David is a supply teacher with a long and rich career spanning schools, FE and industry in the UK and abroad.

In a folder containing his degree certificate and other formal qualifications he also keeps a completion certificate from a one-day course offered by EIS and Scottish Union Learning (SUL) on developing awareness around young people’s mental health.

David agreed to speak to the EIS Professional Learning team about this course and how it has supported his learning.

The one-day course, delivered in September, is the latest professional learning David has participated in. He notes that "it's interesting to meet and talk with other colleagues on important subjects like mental health", making it clear that neither the chance to network, nor access to learning provision are commonplace for supply teachers. 

He has actively sought out learning opportunities throughout his career, including self-financing his degree, completed in his own time. He sometimes attends the Scottish Learning Festival, held at the SEC yearly. However, attending such events during the week often means a choice between having an income, and accessing learning.

He found out about the course from the EIS member e-bulletin, which goes directly to members instead of workplace. Often without a consistent workplace to access professional learning information and more importantly funding options, getting information directly is an important feature for supply teachers. 

Supported by the SUL Learning Fund, funding is not an issue for supply teachers to consider when accessing learning. The course has offered a link into other opportunities offered by EIS.

With decades of experience in FE and school provision, David has witnessed and been part of good examples of learning provision. This includes bringing together different sectors at events and training, such as around mental health, to explore ways of working together for the best of young people. EIS courses offer this very opportunity. 

Finally, now the door is open to EIS opportunities, David has a rich resource to access learning and networking opportunities.