Attendees and apologies
- Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) Spokesperson (joint Chair)
- Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA)
- Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
- Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
- General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS)
- COSLA Children and Young People’s Team
- School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
- National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS)
- Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
- Association of Headteachers and Deputies Scotland (AHDS)
- Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP)
- National Associations of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)
- Education Scotland
- Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government
- Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (joint Chair)
Items and actions
Welcome and introductions
The Chair welcomed the meeting and apologies were noted.
Additional Support for Learning (ASL) review
Members were asked to note the written update on the ASL Review and the Co-ordinated support plans (CSPs) Review.
NASWUT advised they would provide comments via email.
Review of terms of reference and membership
The ASL Review made a number of recommendations to improve the educational experiences of children and young people with additional support needs. The report included two recommendations in relation to the work of SAGRABIS, including a review of the Terms of Reference (ToR) and membership.
The ToR and membership of SAGRABIS was last reviewed in 2014.
The Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government suggested additional members to invite to the group as well as areas to add to the ToR. Members were invited to provide comments.
Members agreed with the proposed additions to the ToR, following changes to the wording to ensure it is clear that all aspects of the remit are in the context of relationships and behaviour.
It was suggested that if additional members are invited to the group, it should be on a temporary basis given the size of the group. SG agreed to consider whether additional members were required on SAGRABIS and would provide an updated ToR at the following meeting.
SLS suggested establishing a sub-group to consider national and global evidence on relationships and behaviour in schools. SG confirmed that it is part of the remit of SAGRABIS so members would need to consider the purpose of a sub-group.
Action 1: SG to update ToR and membership for final sign off at the next meeting.
Action 2: SG/members to consider whether a sub-group on considering national and global research would be helpful.
The Promise – addressing exclusion
The Promise seeks to ensure that care experienced children and young people are able to reach their full potential, by ensuring that they fully access their entitlements to education and learning. As part of that, The Promise makes specific asks in relation to the use of exclusion.
Members agreed that:
- SAGRABIS supports the development of policy and approaches to ensuring that care experienced children and young people achieve their full potential
- the work of SAGRABIS, which focusses on the promotion of positive relationships and behaviour provides the foundation from which this matter should be considered further
- work should be undertaken to explore a much deeper statistical picture relating to the exclusion of care experienced young people
- the group should identify any approaches (not already well established) which would assist in supporting this work further
Members welcomed the offer of being involved in the SG’s response to the wider actions in the Promise.
EIS hightlighted the importance of joining up on any future work. That included looking at the interventions applied to ensure:
- a managed return to school
- robust plan which addresses the on-going need of the child
- appropriate support provided to parents and carrer
Asylum seeking children need to be included as well.
EIS highlighted the importance of joining up on any future work that included looking at the interventions applied to ensure there is a managed return to school, that there is a robust plan which addresses the on-going needs of the child, and that appropriate support is provided to parents and carers. Inclusion of unaccompanied asylum seeking children need to be included.
SSTA highlighted that there are cases where exclusion is the right approach in some situations as it can help to manage behaviour and relationships with pupils and staff. Important that exclusion should not act as a barrier to learning.
Action 3: Members to send SG any examples of approaches to assist around the exclusion of care experienced children and young people.
Action 4: SG to provide an updated paper on The Promise at the next meeting.
Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research (BISSR)
At the end of January, members were asked to consider the best way to proceed with BISSR this year in light of school closures.
SG agreed to provide an update to the group via email where members views on going forward would be sought.
Action 5: SG to provide an update on BISSR via email.
Return to school – health and safety of pupils
At the previous meeting, members reported a rise in pupils not complying with measures in schools including not wearing face coverings and not adhering to social distancing. It was highlighted that similar issues may arise with schools beginning to return over the next few months. It was important for forthcoming SG guidance to highlight that exclusion for not following health and safety guidance should be a last resort, once all other approaches had been explored.
SG confirmed it would consider this point when updating the Reducing Risk Guidance.
It was agreed the group would consider the long term health and safety of pupils post COVID-19 at a later date.
Action 6: SG to consider the health and safety of pupils when updating the Reducing Risk Guidance.
Action 7: SAGRABIS to consider the long term health and safety of pupils post COVID-19 at a later date.
Any other business
The existing EIS and NPFS representatives advised that they will be stepping down from SAGRABIS and that new representatives from their respective organisations would take their places. They were thanked for their contributions to SAGRABIS and members wished them well.
The next meeting will take place in June. Date to be confirmed.
Action 8: SG to arrange next meeting in June 2021.
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