EIS Survey Confirms Teachers want COVID Safety Mitigations to Continue

Created on: 10 Dec 2021 | Last modified: 18 Feb 2022


A major survey of teachers by the EIS has confirmed that Scotland’s teachers remain concerned about potential Covid spread in schools and want to see effective safety mitigations in place throughout the winter months.

The EIS report is based on the views of more than 16,000 teachers across Scotland who responded to an online survey in November.

The key Covid-related findings of the EIS survey include:

  • Only 6% of teachers who responded want to see face coverings in secondary schools removed at the present time. The majority of teachers (55%) want to see face coverings retained throughout winter.
  • Around two-thirds of respondents (67%) say that regular Covid risk-assessments have been carried out by councils – although another 23% don’t know if risk assessments have been carried out.
  • 30% do not believe that their working space is well ventilated to combat risk of Covid spread.
  • A minority of respondents (32%) believe that their school has a procedure in place to raise concerns about inadequate ventilation.
  • A minority of teachers (47%) feel either ‘very safe’ (12%) or ‘somewhat safe’ (35%) in schools with the Covid mitigations currently in place. 19% feel neither safe nor unsafe with current mitigations.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "It is clear from this major survey that Scotland’s teachers remain concerned about many aspects of Covid safety within schools.

"The emergence of new variants such as Omicron, coupled with the higher risk of illness during the Winter months, will only increase the risk of Covid infection spreading through school communities. Case numbers remain high, and we have recently seen at least one school being compelled to close its building and move to online learning as a consequence of high rates of Covid illness.

"Teachers continue to work flat-out, in the face of the continuing Covid pandemic, to ensure a quality learning experience for young people. It is clear, however, that the threat of Covid has not gone away and, also, that teachers remain concerned about the potential risk to pupils, staff and their families. Councils, and the Scottish Government, must listen to and act upon the concerns expressed by teachers."