The EIS has urged the Scottish Government to “Protect Education” by offering COVID vaccinations to school staff, by ensuring improved ventilation in schools to combat airborne spread of infection, and by providing medical-grade face coverings for use by school staff.
The EIS is launching a campaign, entitled Protect Education, urging its members to email the First Minister, stating the case for enhanced safety mitigations to protect school staff and the wider community from the risk of COVID following the return of pupils to schools.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The announcement today, by the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), recommending that occupational groups should not be prioritised for vaccination, will greatly heighten the concerns of school staff over the safety of working in crowded classrooms without adequate safety mitigations in place."
"The Scottish Government has used its devolved authority in the past to prioritise the vaccination of other groups of vital workers, such as care home staff, and must act now to ensure that all staff in our schools are also properly protected from COVID risk."
Announcing the launch of the EIS Protect Education campaign, Mr Flanagan added, "The EIS is launching, today, a lobbying campaign to urge the Scottish Government to Protect Education with vaccinations, ventilation and medical-grade masks."
"As part of that campaign, we are asking our members to make use of a special online tool to email the First Minister to urge the Scottish Government to Protect Education and to protect school staff and the wider community from the potential spread of the virus."
"Clearly, we want schools to be open and to offer a quality learning environment for our young people – but this must be done safely, with appropriate safety mitigations in place to protect school staff, pupils and their families."
The EIS lobbying campaign will make use of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) online platform Megaphone and will be supported via a social media campaign using the hashtag #ProtectEducationEIS