The EIS has today (Wednesday 17th June) launched a new online teaching resource ahead of World Refugee Day.

‘The Tale o’ the Glasgow Girls’ is a narrative poem written in Scots dialect by former EAL Teacher at Drumchapel High School and career-long EIS member, Euan Girvan, who worked with the Glasgow Girls both as their teacher and their ‘campaign manager’ as they fought to highlight the poor treatment of asylum seekers and against dawn raids and the detention of children.

The poem tells the story of how the Glasgow Girls were formed by seven schoolgirls when one of their friends - an asylum-seeker - and her family were detained. It describes how they organised a community campaign against Home Office dawn raids and child detention, that received national and international attention. Aimed at P6-S3 pupils, the new resource also comes with accompanying learning activities for pupils including Reading and Writing, Art activities and learning about the Scots dialect in which the poem is written. The resource features vibrant illustrations commissioned from Glasgow-based artist Jamie Squire.

Commenting on the poem, Mr Girvan said, “Our story’s been done in so many different formats by so many wonderful people but on retiring from teaching, I realised I needed to get it out my system. This is the result. Now in the time of the pandemic, this is the moment to join in solidarity and collectively fight the evils of racism and poverty!”

The new resource is a follow up to the suite of information packs, created by the EIS in November of 2019, to welcome young people from migrant and refugee families into Scottish schools. These packs were designed to inform young people and their parents of their rights as pupils/students in Scottish education and to convey a positive, welcoming message to the young people about Scotland as their new home, and were very successfully received.

EIS Assistant Secretary Andrea Bradley said, ‘This resource is intended to help teachers by providing some attractive learning materials for their pupils to work on during Refugee Week and all year round. It reflects the commitment that the EIS has to anti-racist education and to supporting and including young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Hard copy versions of the resource will be available when lockdown restrictions are lifted and it’s safe to produce them.’