EIS AGM 2021 - General Secretary calls for firm commitments on education recovery

Created on: 11 Jun 2021 | Last modified: 17 Sep 2021

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the EIS has concluded this afternoon with the final Motions being debated and with the annual AGM address by General Secretary Larry Flanagan.

Mr Flanagan used his speech to commend Scotland’s education professionals for their hard work during the past year, and to call for firm commitments from the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government and local authorities to support education recovery post-Covid.

Addressing the virtual AGM this afternoon, Mr Flanagan said, “I wish to start by expressing a huge thank you to our 61,232 members - which is the highest membership figure I have reported in my tenure as General Secretary - for the phenomenal job you have done and continue to do for Scotland’s children, young people and students. Your dedication, your selfless sense of duty, and above all your sheer professionalism have been veritable lifeboats in these turbulent times for our young people. The importance of the teacher, the importance of school and education, to our society and to the common weal, have rarely been clearer.”

Mr Flanagan continued, “As we look ahead to an education led recovery, at the start of a new Parliament, I would urge politicians of all parties to stop using education as a political football and to unite behind delivering the resources that teachers and lecturers need to address the needs of students. Education recovery should be, requires to be, a national effort – focussed on the health and well-being of children and providing the resources needed across all the education sectors.”

“In truth, there has been a paucity of investment in terms of education recovery – 1,400 teachers may sound impressive, and it is welcome,  but it’s less than half a teacher per school, so we need greater vison and greater commitment; we are only in the foothills of what is required.”

“In our education manifesto we put the need for more teachers, in permanent posts, front and centre of our demands and, perhaps a measure of our success, all the parties to varying degrees committed to additional staffing – we need to see that delivered and delivered quickly, and, in the process we need to end the scandal of 1 in 10 teachers on temporary contracts or worse, zero hours supply lists. The Cabinet Secretary said earlier today that she would ‘encourage’ local authorities to address that but that isn’t good enough – we need regulation to make it happen.”

A draft transcript of the General Secretary’s full speech is available here. Archived videos of all conference sessions are available on the  EIS Facebook page and full information on the AGM is available on the EIS website.