Education Scotland providing support for parents and teachers during school closures
Education Scotland 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.
In advance of schools closing, the national education agency took a number of steps to relieve pressure on the education system, including pausing all inspections and professional learning activity and events until the spring break.
Upon announcement of the closure of schools, Education Scotland then contacted all local authorities with an offer of support, including to make staff available to be deployed in hubs, early years or educational establishments following specific requests from local authorities.
Gayle Gorman, Chief Inspector and Chief Executive of Education Scotland 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.'
Education Scotland has been working closely with local authorities, teachers and parents, and BBC Scotland to support the education system in a number of ways, including the immediate need to support practitioners with remote learning. The range of support the national agency has put in place includes:
Online resources - collated materials in curriculum areas and sectors to meet immediate demand and requests from professional associations. These were placed on the digilearn.scot blog, which received 2000 views on the first working day, and users were signposted to resources supporting online learning.
Glow - Scotland's nationally available digital learning platform – is helping learning to continue outside of the classroom by enabling learners and teachers to access a range of tools, features and resources at any time, on any device with an internet connection. In the week schools closed, there were 258k users in one day
Supporting teachers with remote learning - developed and shared a range of webinars aimed at providing support with getting started with Glow and using Google Classroom in Glow were recently rolled out.
Supporting parents with learning at home - working with Scottish Government, Education Scotland has provided a range of practical advice and tips for parents which is shared through Parents’ Club online resource. Updated Parentzone Scotland website with current and appropriate materials to support parents and families with learning at home.
Education Scotland is continuing to work on plans to support the education system, including linking with the BBC Scotland Learning Team to consider future joint work, as well as focusing on supporting continuity of learning for children and young people both while schools are closed and also in preparation for when they reopen, including providing professional learning and resources in a way that complements and supports the work undertaken by practitioners across the country.
Education Scotland will also continue to work with its wide networks to find out what support, advice or resources colleagues require and will work to develop tailored support and share these as the current situation continues.