Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour In Schools minutes: September 2021

Minutes from Scottish Advisory Group on Relationships and Behaviour In Schools from September 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • COSLA Spokesperson for Education, Children and Young People (Chair)
  • Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
  • Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • Association of Headteachers and Deputies Scotland (AHDS)
  • Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • COSLA Children and Young People’s Team
  • Education Scotland
  • Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • respectme
  • School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA)
  • Scottish Government, Education Analytical Services  (EAS)
  • Scottish Government, Support and Wellbeing Unit


  • GTCS

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed attendees, with a particular welcome to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to her first SAGRABIS meeting.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills noted that she was pleased to be at the meeting and was looking forward to hearing discussions.

Apologies were noted from GTCS.

Terms of reference – paper 1

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 this group, including a review of the Terms of Reference (ToR) and membership.

SG provided an updated Terms of Reference document following comments taken at the previous meeting. Key changes include:

  • remit and aims were updated to reflect current work
  • importance of all school staff is stronger
  • UNCRC focus drawn out further
  • policy context updated to include Scottish Attainment Challenge and the Building Safer Communities programme

Members suggested a number of further changes to the ToR including: 

  • add reference to The Promise
  • change reference of ‘strategies’ to ‘approaches’
  • strengthen the rights of staff
  • link to diversity agenda

Action 1: SG to update TOR and circulate for agreement via email.

Relationships and behaviour resource

Education Scotland provided an overview of the resources they developed on the National Improvement Hub on ‘Promoting Positive Relationships and Behaviour’ and ‘Restorative approaches to support positive relationships and behaviour’ which highlight existing guidance and brings resources together to assist school staff in locating support materials.

Members were supportive about the draft resources, noting they would be helpful for school staff. Members agreed to contact Education Scotland directly with feedback they had on the resource.

Action 2: Members to contact Education Scotland with any feedback on the relationships and behaviour resource.

Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research (BISSR)

Earlier this year, members agreed to postpone BISSR in light of the pandemic and school closures. 

Scottish Government Educational Analytical Services (EAS) provided an update on BISSR and requested members views on how the next wave of BISSR should go ahead including timescales.

Members made a number of comments including:

  • the COVID-19 questions the group had agreed to add may now be out of date and will need reviewed
  • it is important that to have data that can be meaningfully compared
  • to be aware we are still in a pandemic and schools, staff and children and young people are still affected
  • consideration of the current ask on schools and how we approach BISSR/timing

Action 3: SG agreed to consider timing of the next BISSR as well as the COVID-19 related questions and would feedback to the group.

The Promise 

The Promise included an action to reduce the number of exclusions of care experienced young people.  Specifically, the Promise recommended that all exclusions of care experienced young people should be stopped without removal of the legal framework.

However, it is recognised that there is challenges in that and that there is still value in having the approach in very specific circumstances, as a last resort, for a short time to allow the situation to settle and arrangements to be put in place.

SG asked members to send any examples of positive practice where exclusions of care experienced young people had reduced.

SG highlighted that the wider response to The Promise from the Learning Directorate will link to the work of this group as well as to the broader response and perspective from local authorities and other organisations.

Action 4: SG to provide a paper on The Promise at the next meeting.


SG advised that the Support and Wellbeing Team Leader had moved on to a new post. The group passed on their best wishes to him.

Date for next meeting

The next meeting will take place in January and will be chaired by a member of the group (to be confirmed).

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