Coronavirus: School work 'must stop over spring break’

Scottish teachers should not be providing work for pupils over the Easter holidays, says teaching union

Emma Seith

Coronavirus: School work 'must stop over spring break’

A Scottish teaching union is calling for everyone to have a break this Easter so that teachers can reflect on the impact of coronavirus and pupils can return to their learning “with a freshness and more enthusiasm”.

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA), is calling for there to be no expectation that teachers continue to provide pupils with work during the Easter holidays, which are due to start for many Scottish schools at the end of this week, and run for a fortnight.

It has already been pointed out that the danger of remote learning giving rise to 24/7 teaching should be avoided. Mr Searson said that parents and school leaders worried that children were falling behind might have the expectation that teachers would keep setting work.

But there needed to be a clear message that even virtual school would be out for Easter, he said.

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Mr Searson said: “Sometimes local authority managers and headteachers like the idea of no one falling behind and everyone keeping up. That is important but it is also important that people realise these are not normal times and teachers and pupils need a break. There also needs to be a clear message to parents that they should not be expecting work to be done during Easter break."

Teachers and pupils 'should have an Easter break'

He added: “It is very important that pupils stand down from normal school work during the spring break and everybody has a break. The pupils should be ready to start back with a freshness and more enthusiasm. Teachers will be able to reflect on what they have offered to date and assess what worked well and review the way forward.”

Community hubs – where childcare is being provided for key workers and vulnerable children – will continue to be open over the Easter holidays.

The teaching unions have already made it clear that any teachers staffing the hubs must be volunteers.

For these staff any holiday time worked will be paid back either as pay or as time off in lieu.

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Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for TES Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

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