Created on: 02 Nov 2022 | Last modified: 23 Feb 2023
On 18 September 1847, around 600 teachers, from all parts of the country, attended a meeting in the hall of the High School, Edinburgh, to give birth to the Educational Institute of Scotland.
Although several local teacher associations predated this event, the creation of a national teacher union, the Educational Institute of Scotland – a global first – was a momentous step.
Now, 175 years later, the validity of those founding principles remains as current as ever. Throughout its history, the EIS has been an authoritative voice in Scottish education, but in celebrating this anniversary we have chosen to focus more on the period from the late 1960s onwards, which saw the EIS transition from being a venerable institution into a modern, campaigning, combative and effective trade union.
This is not a chronological history, therefore, but a selection of themes and events that illustrate that progression and which, we hope, will engage and inspire members, strengthening our collective resolve to continue to campaign for those twin ambitions of the “promotion of sound learning and the benefit of teachers.”