General Secretary Update 03 August 2020

Created on: 03 Aug 2020 | Last modified: 15 Jul 2021

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Dear Member,

I am writing to provide an update from the EIS Executive which met on Friday to consider the First Minister's announcement in Parliament.

The Executive had a number of concerns regarding the published Guidance on schools reopening, which it requested I raise with the Deputy First Minister. You can read the subsequent letter here.

It was also decided to conduct a short member survey on the Guidelines, to inform further discussion with both the Scottish Government and with Local Authorities. The survey will be conducted over the next three days so that the results can be finalised before schools reopen. I apologise for intruding on your break in this way but clearly the timing is beyond our control.

Members should be clear that the Covid Education Recovery Group (CERG) is not a negotiating body but an advisory panel made up of representatives from COSLA, ADES, Education Scotland, GTCS, SOLACE, National Parents Forum, and several other agencies. At the meeting which signed off the Guidance I made clear that whilst the majority view was clearly in favour of the guidelines, from an EIS perspective they fell short in specific areas such as physical distancing and smaller class sizes.

The survey will provide an opportunity for members to express their own views on the Guidance.

Members should be assured that the safety of members has been the prime consideration of the EIS over the past few months, including during this summer period as discussions on school reopening have been ongoing, and our absolute commitment to the health and safety of teachers and students will be maintained going forward.

Stay safe.

Larry Flanagan
General Secretary