Welcome to SEJ Digital June 2020
Changing the Blend
Welcome to this AGM update of the Scottish Educational Journal, which takes a rather different form this year. As with our previous (May) edition, we are digital only this month as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With our normal AGM also proving impossible to run this year, this edition reports on the special “AGM” meeting of the EIS Council that was convened, online, to process essential matters of business.
This edition was also set to focus strongly on the planned “Blended Learning” model that schools and teachers have been working extremely hard to prepare for the re-opening of schools in August. As a member of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Education Recovery Group, the EIS had been closely involved in the planning around blended learning at a national level. It was, to put it mildly, a surprise when this approach was turned on its head on the final Tuesday of term as the Deputy First Minister announced that a full-time return for all pupils was now the planning assumption for August.
This very late change of tack, following weeks of preparation for a different course, presents huge challenges for schools and has raised significant concerns amongst teachers. The EIS remains clear that, while we share the hope that schools can return to operating normally as soon as possible, this cannot be at the expense of the wellbeing of pupils and teachers.
As we move into the summer holiday period, the EIS is continuing to engage with local authorities and the Scottish Government to ensure that the return to school is managed safely. The situation is likely to continue to evolve throughout the summer period and we will continue to do all that we can to ensure that the best interests of pupils and teachers are protected.
Lockdown has been an intense and stressful period, and the SEJ wishes all members the best for a relaxing summer. Thank you and stay safe.