The EIS has written to all local authorities across Scotland, urging them to recruit the additional teachers required to support education recovery following the COVID-19 lockdown.
In the letter to Heads of Education across Scotland, the EIS also calls for priority to be given to employment for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) and recently qualified teachers (RQTs) before consideration is given to recruiting retired teachers back into the classroom.
In the letter, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan says, “At the moment, there is intense discussion around the process of how schools will reopen in August and clearly that is a pressing matter which we all need to attend to. Beyond getting pupils back, however, lies an even bigger challenge about supporting their recovery from what will have been for many, indeed most, a traumatic experience.”
Citing the deepening of poverty-related disadvantage which will have occurred during lockdown, as well as the impact on educational attainment more generally and the potential damage done to children’s well-being and welfare, Mr Flanagan said, “Tackling all of these aspects will be a labour-intensive process as children will need counselling, support and nurturing. To this end we will need more teachers, more specialists, and more support services.”
Mr Flanagan urged Heads of Education to make the case for more resources to support education recovery: “We have unemployed NQTs, RQTs, teachers on supply lists and temporary contracts – all of whom are anxious about their employment prospects for next session when there is such a glaring demand for all of them to be utilised in our schools. The GTCS has identified thousands of retired or inactive teachers waiting in the wings to be deployed but before we even begin to consider this cohort, we need to employ the staff already there. Teachers make the difference – let’s get as many as we can into our schools.”
A copy of Mr Flanagan’s letter is available here, for information.