All Learning Reps are given EIS email addresses – these addresses are linked directly to a personal email address although this is kept private from anyone communicating with the Learning Rep.
Learning Reps (LRs) working across all schools within their area are also provided with LR business cards including email and telephone number.
A question which is often asked is,
"do I give assistance to non-EIS members on CPD/Professional Learning matters"?
The Learning Rep Protocol states that LRs will work in a flexible manner with teachers/lecturers who are members of other unions and non-union teachers/lecturers.
Learning Reps only provide detailed support, information and guidance on professional development opportunities to members of the EIS. The EIS pays the significant fees to train their LRs, so it is right that only EIS members fully benefit from this service.
It can be a recruiting tool for teachers/lecturers who are not a member of any union, however care has to be taken when talking to people who are members of other unions in this regard.
Learning Reps can advise on any CPD/Professional Learning.
Learning Reps work closely with local authority CPD/Professional Learning personnel and further education college/higher education institution CPD personnel as indicated in the previous section.
CPD/Professional Learning is about personal as well as professional development and this can be indicated to teachers/lecturers who perhaps do not want to undertake formal courses.
With the introduction of Professional Update, LRs have a crucial role to play in giving practice advice and guidance to colleagues about the most appropriate CPD/Professional Learning for them as an individual.
It is not always about courses and it is important that LRs do make this clear to colleagues. They can of course undertake a course if that is what they wish to do but it is important that they know that other things such as Professional Dialogue count as CPD/Professional Learning too.
Many Learning Reps are members of the CPD/Professional Learning committees where decisions are taken regarding the provision which will be available, and can have an input to what is actually required whilst also making sure that it is quality CPD/Professional Learning.
It is very beneficial for LRs to be members of these committees where possible.
The SULF 7 Report gives information about types of CPD undertaken by teachers and lecturers at the time the report was drawn up, and is included in the handbook.
Since 2005, Learning Reps have been instrumental in raising the profile of CPD amongst teacher and lecturers.
They work in partnership with local authorities and further education college managements to hold joint CPD events. These events were developed to raise the profile of CPD and the Learning Reps.
The joint events are held throughout Scotland and attract speakers and contributors of the highest standard. Each event is attended by a large number of participants and evaluations have shown how important these events actually are in raising the profile of CPD/Professional Learning.
The events feature a mixture of keynote speakers and workshops. Some events have taken the form of Professional Dialogue events where teachers/lecturers can ask questions of a panel comprising both national and local education figures.
Further assistance and guidance can be obtained from Leigh Meechan in the EIS Education Department.