Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Teachers have not been forgotten’

We ask the first minister 'Has the government turned its back on vulnerable teachers?'

Emma Seith

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Teachers have not been forgotten’

The first minister has sought to reassure vulnerable teachers they have not been forgotten by the government in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, following revelations in Tes Scotland that many at-risk teachers feel they are “being treated like cannon fodder” and “thrown to the wolves”.

Today, Tes Scotland asked Nicola Sturgeon at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing what she could say to reassure vulnerable teachers they had not been forgotten by the government, as it prioritises keeping schools open?

We also asked her what message she had for councils who are taking a “hard line” when it comes to at-risk teachers working from home?


Background: Vulnerable teachers ‘being treated like cannon fodder’

Related: Vulnerable teachers being put in danger, warns union

News: Tiered alert system will not dictate when schools close

Opinion: 'Lack of empathy for vulnerable teachers is staggering'


Teachers say some Scottish councils are ignoring letters from doctors and occupational health reports recommending they work from home; representatives of a group of 300 vulnerable teachers wrote to the government’s Covid-19 Education Recovery Group saying there are “huge discrepancies between individual council interpretations of guidance”.

The chief nursing officer, Professor Fiona McQueen, meanwhile said teachers were “doing an incredible job in really difficult and challenging circumstances”. She said that more nuanced guidance about who is at greatest risk from coronavirus was being produced. Some people who had previously been thought of as high risk were now no longer at as great a risk, while others were now deemed to be more vulnerable than previously.

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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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