The Scottish government is asking the education workforce to tell it what help they need to do their jobs as they face “the biggest challenge of their careers”, as a result of the changed circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey of school and nursery staff – which asks if sufficient support has been provided to date and what types of support have proved most helpful – is being conducted by the workforce support group formed out of the Education Recovery Group (ERG), which was set up to establish how Scottish schools could be reopened safely.
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The workforce support group is one of 10 "workstreams" to come out of the ERG and is focused on looking beyond the immediate impact of coronavirus to how national and local government can support schools, and early learning and childcare services.
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Education Scotland strategic director Gillian Hamilton – former chief executive of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) – is a coordinator for the workforce support workstream.
She said: “We know this is an extremely challenging time for school leaders, teaching staff, support staff and early years professionals and we want to ensure that they have the skills, resilience and confidence to support their own wellbeing, support the wellbeing of staff and colleagues and support the wellbeing of children and young people in the new circumstances.
“Our first step has been to collate the support already provided by the organisations represented on the group.
“We would like all Scotland’s education workforce to let us know what additional professional learning and wellbeing support you would welcome as you continue to work to meet the needs of all children and young people in your care in these changed circumstances.
“We also want to let you know that we are here to support and listen to your feedback, and this will ensure that education and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.”
Deputy first minister and education secretary John Swinney said: “People working in schools and nurseries are facing the biggest challenge of their careers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are asking everyone working in education to tell us what support and training they need to do the best job they can in the coming weeks and months, as we move towards being able to safely resume."