April 2021

Created on: 23 Apr 2021 | Last modified: 23 Apr 2021

Scottish Government Guidance on Reducing COVID Risk in Schools

The Scottish Government Guidance on Reducing COVID Risk in Schools was developed to support a safe return to school for all children, young people and staff in August 2020. It has been regularly updated since, in order to support the continuing safe implementation of a full-time return to school.

Action for Reps: Please make members aware of the updated guidance.


The Scottish Government has stated that it continues to make Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSAs) available to teachers as one method of assessment of pupil progress and wrote to local authorities earlier this session indicating their intention to collect CfE levels for P1, P4, P7 and S3 pupils as normal.

The EIS is of the firm view that the return to school cannot be ‘business as usual’ and must focus fully on recovery with well-being, rather than attainment, being central to that.

With this in mind, it is advised that collegiate discussion takes place at school level regarding approaches to recovery and well-being, associated resources and workload, and the place of assessment within that context. In the Secondary context, it has been agreed that delivering the Alternative Certification Model must be the top priority, with SNSAs potentially clashing with this urgent priority.

Such discussion and agreement should take account of all other current priorities and that the Scottish Government is ‘making them (SNSAs) available’ to schools rather than compelling their use.   

The EIS will continue to engage nationally on the issue of CfE levels data collection.

Action for Reps: Facilitate collegiate discussion in your school on appropriate approaches to recovery, well-being, workload and assessment, with a view to reaching appropriate agreement in the interests of pupils and staff.  


The Education Department has published updated guidance to provide members with practical advice on curriculum and pedagogy on the return to school and Early Years settings. The advice has been drafted on a sector specific basis and can be accessed here.

Action for Reps:  Please make members aware of the updated guidance.

NQ Alternative Certification Model

The EIS has produced advice on delivery of the National Qualifications Alternative Certification Model for Secondary School Reps and College Branch Secretaries.

Action for Reps and Branch Secretaries:  Please make members aware of the latest advice.

EIS Equality Hustings

Ahead of the 2021 Holyrood Election, the EIS is hosting Equality Hustings with leading political parties to explore their plans, and commitment, to tackling inequality and creating a fairer society.

The online hustings will take place from 6pm- 7.30pm on the 28th April and feature a Q&A session with questions from EIS members submitted upon registering. #EISEqualityHustings

Speakers will include:

Michael Marra, Scottish Labour spokesperson for Education and Skills

Jeremy Balfour, Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

Caron Lindsay, Scottish Liberal Democrats equalities spokesperson

Ross Greer, Scottish Greens

Representative TBC, Scottish National Party

Action for Reps and Branch Secretaries:  Please share and promote the event. Sign up here.

Joint EIS-SQA Event: Delivering the Alternative Certification Model, Wednesday 5th May, 4.30-6.00pm

The EIS has organised a joint webinar event with the SQA to take place on Wednesday 5th May, 4.30-6.00pm for Secondary and FE members, which will focus on the National Qualifications Alternative Certification Model (ACM).

Andrea Bradley, EIS Assistant Secretary and Jean Blair, SQA Director of Operations will each present on key aspects of the ACM, providing explanation and clarification around key components, and will respond to questions submitted in advance by members. Secondary and FE members can sign up here.

Action for Reps and Branch Secretaries: Please publicise the event to members and encourage sign-up.

Film Screening: In My Blood it Runs

The EIS is hosting a screening on the 13th May from 4.30pm of In My Blood it Runs, in collaboration with Together Films. The film tackles the treatment and education of Indigenous people, focusing on the experiences of ten-year old Dujuan as he navigates and resists the effects of historical colonisation and dispossession on his life, to forge his own future.

A discussion will follow the film, exploring implications for the Scottish context, and how members may want to use the content in their teaching, or host their own screening. Free educational license of the film is available to all UK educators for the remainder of this term. For further information about the film, the license, and to watch the trailer, visit here.

Action for Reps and Branch Secretaries: Please share the EIS film screening details, and information about the free licence with members. Sign up here for the screening.

Briefings to Support Reps to Tackle Inequality in the Workplace

Structural inequalities that prevail in our society mean that our members’ rights are impacted differently by workplace policies, financial cuts, and the bargaining strategies we choose to employ. Furthermore, the impact of the COVID19 crisis continues to affect people differently, and these considerations must be part of our recovery efforts.

The EIS has recently developed two resources to support Reps to tackle gender and racial inequality in the workplace.

Action for Reps and Branch Secretaries: 

  • This briefing for Reps and LA Secretaries provides insight into the findings from a sample of one thousand EIS women members and gives suggestions for possible trade union activity. The briefing can be accessed in full, here.

  • We are seeking your views on this practical tool to support your skills in addressing racism and engaging members around race equality, through your role as a Rep. Please contact jharris@eis.org.uk with any feedback you may have. The guide can be accessed in full, here.

Well-being Matters Programme

The Our Well-being Matters Programme continues every Tuesday evening, addressing a different aspect of well-being each week.

Upcoming topics include: practical gardening tips on the 4th May, mindful photography on the 11th May, and inclusive well-being practices on the 18th May. 

Past topics include: nutrition, creative writing, mindful doodling, and digital well-being. Resources on all these topics are available on the programme page.

Please visit the programme page for more information, to book your place on any of the workshops, and to access free resources on all the topics covered in the programme.

Action for Reps and Branch Secretaries: Please make members aware of the Well-being Matters Programme.

Contact your EIS Organiser

If you would like support to hold a branch meeting, advice on rep training or building your branch, please contact your EIS Organiser. You can find their contact details on the EIS website.