General Secretary Update 19 August 2020

Created on: 18 Aug 2020 | Last modified: 13 Jul 2021

Coronavirus Update

Call to First Minister on School Safety

The EIS has written directly to the First Minister, calling for action to address teachers' concerns on school safety. In the letter, the EIS calls for smaller class sizes to enable physical distancing and stronger guidance on the use of face coverings in schools, highlighting that much stricter policies currently apply in out-of-school settings. You can read the letter in our media release.

New EIS Guidance on Education Recovery: Curriculum and Pedagogy

The EIS Education Department has published initial guidance on curriculum and pedagogy in schools, taking account of current health and safety imperatives and the principles of Recovery as agreed by the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group.

The Guidance is available for, Early Years, the Primary and Secondary sectors and the Special Education sector.

SQA Consultation

The SQA has launched two consultations to gather feedback on proposed modifications to qualifications and adjustments to the 2021 exam timetable.

The EIS will respond nationally but members are encouraged to also  submit your views.

Updated Early Years Guidance on Managing the Risks of Covid-19

Additional EIS guidance on managing the risks of Covid-19 has been produced to reflect the distinct nature of Early Learning and Childcare settings. 

The advice is designed to ensure that School Reps and Early Years teachers are aware of their entitlements under Health and Safety legislation and of the specific considerations which should be in place to make the setting Covid-secure.

The advice should be read in conjunction with the general advice on Health and Safety and Risk Assessments and can be accessed here.

Updated Guidance for Instrumental Music Teachers on Managing the Risks of Covid-19

Updated EIS advice on managing the risks of Covid-19 for Instrumental Music Teachers (‘IMTs’) has been issued.  There are important changes contained in this document from the advice issued prior to the summer break.

The changes predominantly affect those IMTs who teach voice and wind/brass musical instruments. Further advice will follow in relation to these areas when the Scottish Government has prepared its specific guidance.

National Probationer Webinar

A national probationers' webinar will be held for probationers across Scotland at 6pm on September 2nd. Meet other probationers all entering the profession, learn about the support you can get and how to get the best out of your probation year. The event is open to all probationers across Scotland. 

EIS Anti-Racist Initiatives

During the last few months, in light of the murder of George Floyd and subsequent international protests against racism, we have seen both a growing call for and commitment to anti-racist efforts in our schools, workplaces, and wider society.

The EIS has a long-standing commitment to anti-racism, and this year will strengthen and develop this work further. We are planning a series of events, training, and bespoke guidance available to all members and EIS Union representatives. You can find further details about upcoming events on our website.

“Black Lives Matter in Education” Webinar

The EIS is responding to the growing call for and commitment to anti-racist efforts in our schools, workplaces, and wider society by hosting a webinar on Tuesday September 1st, 4.30pm-6.30pm.

This all-member webinar, will consider the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic teachers and pupils in Scotland and discuss what difference we can all make to further anti-racism within the classroom, our institutions and beyond.  

Professional Learning Events

A selection of online Professional Learning courses will take place throughout September. These include:

  • Leadership Toward Management for BME Teachers and Lecturers
  • Developing Awareness of the Mental Health Needs of Children and Young People
  • Building Teacher Leadership
  • Teacher Health and Wellbeing
  • Additional Support for Learning

Visit our website for more information on these courses and to book your place.