Schools data confirms need for greater investment in education recovery

Created on: 14 Dec 2021 | Last modified: 14 Dec 2021

The EIS has commented on today’s publication of National Improvement Framework (NIF) data, saying that the data confirms the need for greater investment to support education recovery for Scotland’s young people.

The data released today simply confirms what the EIS has been saying for the past year, which teachers have understood instinctively – that the Covid created disruption to learning has affected all pupils to some degree but has disproportionately impacted on children from the most deprived backgrounds.

It is noticeable, also, that children with additional support needs have been impacted in a similar manner – 42% achieving Literacy levels against a national figure of 76% and in Numeracy 53% against a figure of 83%.

Given that more than 1 in 4 pupils in our mainstream schools have additional needs this is an area of significant concern, which the EIS believes the Scottish Government is failing to tackle with sufficient targeted investment.

Commenting on the data, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “We didn’t need publication of this data to know that children from the poorest backgrounds and those with additional support needs were the ones suffering most from the pandemic. Schools have prioritised, quite rightly, the well-being of pupils but as we start to look at education recovery from the pattern of disrupted learning, the Scottish Government needs to up its game in terms of investment in our children’s future.

"Recent OECD research (OECD Education at a Glance 2021), for example, has shown that smaller class sizes where there are patterns of multiple deprivation or additional needs help individual pupil recovery but the Scottish Government continues to resist making any progress in this area.

"The Government’s education recovery plan was far too timid in its ambition given the scale of the impact of Covid on the most disadvantaged young people. The simple fact is that pupil recovery will be delayed and diminished if much greater resource isn’t made available to schools.”