The suspension of school inspections in Scotland has led to staff from Scotland’s national education and inspection body being redeployed to work in the childcare hubs set up for key workers’ children. They are also working to support teachers and parents with online learning, it has been revealed.
In advance of schools closing, Education Scotland paused all inspections and professional learning activity. The organisation has now revealed that it has changed the way it is working to provide tailored support to local authorities, schools and pupils in response to the closure of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Inspection: School inspections suspended in Scotland
According to Gayle Gorman, chief inspector and chief executive of Education Scotland, the body has made its staff available to work in the hubs and early years or educational establishments staying open to look after the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.
Coronavirus: Inspectors supporting schools
The body says it has also been collating online resources and developing and sharing webinars to help teachers get started with national online learning platform Glow – which Education Scotland is responsible for – and in the first week of closures received 258,000 users in one day.
Support for parents with home-schooling, meanwhile, has been provided by the body via the Scottish government’s Parents’ Club online resource, it says.
In a statement, Ms Gorman praised teachers for adapting to a “completely new way of working” and said that, like them, Education Scotland staff were now responsible for ensuring "learning continues for Scotland’s young people during this unprecedented period of disruption".
She said: “With the ever-changing situation with Covid-19, it is a challenging time for everyone and we recognise the pressure that teachers, local authorities and children are facing during this difficult time.
“From Education Scotland, to local authorities and teachers, we all have responsibilities for ensuring learning continues for Scotland’s young people during this unprecedented period of disruption, and to ensure that those closest to the most vulnerable pupils ensure that they are being well supported during this time.
“What I have seen over the past few weeks has been incredible as teachers adapt to a completely new way of working to ensure learning continues for children and young people, and the efforts of our partners in ensuring we all work together to provide education provision and identify where we can best support. At this time we must trust teachers – they are the ones who know the approach to learning which will support their pupils.
“It has been and must continue to be a collective effort across Scotland’s education system and demonstrating the commitment we all have to providing the best for our young people.”