The EIS has launched its education manifesto ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections.
The Manifesto, entitled For an Education Led Recovery outlines EIS policy in key areas including Early Years education, Primary and Secondary schools, Additional Support Needs, Instrumental Music, the impact of poverty and tackling inequality, valuing teachers, Further & Higher Education, and social justice.
The EIS, which is not affiliated to any political party, does not make any recommendation on who its members should vote for, but highlights the key issues that teachers and lecturers may wish to consider when deciding how to vote.
The Manifesto has been published today to coincide with a meeting of the EIS national Council.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Scotland has a proud educational history, and education is one of the key devolved areas of responsibility for the Scottish Parliament."
"That centrality has been brought into sharp relief during the Coronavirus pandemic, with politicians of all parties frequently highlighting the vital importance of education to your young people, to our economy, and to the future of our country as a whole."
Mr Flanagan continued, "Despite its importance, education has been subjected to many challenges in recent years, even prior to the extreme stresses brought by Coronavirus. Investment in schools, in staff, and in support for young people has been insufficient."
"Politicians have been quick to talk up the need for education to lead the way in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic, but less quick to commit to delivering long term investment and resources to ensure that this can be achieved."
Mr Flanagan added, "At the current time more than 1 in 10 teachers are on temporary contracts or ‘zero hours’ supply staff lists. That is quite scandalous and is one of the reasons why we lose qualified teachers who struggle to get permanent posts in their chosen career."
"From the 2020 graduation group, for example, over 500 newly qualified teachers are no longer registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)."
Mr Flanagan concluded, "The challenge around education recovery is immense and if we are to meet the needs of young people, Scotland needs more teachers."
"This would help to reduce class sizes, ensuring that students receive tailored support that meets their needs; it would enable an increase in the specialist provision required for young people with Additional Support Needs; it would support our pupils and students who have suffered a traumatic experience during the pandemic, with the impact often being felt most acutely by young people already facing disadvantage caused by poverty."
"For all of these reasons, our politicians must commit in their manifestos to delivering the investment required to deliver education recovery.”