EDUCATION: In all circumstances, the requisite PPE must be available to teachers

By Democrat reporter

Many teachers will welcome returning to the classroom this week, but there will also be some trepidation, according to Labour MSP Daniel Johnson.

He asked John Swinney, the Education Secretary, right, what steps had been taken to improve access to personal protective equipment and training on infection control?

Mr Johnson added: “More important, what steps is the Scottish Government taking to listen to feedback from teachers so that those measures can be improved, especially as we look forward to returning more school years to the classroom in the coming weeks and months?”

John Swinney replied: “If PPE is required in a school setting it must be available. That is one of the essential measures in the education recovery guidance. In all circumstances, the requisite PPE must be available.

“On infection control, Public Health Scotland works closely with individual schools and advises them on how to handle outbreaks, should they happen. It also supports, through proximity tracing, identification of children, young people and staff who might be affected.

“Finally, Mr Johnson asked me what measures are being put in place for us to listen to teachers. I have direct dialogue with teachers through a number of channels of communication.

“The teaching unions are, as I said, represented on a range of Scottish Government education working groups and they can, and do, feed in issues that are of concern to teachers. Their contribution has substantially informed the detailed guidance that the education recovery group has made available.

“I am grateful to the professional associations for their thoughtful and substantive input to identifying issues of concern so that we can put in place mitigation measures to address those concerns, which is a fundamental building block of a safe education system, in these challenging times.”

Mr Swinney added: “We meet the teaching unions and organisations on a regular basis to discuss a range of matters relating to teachers and education. Those meetings provide me with valuable insight into any issues and concerns that teachers have.

“The teaching unions are also represented on a range of Scottish Government education working groups, including the Covid-19 education recovery group, which I chair weekly.

“I am grateful to the professional associations for their thoughtful and substantive input to identifying issues of concern so that we can put in place mitigation measures to address those concerns, which is a fundamental building block of a safe education system, in these challenging times.”

Teachers were brought in to make PPE when it was in short supply at the start of the pandemic.

 

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