Strategic Board for Teacher Education minutes: October 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 14 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Sam Anson, Chair, Scottish Government
  • Scott Brand, Secretary, Scottish Government
  • Simon Cameron, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Janey Irving, Education Scotland
  • Fearghal Kelly, Education Scotland
  • Mandy Toogood, Education Scotland
  • Anne Keenan, Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS)
  • Pauline Stephen, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • Tara Lillis, NASUWT
  • Barrie Sheppard, National Parents Forum Scotland (NPFS)
  • Margery McMahon, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Jim Thewliss, School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • Barbara Coupar, Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES)
  • Seamus Searson, Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA)
  • Khadija Mohammed , University of the West of Scotland (UWS)
  • Stuart Robb, Scottish Government
  • Keya Raksith , Scottish Government

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Apologies were noted from Susan Quinn, Lesley Whelan, Duncan Laurie, Michael Wood, Sharon McLellan. 

Sam Anson welcomed members to the meeting and noted that this was a combination of in-person and MS Teams participation. 

Minute of the previous meeting

These were accepted without amendment.

Action point: Secretariat to publish the minute of 1 June and supporting papers on the Scottish Government website.

Action tracker

The action points were discussed and it was noted that:

  • SG, ADES and SCDE are yet to meet to discuss student placements

  • the HT Recruitment and Retention WG will report back to the SG following further consideration of their work plan

Education reform

Clare Hicks presented on the next stages of the Education Reform Programme. She made the following points:

  • the programme will move into a period of engagement with the teaching profession

  • acceptance that communications with the profession need to be strengthened

  • the new structures need to reflect national strategies and consider current reviews such as qualifications and assessment

  • vision is equity and excellence within a self-improving system that delivers on quality of teaching and school leadership

  • new bodies will be user centred, data focused, learning organisations, digital by default, collaborative and sustainable

  • the timetable is for options to be developed and shared with stakeholders early in 2023 with legislation likely to be completed over 2023/24

Board members made the following points:

  • equity and equality needs be at the forefront of this process

  • BAME and wider diversity issues need to be considered in the governance arrangements

  • stronger engagement needed with classroom teachers, with dedicated time being given to support this engagement and collaborative discussion

  • synergy needed between the three organisations with clarity on remits and roles, underpinned by a culture of empowerment, which values teacher professionalism

Draft remit and workplan

Sam Anson said that there is a need to consolidate the work of the Board and ensure impact. The Board needs to be clear on what it is aiming to achieve and ensure it is cross-cutting in nature.

Scott Brand introduced the revised remit and workplan.  He made the following points:

  • the Workplan focuses on the teacher journey and is split into the four themes of ITE, Early Phase Career, CLPL and leadership, with interconnection across these themes

  • each theme has an aim together with key issues and related projects and initiatives

  • the workplan is a developing document that will benefit from board members’ input and will be updated following the decisions and actions that the board take

Board members made the following points:

  • explicit reference should be given to the recruitment of BAME teachers and leaders

  • consideration should be given to reviewing progress with implementing the recommendations from the “Teaching Scotland’s Future” report

  • ensure a coherence across policy frameworks with clear outcomes for the Board to achieve

  • there is a need to consider any possible gap between policy and practice

  • workforce planning needs to reflect the impact of COVID on HWB and of Long-COVID

  • consideration of additional support for those probationers on the Flexible Route and the need for an Equality Impact Assessment to be conducted on TIS

  • A specific link is needed to the Professional Standards

  • highlight the need for more recruitment in denominational schools and for more permanent contracts for teachers

  • there is a need to ensure that issues passed to other working groups are not then overlooked

  • clarity was sought on why this group exists, how it is going to achieve its outcomes as well as who owns the policies/governance in certain areas

In summary, Board members were asking for an overarching statement together with a layer of detail and a model for how change will be actioned.

Action point: Secretariat to revise remit and workplan and share these with members for comment prior to the next meeting.

Coaching strategy for education in Scotland

Mandy Toogood, Lead Specialist, Education Scotland, introduced the paper on the Coaching Strategy for Education in Scotland. This strategy considers how coaching can support the education workforce and Education Scotland together with the GTCS are working on building capacity to spread coaching across the education workforce. This includes bringing partners together to see how capacity of coaching can be built. As part of the Supporting Workforce Wellbeing offer there is an introductory professional learning offer for all educators across the system; Into Coaching . The coaching and mentoring matters web pages will be reviewed and redeveloped to support building capacity in the education system in line with the strategy objectives.

Board members made the following comments:

  • clearer communication is needed that coaching is not management supervision

  • there is a coaching offer as part of the SAMEE offer which is now funded through SG, however, there is a need to consider a wider wellbeing support offer for BAME educators

  • the strategy needs to be well informed, representative and developed in partnership

 Action point: Education Scotland to develop the Strategy further with the assistance of SBTE members as relevant.

Support for teachers in the early phase of career: stepping stones experience update

Janey Irving, Lead Specialist, Education Scotland, introduced the paper on Stepping Stones. The programme provides direct support for early career teachers and probationer managers. GTCS, Columba 1400 and Education Scotland collaborated on the development of this programme. The programme includes an on-line wellbeing community involving coaching models and learning sets, signposting to specific professional learning for early career teachers and a monthly newsletter. For probation managers and others working with early career teachers an ambassador pilot has been established to support them in their role.

Board members made the following comments:

  • there was a concern that the people who need the additional support might not engage with the programme

  • can an analysis be made of who is and isn’t engaging including a BAME breakdown?

Action point: Education Scotland to consider an analysis of take up

Education Scotland professional learning and leadership offer

Fearghal Kelly introduced this paper. He made the following points:

  • the Into Headship programme will be evaluated by Alma Harris

  • An impact survey is currently being prepared on programmes

  • A new Agile School Leadership programme aimed at school leadership teams and system leaders has launched

  • making Sense of System Leadership will launch shortly

  • building racial literacy is now open to all educators in Scotland

Board members made the following comments:

  • headteachers in independent schools are not required to have the Standard for Headship

  • In Headship numbers are small and there are sustainability issues if this continues. However, participants report that it is the ideal time in their career to complete the 60-credit programme as it provides a very supportive environment. This message needs to be promoted more widely to newly appointed headteachers

  • It was noted that more generally there was reduced discussion around undertaking masters modules compared to before the pandemic

  • the purpose of the programmes need to highlight the link to the Standards and pupil outcomes

  • there is a need to embed HWB and racial literacy within programmes rather than optional extras

  • there are also many other offers from other providers across Scotland. The Education Scotland endorsement process supports a mapping of professional learning across the

  Action point: board members to bring their professional learning offers forward for endorsement.  

Any other business

There was no any other business raised. 

Schedule of future meetings

There was discussion on the frequency of meetings and it was agreed that a schedule that matched the Scottish Education Council and was roughly every 2 months would be suitable and keep up the Board’s momentum. It was also agreed that the meetings should be one and a half hours.

  The dates for future meetings are:

  • Tuesday, 22 November, 10.30 am – 12.00

  • Tuesday 31 January, 10.30 am – 12.00

  • Wednesday 29 March, 10.00 am – 11.30 am

  • Wednesday 31 May, 10.00 am – 11.30 am

Action point: Secretariat to revise meeting invites to 90 minutes.

Action tracker (meeting 22)

Action tracker:

  • secretariat to publish minute of 1 June meeting and associated supporting papers on the Scottish Government website  Lead: SB

  • secretariat to revise timings of meetings to 90 minutes Lead: SB

  • secretariat to revise remit and workplan and share these with members for comment prior to the next meeting Lead: SB

  • Education Scotland to develop the Coaching Strategy further and set up a short-life working group to ensure stakeholder input Lead: LW

  • SBTE members wishing to be part of the Coaching Strategy short-life working group to contact Education Scotland Lead: All members

  • Education Scotland to consider an analysis of take up of the Stepping Stones programme Lead: LW

  • board members to bring their professional learning offers forward for Endorsement Lead: All members

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