Created on: 17 May 2021 | Last modified: 19 Nov 2021
The EIS put increasing teacher numbers centre stage in our election demands. More teachers are needed to support education recovery, create smaller class sizes, reduce class contact time, tackle excessive workload, and improve ASN provision. Every political party committed to additional teachers and so we expect to see rapid progress in this area.
We have prioritised the issue with the new Scottish Government and specifically raised the ongoing scandal of temporary contracts, which COSLA must also take some blame for.
Early discussions are being sought.
The EIS is clear that schools, colleges, and staff are working flat out to deliver qualifications for students and has called for politicians to calm the “noises off”, which can only heighten anxieties amongst candidates. Whilst there is some variation in practice, ultimately it will be professional judgement of the evidence which determines student grades and the EIS is confident that members will once again meet the challenges thrown at them by the pandemic.
The Institute recently hosted a webinar focussing on delivery of the Alternative Certification Model, involving the SQA as well as EIS. The full webinar and a series of clips featuring individual questions from members are available to view on the website.
Notes providing the context and EIS position re the ACM are available on our website.
The EIS has pushed for a second certification window to enable a degree of equity for learners who have been unduly disadvantaged by severe disruption to learning and teaching, and therefore welcomed the SQA announcement that a limited opportunity to submit provisional results by 3 September 2021 is being created.
This will apply only where candidates have incomplete evidence, however, as a result of particular personal circumstances which means they are unable to complete their assessment evidence in time for the 25 June submission date; it is not a second chance opportunity for anyone disappointed in their provisional grades.
This provision is the outcome of detailed discussions initiated by the EIS in response to member concerns about the ability to complete assessments of young people who have experienced significantly greater disruption than their peers.
Further guidance, from the SQA, around how this provision can be applied will follow shortly, including measures to address any workload issues which should not fall to schools.
The latest version of the Scottish Government schools guidance can be found here – changed or new text is highlighted for ease of reference.
The EIS recently wrote to the Deputy First Minister (DFM) re our concern that the collection of ACEL data this session both undermined the declared focus on education recovery and pupil well-being as well as creating a further workload pressure. You can read the letter and the DFM’s reply on our website.
Whilst the limited concession in Secondary is welcome, we remain concerned about any “business as usual” approach seeping in at either school or local authority level and we will continue to push back against any such development.
The EIS continues to urge members to take part in the testing programme available in schools. Some key messages and information from the Scottish Government is available on the EIS website.
Further to this, the Scottish Government is carrying out a survey on the asymptomatic testing programme. Results will be used to examine how best to improve the testing experience for school communities. Please submit responses before 9pm on Friday 21st May.
The EIS Equality Committee has decided to develop a resource about Autism Appropriate Workplaces, to highlight Autistic teachers’ contributions to the profession, facilitate greater knowledge about Autism amongst our membership, and to foster improved Union support to Autistic teachers in any workplace issues.
To support this , we are looking for a group of Autistic members to take part in a short survey, follow-up focus group discussion, and to shape the content of the resource as well as providing feedback on drafts.
The initial meeting of the focus group will take place on the 27th May, 5-6pm. For further information, and to note your interest, email email@example.com no later than Monday 24th May.
The EIS is pleased to announce the commissioning of participatory film-makers Media Education to facilitate the making of a short film, to be developed with a group of Disabled EIS members.
Project participants will design and take part in the film, based on their own lived experience as a Disabled teacher/lecturer. Participation in the project is open to all members who identify as being disabled, or who would be considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010 - this includes Autistic members, and members with ADD/ADHD, mental health conditions, as well as others.
Five one-hour workshops will form the foundation of the project and provide any relevant skills you need. The first two workshops will take place on Tuesday 8th June and Tuesday 15th June 5-6pm, with subsequent meetings to be scheduled after the summer break.
If you would be interested in taking part, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief explanation of why you would like to be involved by Friday 28th May.
The EIS proudly presents an evening of brilliant LGBT performances to celebrate Pride and the end of the school year. This is a fantastic opportunity to unwind and have fun, to put your feet up and take a well-deserved break. The event will be hosted by Lady Rampant and is free and open to all members, and participants are welcome to include any members of their household in the celebration.
The TUC has launched an online survey for workers who are experiencing or have experienced Long Covid.
The EIS invites members who are experiencing or have experienced Long Covid to complete the TUC Long Covid Survey. This will assist the trade union movement in collecting robust evidence and to design solutions to the issues faced by workers impacted by Long Covid.
Please see a list of our upcoming professional learning courses and programmes:
Course - Building Teacher Leadership – for Teachers in Early Years Settings
Course - Learning for Sustainability and Community Connections
Early Years Webinar - Journeying into the Outdoors: Why Professional Noticing Matters
Programme - Our Well-being Matters – Sustaining Good Practices for Positive Well-being
The final interactive webinar of the programme will promote easily accessible self-care practices, offer time and tools to reflect and plan, and opportunities to network and build some positive connections to sustain positive well-being.
For Refugee Week Scotland 2021, the EIS is pleased to host a film screening and discussion for EIS members, of the Good Lie (2014). The event will be an opportunity to discuss media and film portrayals about migration journeys, and be a forum to share methods and resources for teaching about the issue.
EIS AGM Equality Fringe
The EIS warmly invites all members to tune in to the online Equality Fringe, on the 9th June from 4.30pm.
This year’s EIS Equality Fringe event in advance of the EIS AGM, will feature discussion on the equality impact of the pandemic from a range of perspectives, the many social and political changes that Covid has prompted, and will explore where opportunities for equality advancement lie in our recovery from the pandemic.
Speakers will be announced closer to the date. Keep an eye out for further information appearing on the EIS website.