The interim results of a survey indicate that the majority of teachers retain serious concerns over the re-opening of schools next week.

The EIS opened the survey on Tuesday afternoon and, by Thursday morning, more than 24,000 teachers had completed the survey. The overwhelming message from the interim results is that, while teachers want to see schools re-open, they remain unconvinced that sufficient measures have been put in place to ensure safety.

Key data from the interim survey results includes:

  • A total of 24,354 teachers completed the survey from its launch on Tuesday 4 August to the morning of Thursday 6 August.
  • 64% of teachers support the decision to re-open schools, but only 18% express confidence that schools are currently safe – indicating that much more needs to be done to ensure safety.
  • A minority of teachers believe that sufficient safeguards have been put in place to support the safe re-opening of schools.
  • Just 3% of teachers are ‘very confident’ that there is sufficient evidence that COVID-19 is sufficiently under control to support a safe return to school
  • Only 23% of teachers are ‘confident or very confident’ that an established capacity to test, trace and isolate is in place to support a safe return, with 58% expressing a lack of confidence.
  • Under 26% of teachers are confident that sufficient operational changes – such as effective social distancing and enhanced hygiene routines – will be in place to support a safe return to school with 60% lacking confidence.
  • 72% of teachers support testing for asymptomatic members of staff to help supress the spread of COVID
  • 62% of teachers feel either ‘somewhat unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe’ about returning to school next week.

Commenting on the interim findings, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The interim results of this survey highlight that Scotland's teachers continue to have serious questions over the re-opening of schools next week."

"The fact that more than 24,000 teachers completed the survey in a little over a day illustrates the high degree of concern that remains over COVID-19 and schools. Teachers want to see schools re-opening, so that they can get back to working with pupils in the classroom environment – but they are very clear that this has to be done safely."

"The initial indications from this major survey confirm that teachers believe that much more still needs to be done to ensure their safety, and the safety of pupils and others within the school, can be properly protected as schools re-open.

"The EIS will be sharing both the initial and final results of this survey with the Scottish Government and local authorities, and will be seeking urgent discussions on the mitigations that teachers still want to see – such as sufficient social distancing, testing for asymptomatic staff, and the use of face coverings where required to ensure safety."

The EIS survey will remain open until Monday, and full results will be released thereafter.





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