Violence in schools

Shetland and West Dunbartonshire Local Associations

“That this AGM condemns underfunding of ASN pupil support in all of our schools by the Scottish Government and COSLA, resulting in the unacceptable levels of violence which our teachers suffer, and instructs Council to:

  1. Continue to gather evidence to support a campaign to rid our schools of violence including the number of staff days lost due to violence incidents; and
  2. Gather evidence on the methods of reporting violent incidents in each Local Authority with a view to publishing the information to encourage best practice in pursuit of a zero tolerance to violence in schools.”

In moving this motion on behalf of Shetland and West Dunbartonshire Local Associations, Joanne Thomson (Shetland) shone a sharp light on the impact which the systemic underfunding of Additional Support for Learning is having on pupils and staff in schools across Scotland. She highlighted the increasing and unacceptable levels of violence which teachers are experiencing and the lack of meaningful support provided by local authorities.

Focusing, in particular, on the need for trained staff to support children and young people with severe and complex needs, she spoke with dismay about the tactics adopted in some local authorities to make savings. Failure to advertise vacancies when they become available, failure to employ staff with the requisite specialism and failure to invest in the physical environment of schools all contribute to the potential for increases in violent behaviour.

Advocating change, she suggested that, “rather than focusing on staffing ratios, we need to look at the young person’s risk assessment and ask how many staff should be present to cope with dysregulated behaviour.”

She made it clear that there were simply not enough support staff in schools and those that were, were “shockingly badly paid.”

Calling for meaningful change, she said that more had to be done to support teachers to report incidents to the police and to reduce the bureaucracy and workload around these processes.

Seconding the motion, Jim Halfpenny (West Dunbartonshire) quoted statistics of reported violent incidents in schools. In questioning why one of the largest secondary schools in his authority had no reported incidents of violence, he said, “Teachers feel there is no point. Nothing is done or they are encouraged not to report…Management play the blame game – ‘what could you have done to organise the class better?”

Citing statistics which show that one in ten young people have a diagnosed mental health condition and that one in three have additional support needs, he said it was clear that there is simply not enough staff or resources in the education system to meet their needs.

In summing up, he said, “Teachers come to the workplace to teach. They can’t be expected to overcome the problems of a society which keeps children in poverty.”

Speaking in support of the motion, Phil Pearce (Edinburgh) shared the results of a recent survey on behaviour and violent incidents conducted in his local association. Reporting the high numbers of teachers who had experienced verbal or physical abuse and the correlation with stress, he said, “Teachers think it is part of the job. And less than half are supported.”

In closing the debate, Graeme Cowie (Aberdeenshire) condemned the underfunding of ASN and acknowledged the inherent link between ASN and violent incidents. However, he signalled a note of caution, highlighting that “pupils with ASN are no more likely to be perpetrators of violence than those who have no recorded diagnosis. Violence is endemic in every class and in every sector.”

He urged delegates to support the motion, which was overwhelmingly carried.

ASL resourcing


North Ayrshire Local Association

South Lanarkshire Local Association

West Dunbartonshire Local Association

“That this AGM notes with deep concern the lack of core investment in Additional Support for Learning (ASL) at a time of rising level and severity of need and the impact which this is having on equitable outcomes for pupils and on the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff. AGM reaffirms the support for pupils with ASN and commits to fighting cuts in this sector.

This AGM further notes existing EIS policy on ASL and resolves to launch a campaign, within the context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights, to secure sufficient and transparent funding of Additional Support Needs provision, both in mainstream and Special Schools settings, to meet the holistic needs of all learners and bridge the gap between policy and practice, inter alia, by increasing specialist support and providing dedicated time for ASL-related collegiate practice, multi-agency engagement and professional learning.

AGM instructs Council to:
(a) identify the number of ASN pupils in our schools;
(b) identify the number of those pupils who are in our mainstream schools;
(c) identify the number of support staff including ASN teachers and Learning assistants;
(d) to investigate the extent to which ASN class sizes across Scotland breach the criteria for maxima in SNCT Section 2:9; and
(e) use the information gathered to create a clear picture of ASN provision in each Local Authority and to campaign for increased support and investment.”

In moving motion 3 (amended), Laura Minto (West Dunbartonshire) argued that the failure of investment in ASL to keep up with increased demand had created a crisis in schools. Cutback after cutback, she stated, had led to pupils being failed, despite the best efforts of teachers. Ms Minto stressed that teachers were forced to spend an inordinate amount of their time and efforts addressing disruptive and violent pupils, with other pupils, including those with Additional Support Needs, missing out. Ms Minto referred to the recent EIS teacher health and wellbeing survey and stated that more support for ASL was identified as the biggest single measure to mitigate excessive workload and improve wellbeing for staff.

Mark Smith (North Ayrshire) echoed this, stating that increased numbers of learners with ASN at a time of reducing budgets was creating “a perfect storm.” Louise Glen (North Lanarkshire) urged delegates to fight for resources for ASL to ensure all learners had the best education possible. Phil Pearce (Edinburgh) successfully moved an amendment directing the EIS to campaign alongside other bodies in this regard.

The experiences of members supporting children with SEBN

Glasgow Local Association

“This AGM calls for the EIS to investigate and report upon the experiences of members currently employed in the provision within school-based units that support children with SEBN across all authorities. The investigation to include but not be limited to:-
a. The referral process for identifying children suitable for the provision.
b. The recruitment, training, and retention of staff.
c. Availability of access to mainstream provision during transition periods.”

“Teachers are determined to support learners, but they need the support from us with research.”

Jacqui Church (Glasgow) proposed this motion calling for the EIS to investigate the experiences of members currently employed in the provision of support for children with social, emotional and behavioural needs across all authorities. Jacqui described initial insights which suggest that there are many vacancies as a result of staff absence due to stress. Consequently, supply teachers are asked to take up these roles without essential training. Other teachers who have continued to work injured due to lack of cover for these key roles. Jacqui encouraged delegates to support learners and teaching professionals with research on this topic, which would allow the EIS to argue for the necessary time and resources to support quality teaching and learning in these settings.

Ross Lyall (Midlothian) seconded the motion, relating feedback from the EIS ASN Network regarding huge variation of provision across Scotland, with routes to accessing this provision often unclear for teachers and families. Ross focussed on the motion’s call for investigating the recruitment and retention of specialist staff, telling attendees that, “It’s essential that children get the right support in the right place at the right time. And this supports our members too.” The motion was carried.

Equitable provision of Learning Support Teachers across Scotland

Fife Local Association

“That this AGM instruct Council to investigate the provisions of Learning Support Teachers in mainstream schools across all Scottish Local Authorities. AGM further instructs Council to examine the data and campaign for equity across all local authorities in light of rising additional support needs in mainstream schools.”

“How can we be getting it right for every child when the provision of learning support teachers is being cut?”

Jillian Gillespie (Fife) proposed this motion calling for the EIS to investigate the provisions of Learning Support Teachers in mainstream schools across all Scottish Local Authorities, and subsequently campaign for equity across all local authorities in light of rising additional support needs in mainstream schools. Jillian noted that squeezed school budgets had resulted in cuts to learning support teachers in many authorities, leaving the classroom teacher juggling multiple levels of ability in large classes while the level and severity of additional support needs has grown.

The motion was seconded by David Farmer (Fife) who noted the impact on teachers’ workload where support for learning responsibilities have been added to timetables without appropriate guidance. Ross Lyall (Midlothian) explained extending the scope of the motion to include special schools as well as mainstream settings, since teachers with expertise in SEBN benefit from learning support teachers’ specialist knowledge on literacy support such as for dyslexia. Other members speaking in support

of the motion included Louise Glen (North Lanarkshire) who noted the powerful difference learning support teachers can make in schools, and James McIntyre (East Dunbartonshire) who described his own school’s experience of learning support teachers leaving or being redeployed. The motion was carried.

Multi-level classes in ASN provision

Glasgow Local Association

“That this AGM calls on the EIS to investigate and report on the impact of multi-level teaching on teacher workload and wellbeing in ASL schools by surveying members.”

“[EAL Teachers] may feel they are choosing between young people they care about, and work spilling into non-working lives.”

David Giles (Glasgow) was successful in a call for the EIS to investigate the impact of multi-level classes on the health and wellbeing of teachers of ASN. The often isolating nature of the role, the resulting impact of lack of support networks, as well as the workload impacts on the health and wellbeing of ASN teachers were highlighted. Catherine Brown (Glasgow), first-time speaker, seconded the motion.

Education Reform – the need for teacher professionalism, voice and agency to underpin change


“That this AGM believes teacher professionalism, voice and agency are fundamental principles that the EIS should continue to promote and which underpin an Empowered School system. Building on the strong contributions to the policy debate made on behalf of EIS members in the National Discussion and Hayward Review, this AGM resolves to continue the EIS’s close engagement with the processes of Educational Reform, and to assert these principles as essential underpinnings in the implementation of each aspect of Education Reform, moving forward.”

Education Convener, Susan Quinn (Glasgow and Council), in successfully moving this motion on behalf of Council, made an impassioned plea for teacher voice, collegiality and collaboration to be rooted at the heart of education reform.

She reminded conference of the proud educational approaches previously adopted in Scotland but cautioned that “in recent times and over crucial issues [teacher] voice hasn’t always been heard.” With the appointment of a new Cabinet Secretary for Education and a new Interim Chief Executive at Education Scotland, however, she posited that there were many opportunities for a fresh start in listening to the profession.

Citing the wealth of knowledge of members from early years through to those in Higher Education, she outlined the genuine and valuable contribution which educators bring to the reform agenda and the importance of making time and space for teachers and lecturers to engage in collegiate discussion about the reform process within the working day.

Highlighting the governance model adopted by GTCS, she called for the new national bodies, emerging from the reform process, to be founded on similar strong foundations with teacher voice at their core.

Urging support of the motion, she reminded the Scottish Government of the importance of listening to the profession, quoting the Dalai Lama, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

Seconding the motion, Phil Alexander (Midlothian) referenced the importance of teacher voice in effecting meaningful change not only at a national level but also locally. He spoke of the tangible impact which empowering members can have in challenging proposals for reform and influencing the policy debate at a local level.

Speaking in support of the motion, Andrew Brown (Dundee) and Irvine Tait (Shetland) emphasised the strong links between the empowerment agenda and the Fair Work Framework, with effective voice key to partnership working; to meaningful engagement in negotiations around the Working Time Agreement, School Improvement Plans and the use of PEF funding; and in resisting top- down managerialist approaches. The motion was overwhelmingly carried.

EAL Specialist Teachers

Glasgow and Aberdeenshire Local Associations

“That this AGM calls on the Scottish Government to honour its commitment to increasing teacher numbers in schools and instructs Council to campaign for an increase in funding and staffing of local authority EAL services. That This AGM believes that the number of permanently employed specialist teachers of English as an Additional Language must increase across Scotland to address the needs of EAL pupils. Therefore, this AGM calls for a national minimum staffing standard for EAL staffing – with ringfenced funding to local authorities – to be developed and adopted to ensure sustainable, fair and consistent teacher EAL Specialist Teacher staffing levels throughout the country, capable of addressing the needs of EAL pupils.”

Ella Van Loock (Glasgow) was successful in a call to support the amended motion to increase the number of permanently employed specialist teachers of English as an Additional Language (EAL) across Scotland.

Adam Sutcliffe (Aberdeenshire) seconded the amended motion, with discussion highlighting the potential destabilising effect of year-on-year threat of cuts to EAL services.

There were several speakers in support, all echoing the imperative for ring-fenced funding for EAL to deliver on the commitments to equality and social justice which underpin Curriculum for Excellence.

Measuring success in the Senior Phase

North Lanarkshire Local Association

“This AGM calls for a review by Education Scotland (or successor body) of how success in the senior phase is measured and reported with parity of emphasis given to a range of criteria, including positive destinations and wider achievement.”

Lucy McCartney (North Lanarkshire) urged AGM to support a wider recognition of success in the senior phase of secondary. Moving this motion, she highlighted how, despite Scottish Government claims to the contrary, Secondary schools are largely judged on the number of national qualifications achieved by learners. She highlighted how the Insight tool focuses largely on attainment data rather than wider achievement, and how this data was used by the media to compile league tables. Ms McCartney spoke of the diversity of young people’s achievements and stated, “Life is about so much more than how many Highers you have.”

Seconder, Stuart Winning (North Lanarkshire), echoed this, emphasising the varied achievements of young people within school, within music and the arts and within their communities. Aisling Clark (Argyll and Bute) stated that the Insight system is flawed with data on Highers being used for accountability purposes. Instead, she argued, there should be parity of esteem to recognise how children and young people excel in a wide range of awards and achievements. The motion was carried.

Quality Education and the Primacy of Face-to-Face Delivery

Glasgow Local Association

“That this AGM reaffirms the EIS’s commitment to continue campaigning for quality education and the primacy of face-to-face, in-person classroom interactions as a fundamental component of quality learning and teaching. Further, this AGM resolves to ensure that the National E-Learning Offer (NELO) and any plans for the expansion of online learning options, will not lead to the replacement or devaluing of the role of the classroom teacher in delivering quality learning, teaching and assessment within classrooms or other physical learning environments as appropriate to learner needs.”

In moving this motion on behalf of Glasgow Local Association, Education Convener, Susan Quinn set out compelling arguments for the primacy of face-to-face delivery as a fundamental component of quality teaching and learning.

Opening her speech with a quote from Barack Obama, she highlighted that ‘technology is not a silver bullet. It’s only as good as the teachers…using it as one more tool to help inspire, and teach, and work through the problem.’

She praised the herculean efforts which teachers had made over the pandemic in using technology to ensure educational continuity in unprecedent circumstances but explained that action is now needed to stop those inspired by e-learning from using it to replace teachers in the classroom and dilute the quality of educational provision.

She made it clear that the National e-Learning Offer (‘NeLO’) had never been presented to the trade unions as something which would detract from face-to-face delivery. However, despite ongoing assurances to this effect, she spoke of the impact of budget cuts and difficulties around recruitment and retention which are now seeing local authorities considering course delivery to young people without subject specialists present in the room. Urging delegates to take a stand against these practices, she concluded, “Teachers should be used to inspire and teach. Technology can’t replace us or the quality relationships we develop.”

The motion was formally seconded by Jacqui Church (Glasgow) and several delegates spoke in support of the motion. Jane Gray (Western Isles) and Irvine Tait (Shetland) both underlined the importance of preserving face to face teaching and the impact on island and rural communities of efforts to replace teachers with e-learning offers. They shared their experiences of

challenging these proposals and preserving the vital role which teachers play in supporting the children and young people in their communities.

Reflecting on the importance of teachers and lecturers building relationships and fostering engagement and positive social interaction, Ellen Morton (Glasgow) and Anne-Marie Harley (EIS-FELA) called for adequate and sufficient funding to ensure teachers can continue to deliver quality teaching and learning in the class with the learners they support.

Closing the debate, Ronnie Mathieson (North Lanarkshire) spoke of the contribution which teachers played in promoting collaborative learning amongst pupils – something which cannot be done remotely. The motion was overwhelmingly carried.

Artificial Intelligence Bots/Apps

Highland Local Association

“That this AGM instruct Council to investigate and report on the potential misuse of AI ‘Bots’/Apps by students for course work purposes and use this to inform guidance to members and local associations.”

“An existential threat facing humankind” – that was the stark warning issued recently by several leaders in the world of tech, according to Jacqui Hume (Highland). In moving this motion, Ms Hume asserted that the threats to teachers from AI are smaller, but still present significant challenges in terms of workload and professionalism. She spoke of her experience as a secondary English teacher, detailing the time, the skill and the vigilance required to ensure the authenticity of pupils’ writing. She noted, however, an increase in the number of inauthentic pieces submitted using AI applications, and speculated that the return of SQA coursework in 2023/24 could see teachers plagued by cheating. Asking the EIS to investigate and report on the issue of AI would, she argued, help teachers “stay ahead of the curve.” The motion was seconded formally by Thomas Coles (Highland) and the motion was carried.

Authenticity of candidate work

Highland Local Association

“That this AGM instruct Council to seek assurances from the SQA, or relevant qualification awarding body, that they will act as the ‘gatekeeper’ to ensure authenticity of candidate’s submissions of course work given potential use of AI ‘Bots’/Apps by students to create responses to assignments.”

Returning to the theme of AI apps and the potential for learners to pass off AI-generated work as their own, Jacqui Hume (Highland) moved a motion seeking assurance that responsibility for ensuring authenticity of candidate work lies with the qualifications body. Currently, she stated, all SQA documentation implied that teachers were required to act as “gatekeepers” to ensure the authenticity of candidate submissions. Ms Hume argued, however, that teachers’ judgement and indeed extant anti- plagiarism programmes were no match for AI.

Thomas Coles (Highland) seconded the motion, warning that teachers could see a deluge of candidate submissions in the forthcoming year. English teachers, he stated, may possess sufficient familiarity with most learners’ writing styles to identify cheating; however, the identification in other subjects of a misuse of AI may be considerably harder to spot. Referencing the significant workload already placed upon teachers in relation to SQA submissions, Mr Coles stated that teachers cannot be left to deal with this potential deluge of cheating. James McIntyre (East Dunbartonshire) supported the motion, pointing out that the qualifications body must take responsibility to ensure fairness for the majority of candidates who submitted their own work. The motion passed.

Additional INSET day

North Lanarkshire Local Association

“This AGM calls on EIS Council to engage with Scottish Government and Education Scotland to provide an additional inset day to allow schools to embed the forthcoming new reforms to assessments, exams and qualifications.”

Representing North Lanarkshire EIS, Colin Glover moved that the EIS calls for an additional INSET day to help teachers and schools embed the forthcoming reforms to assessment and qualifications. Mr Glover noted in particular the interim outcomes of the Hayward review, and the suggestions that a reformed system will require more in-school assessment, cross-curricular studies and a recognition of wider achievement. Change, he asserted, comes at a cost – including time. It was apt, therefore, to demand an additional INSET day to embed these reforms.

Seconding the motion, Rebecca Hughes (also North Lanarkshire) asked delegates to cast their minds back to the introduction of the Alternative Certification Model (ACM) where teachers had to grapple with change very quickly, with little training and with an inconsistent approach nationally. Ms Hughes warned that grappling with change without proper support would treat pupils as guinea pigs. Irvine Tait (Shetland) echoed these points, stating that the potential for workload is great and that the profession is already buckling under the pressure of expectations. The motion was carried.

Dedicated time to support student teachers

North Lanarkshire Local Association

“This AGM call upon EIS council to engage with the Scottish Government, COSLA, GTCS and Higher Education Institutions to provide dedicated and protected time for mentors to work with and assist student teachers in developing their skills to reach the Standard for Provisional Registration.”

The need for teachers who mentor student teachers to have dedicated time was recognised in a successful motion from North Lanarkshire EIS, moved by Stuart Winning. Noting the commitment of teachers to support their future colleagues, he spoke of the challenges of mentoring – offering support on lesson planning, pedagogy, and observation as well as emotional support – yet the time made available to mentors, and therefore the quality of support student teachers received on school placements, could be so varied. Stephen Agnew (North Lanarkshire) seconded the motion, stating that giving protected time to mentors “is a recognition of the importance of investing in education.” The motion, which asks the EIS to liaise with COSLA, GTCS, Scottish Government and universities in this regard, was carried.

Headteachers of multiple schools

Fife Local Association

“This AGM re-iterates our opposition to the introduction of management schemes of one headteacher for multiple schools.”

Fife Local Association’s motion was moved formally by David Farmer and seconded by Jillian Gillespie (also Fife), who urged the AGM to re-iterate the EIS’s opposition to schemes of one headteacher for multiple schools. She explained that such schemes could be introduced by councils due to lack of staff or to save money. Existing workload for headteachers was already at breaking point, she stated, but this was exacerbated where headteachers were responsible for more than one school. Ms Gillespie highlighted also the implications for schools where there was no headteacher on site, “There is no-one of seniority to deal with emergencies, and urgent management tasks have to be put off until a headteacher is available.” The motion was carried.

Time for the Scottish Government to honour its commitments to IMTs

Midlothian Local Association

“That this AGM instruct Council to lobby the Scottish Government to honour and implement the policy commitments it made in relation to Instrumental Music Tuition in the SNP Manifesto 2021:

  • to abolish fees for music and arts education, including instrumental music tuition in schools;
  • to mainstream music as a core subject in Scotland’s education system; and
  • to ensure Scotland’s school-based instrumental music teachers receive GTCS registration and accreditation.”

Fiona Gray, in successfully moving this motion on behalf of Midlothian LA, called on the Scottish Government to honour the commitments it made to Instrumental Music Teachers in the SNP Manifesto 2021.

In citing the promises to abolish fees for instrumental music tuition, to mainstream music as a core subject in the curriculum and to finally deliver GTCS registration for IMTs, Fiona recalled the moment when she “had dared to hope.”

And the hope was followed by action, as Instrumental Music Services began to grow and children and young people flocked to engage in tuition.

However, in February 2023, that hope turned to devastation, when Midlothian Council announced proposed cuts which would see the decimation of the Service. Fiona reported that thankfully, with the support of the EIS and of parents and young people, the proposals were rejected. But she cautioned of worse to come, with IMTs being ‘stretched like rubber bands’ and having to deal with the growing anxiety around job security.

Calling for the development of a long terms sustainable funding model, Fiona made it clear that the one-year funding deals received to date were insufficient to deliver the manifesto commitments – likening them to ‘a sticking plaster too small for the wound’. She recounted with dismay the lack of progress made in advancing mainstreaming or GTCS registration and the lack of urgency on the part of the Scottish Government to take action to deliver on these commitments.

Urging delegates to support the motion, she reminded the Scottish Government that, “a promise is a promise” and that it’s now time to deliver on the promises they made to IMTs.

With the motion formally seconded by Phil Alexander (Midlothian), it was overwhelmingly carried by Conference.

CPD for all subject areas

North Lanarkshire Local Association

“That this AGM instruct Council to seek that the assessment body (SQA or otherwise) will provide annual CPD opportunities in each subject area for all levels to support specific subject teachers.”

“Let’s hope we can support the disbanded, rebranded SQA to provide more meaningful support.”

Lucy McCartney (North Lanarkshire) successfully called for the EIS to ensure the assessment body (SQA or otherwise) provide annual CPD opportunities in each subject area for all levels to support teachers. Ms McCartney highlighted a current lack of support from the SQA, and the need for useful training and meaningful professional dialogue to better understand standards.

Sean McNamara (North Lanarkshire) seconded the motion, highlighting the need to ensure equity and parity across the curriculum.

Supporting probationer teachers

Western Isles Local Association

“That this AGM instructs Council to seek the views and experiences of members who support probationers in schools; gathering evidence on the working time allocated, in this critical role for Scottish education.”

Jane Gray (Western Isles) successfully called for the EIS to gather the views and experiences of members who support probationers in schools, with a focus on allocated working time. Matthew Lawless (East Renfrewshire) seconded the motion, highlighting the need for consistent approaches to support across all local authorities.

Financial support for ITE students

Edinburgh Local Association

“That this AGM instructs Council to investigate and report on the financial assistance currently available to students enrolled in Initial Teacher Education programmes in Scotland, and to survey a range of student teachers as to the adequacy of this assistance.”

It is critical that we encourage new teachers into the profession

Tom Britton (Edinburgh) was successful in a call for the EIS to investigate the financial assistance currently available to student teachers in Scotland. Mr Britton highlighted the need to hear from student teachers on the lived reality of studying. Alison Murphy (Edinburgh) seconded the motion.

Aisling Clark (Argyll & Bute) shared their experience of the ongoing impacts of financing study to become a teacher as a mature student.

Guidelines on best practice for practitioner enquiry

Fife Local Association

“That this AGM instructs Council to produce guidelines on best practice in practitioner enquiry. These guidelines should include guidance on how practitioner enquiry can be reasonably completed as part of school collegiate time.”

Bringing this motion on behalf of Fife Local Association, Graeme Keir argued for EIS Council to produce guidelines on best practice in practitioner enquiry, including on how practitioner enquiry can be reasonably completed as part of school collegiate time. Graeme explained that there are multiple confusing definitions of what enquiry is, and that a culture of enquiry should be based in a continual improvement of practice rather than a compulsory ‘extra’ on workload.

David Farmer (Fife) seconded the motion, citing the empowering possibilities of practitioner enquiry while there is also inappropriate pressure on some teachers to use practitioner enquiry.

There followed an engaging debate, with Donal Hurley (Clackmannanshire) opposing the motion on the basis that practitioner enquiry should not intrinsically be part of Working Time Agreement discussions or collegiate time, but rather based in teachers’ own learning needs and interests. Joanne Thomson (Shetland) also spoke against the motion, relating her own experiences of practitioner enquiry as personally empowering, further encouraging delegates to recognise that this form of professional learning should be self-directed and motivated. Following a counted vote, the proposal was rejected by AGM delegates.

Incentivising students to enrol in Initial Teacher Education programmes

Edinburgh Local Association

“That this AGM instructs Council to campaign for the Scottish Government to improve the methods it uses to incentivise students to enrol in Initial Teacher Education courses.”

Louise Bishop (Edinburgh) called on AGM to demand improved methods encouraging students to enrol in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses. Outlining key issues with ITE access, Louise noted that student funding would help overcome the debt challenges faced by ITE candidates, that a better student and probationer experience would reduce dropout rates, and that a well-supported professional career would make the prospect of ITE more attractive. Andrew McPake (Edinburgh) formally seconded the motion.

Education Convener, Susan Quinn (Glasgow) spoke in support while noting some caution about programmes such as Teach First which the EIS has opposed, calling for teaching to be made an attractive profession without lowering training or qualification standards. Khadija Mohammed (EIS-ULA) spoke to raise the challenges faced by teachers of colour in accessing the profession, powerfully reminding delegates that “there might not be a crisis for white ITE candidates, but there is for teachers of colour”. The motion was carried with the overwhelming support of delegates.

Teaching resources on the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Aberdeenshire Local Association

“That this AGM instructs Council to lobby Education Scotland, or its replacement body, to provide resources which can be deployed in all educational settings on Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.”

The motion called for Scottish education to address the legacy of the slave trade, by providing resources on Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and how it manifests in the modern day. In successfully moving the motion, Adam Sutcliffe

(Aberdeenshire) asked delegates whether “our young people know why 60% of the people on the island of Jamaica have Scottish surnames”, emphasising that we “need resources for learners to see the real stories – not the fluffy white saviour stories”.

The motion was seconded by Nuzhat Uthmani (Glasgow), reminding colleagues that resources cannot sit in isolation, and that the whole profession must engage in anti-racist professional learning such as the Building Racial Literacy Programme. Jehan Al-Azzawi (Edinburgh) underscored the importance of resources, pointing out that the educators of today will ourselves have experienced a colonised education and must be empowered to deliver anti-racist education.

Khadija Mohammed (ULA) supported the motion, warning also to expect a racist push-back when teaching children this true colonial history, and reminding delegates that this will disproportionately affect our BAME colleagues. Calling for solidarity and allyship, she encouraged delegates, “Your colleagues of colour, your children and young people of colour, your families of colour need you, please do not remain silent – call it in”. The motion was passed by AGM.