was agreed that a proposal, including costings would be provided to the SNG for consideration. This would be discussed at the next workstream meeting in April.
Action: A discussion around members not being paid for their input to this work to be added to the April meeting agenda.
Any other business
It was agreed there should be an update from SNG as a standing item on agendas going forward.
Action: Secretariat to add ‘Update from SNG’ as a standing item on agendas going forward.
There have been discussions on people of colour co-chairing the various workstreams and it was agreed this would be discussed at the next meeting.
Action: Co-chairing to be discussed at the meeting in April.
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