EIS Remains on a Mission to Deliver PACT Professional Learning

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the EIS has held true to its mission to deliver anti-poverty professional learning through the PACT Project, and is on the verge of launching Phase 2 online delivery for teachers across Scotland.

We’ve been able to do this because of the commitment and dedication of a small team of PACTivists – EIS Equality Reps, Learning Reps and other interested activists – who have undertaken PACT ‘Train the Trainer’ learning themselves over the past few months and are now poised to deliver to fellow teachers in Scotland.

Between late February and June, small teams of PACTivists working together will offer revamped online PACT professional learning, fi rstly within each of the six RIC areas.

Why PACT anti-poverty PL?

More than 25% of children in Scotland currently live in poverty. In some parts of the country, more than 1 in 2 young people are living below the breadline.

Whilst the Scottish Government has set targets to significantly reduce levels of child poverty by 2030, as reported recently by the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission, it is not on-track to meet the 2023 interim child poverty targets or to reach the final aims of the Child Poverty Act.

The EIS has long understood the damage that poverty does to young people’s educational experiences and outcomes, and the huge influence that it has on the achievement and attainment gap between learners from different socio-economic backgrounds.

With the ravages of the pandemic continuing to exacerbate pre-existing societal inequalities, worsening the struggles of families and children living in poverty, and undoing pre-pandemic gains in terms of reducing the achievement gap, the offer of equity-related professional learning for teachers is all the more relevant.

For these critical reasons, the EIS is committed to offering PACT professional learning to EIS members and the wider teaching profession throughout the remainder of this academic session.

Our team of trained PACTivists will be at the forefront of delivery.

PACT professional learning comprises three short modules – each two and a half to three hours in duration – in which participants are supported to learn more together about the nature, causes and consequences of poverty, particularly the consequences with regards to education; and about the potential levers that schools and teachers can employ and the pedagogical approaches that might be effective in seeking to further mitigate the damage that poverty does to young people’s participation in and enjoyment of school, and critically, to their outcomes.

Module 1 ‘Shining the Spotlight on Poverty’

Module 1 Aims

  • Widen our understanding of the nature of poverty
  • Explore its causes
  • Examine some of the consequences of poverty
  • Consider the concept of class privilege and how this might influence perceptions of poverty

Module 2 ‘The Tools to Tackle Poverty in our Schools’

Module 2 Aims

  • Remind ourselves of the mission
  • Enhance our understanding of the levers that exist beyond Education which can help schools to make a case for anti-poverty decision-making: human rights frameworks and the Fairer Scotland Duty
  • Enhance our understanding of the levers that exist within Education which can help schools to make a case of anti-poverty decision-making: GTCS Professional Standards, Curriculum for Excellence, GIRFEC, Scottish Attainment Challenge and PEF, and the Empowerment agenda.

Module 3 ‘The Tools to Tackle Poverty in Our Classrooms’

Module 3 Aims

  • Examination of cost barriers to participation in learning activities
  • Enhance our understanding of the pedagogical strategies that can be used in the classroom to support greater and more equal participation, and more equitable outcomes, for children and young people who live in poverty.