Dear Herald

Douglas Marr’s ill-judged comments on the teaching profession require a response.

Teachers would agree with Mr Marr that “NHS staff have gone more than the extra mile”  during the current crisis; indeed the overwhelming numbers of teachers who have volunteered to staff the Support Hubs for the children of front line workers such as medical staff, care staff and for vulnerable children at risk, is testimony to that recognition and, indeed, to the willingness of teachers to also “act selflessly” in this period of crisis.

Staff in these hubs are designated as Category 1 workers in recognition of the importance of the hubs to maintaining society’s capacity to cope with COVID 19.

Other teaching staff are working to deliver some continuity of learning to children and young people but more importantly to provide critical pastoral support and care  in relation to students’ well-being, mental health and resilience.

Mr Marr too lightly dismisses these actions of teachers in order to “spice up” his occasional comment piece.

Clearly a recovery plan will be required to reset Scottish Education, not least because of the real impact that school closures will have had on the most disadvantaged; at its heart will be the continuing professionalism and commitment of Scotland’s teachers.

Larry Flanagan

General Secretary