Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools (SAGRABIS): terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour in Schools.

Policy context

The promotion of positive relationships and behaviour in schools is essential to ensuring all children and young people develop the four capacities at the centre of Curriculum for Excellence. Research has demonstrated that investing time and resources into improving relationships and behaviour in establishments leads to positive outcomes around inclusion, engagement, attainment and achievement in the short term and community safety and cohesion in the longer term. The work of SAGRABIS sits within a wider policy context which includes Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), the Early Years Framework, Children’s Rights, Delivery for Scottish Education Plan, the Scottish Attainment Challenge and the Building Safer Communities programme which collectively contribute towards the Government’s aim of making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. 

Remit and aims

The remit of the group, which covers all staff (teaching, support staff and those from partner organisations) and all children and young people in Scottish schools, is to provide advice in the context of relationships and behaviour to national and local government and other relevant stakeholders on matters relating to:

  • promoting positive relationships and behaviour (including anti-bullying and diversity) in schools and establishments for all children and young people (3-18) in order to create a positive ethos and climate for learning
  • the programme of work set out in Developing a positive whole school ethos and culture: relationships, learning and behaviour and any future updates 
  • the Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research (BISSR) series
  • the impact of social media on relationships and behaviour in schools, informed by Guidance on developing policies to promote the safe and responsible use of mobile technology in schools
  • promoting the important role of support staff, including consideration of innovative practice to include such staff in whole school approaches to promoting positive relationships and behaviour
  • assessment of the Children’s Rights, UNCRC and The Promise agenda’s on policies and practice to promote positive relationships and behaviour in schools
  • the link between wellbeing and deprivation and the impact on relationships and behaviour in schools
  • promote approaches which help to improve outcomes for children and young people
  • the development of policy and practice in relation to Physical Intervention and Seclusion
  • the development and delivery of measures to improve the educational experiences of children and young people with additional support needs, this should take account of the recommendations from the ASL Review 

The aim of the group is to:

  • continue to promote and support the development of positive relationships and behaviour in Scottish schools against a background of a positive ethos and culture of mutual respect and trust based upon shared values across whole school communities where everyone can learn and work in a peaceful and safe environment
  • provide leadership and consensus on effective approaches to promote positive relationships, recognising rights of staff and the need for support to manage more challenging behaviour in schools and establishments. This will include agreeing, overseeing and responding to relevant research into relationship and behaviour in schools
  • provide advice and support for local authorities and schools on how to develop and implement those approaches. This will include consideration of how best to identify and disseminate innovative practice across Scotland

The group will provide advice and assistance to support the effective delivery of the SAGRABIS work programme and priority actions in Better Relationships, Better Learning and Better Behaviour.

Meetings and chair

The group will meet approximately 4 times a year, in a mixture of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ meetings. The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and the COSLA Spokesperson for Education, Children and Young People will co-chair the formal meetings for the group (of which there will be approximately 2 per year), recognising the shared vision and need for strong leadership at national and local level. The informal meetings will be chaired by another member of the group, as agreed on an ad hoc basis. 


The group will agree a rolling programme of work which will form the substantive agenda for both formal and informal meetings. There will be flexibility to amend or add to the agenda in response to issues as they arise. Particular tasks may warrant the establishment of sub-groups, consisting either of a subset of group members or involving co-opted others, as agreed by the group. Members are present to reflect the views of the organisations they represent and are expected to feedback on discussions as appropriate. The group will undertake opportunities to promote a consistent language and understanding of policy as well as communicating shared priorities and narrative. The group will also develop tailored messages for key policy areas using targeted communications as identified by the group. The on-going success of the group will depend upon mutual trust and respect and may at times require a degree of confidentiality around discussions in seeking to arrive at consensus and providing advice. 


Membership of the group will comprise:

  • Scottish Government (Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills) – Joint Chair
  • COSLA (Children and Young People’s Team) – Joint Chair 
  • Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS)
  • Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA)
  • School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Association of Headteachers and Deputes Scotland (AHDS)
  • National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)
  • Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • Scottish Teacher Education Committee (STEC)
  • respectme
  • National Parent Forum for Scotland (NPFS)
  • Education Scotland
  • Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government

Secretariat will be provided by Scottish Government officials from the Learning Directorate.

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