Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools minutes: March 2024

Minutes from the meeting of Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools on 20 March 2024

Attendees and apologies

  • COSLA Spokesperson on Children and Young People (Chair)
  • Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
  • Education Scotland
  • Association of Headteachers and Deputies Scotland (AHDS)
  • Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS)
  • respectme
  • School Leaders Scotland (SLS)Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA)
  • Edinburgh University
  • Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government (Secretariat) 


  • ADES
  • GTCS

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The chair welcomed attendees and noted apologies from ADES and GTCS.  

Minutes of meeting on 31 January 2023

The chair noted the minutes from the meeting held on 31 January had been circulated for approval and invited comments from members. Members agreed the content of the minutes and that these could be published on the Scottish Government website.

Action: SG to publish minutes from 31 January on the Scottish Government website

Draft relationships and behaviour action plan

The chair noted this was the third time SAGRABIS had considered the draft action plan, following discussions about initial approach at the December meeting, and a more detailed discussion at the January meeting. Further written comments had been made since January, and these had been reflected in the plan, where appropriate.

The Scottish Government Support and Wellbeing Unit provided an update on the amendments to the draft since the last meeting. The chair thanked members for the contributions to date and welcomed feedback from members relating to the action plan. Some points members raised were:

  • the large number of actions within the plan was highlighted, with a desire for there to be prioritisation/scheduling within the plan
  • the challenge around attendance was highlighted, which impacted on relationships and therefore behaviour
  • there was a need to review the language within the plan, particularly around rights, exclusions and expectations
  • consideration should be given to including more specific actions on risk assessment
  • identifying the right overarching outcomes was important, to enable all parties to commit to embedding these
  • the plan needed to be supported by funding
  • consideration should be given to how to reflect differentiated discipline
  • wider impact of poverty, children and young people are operating within challenging circumstances which should be reflected within the narrative
  • a focus for outputs should be around how to create a positive culture, values and ethos, particularly in tackling low level disruption
  • are there ways to address the capacity issues within local authorities around Speech and Language therapists
  • outcomes are long term and generational, but there is a need to consider more immediate welfare of teachers in classroom

The chair thanked members for their feedback, and asked for any further comments to be sent via email.

Action: SG to contact members for contributions to the action plan

Action: Members to submit any further comments or suggested changes to the plan by Tuesday 27 March to inform the next draft

Refreshed guidance on the use of mobile phones in schools

The chair noted a revised draft of the guidance had been circulated for consideration. The chair invited to the Scottish Government Support and Wellbeing Unit to update on the amendments that had been made. Due to time constraints, comments were invited via correspondence, but initial reflections were:  

  • the drafting on use of technology during SQA exam diet should be clarified
  • consideration should be given to the differences between smart mobile phones and basic mobile phones
  • the Respect for All online bullying sub-group had recently discussed the legal framework around mobile communications, and it was important to have consistency between the messaging of these outputs
  • consideration should be given to whether there should be greater clarity over what was meant by respectful use

Action: Members should provide any comments or suggested changes to the plan by Tuesday 27 March

Action: A further draft will be sent via correspondence for agreement before publication.

Next steps

The chair noted as the next meeting of SAGRABIS is not scheduled to be held until Thursday 14th May, in order to meet the Spring publication deadlines, further progress would likely need to be made by correspondence and/or individual meetings with organisations, particularly on the action plan.

The Cabinet Secretary asked that another date for SAGRABIS be arranged in April in order to facilitate progress towards the Spring publication deadline.  

Action: Secretariat to identify a date for an April meeting and send out calendar invites to members

Any Other Business

No other business was raised. The chair closed the meeting.

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