Union’s coronavirus vaccine and testing plea for West Lothian teachers

Teachers and school staff working though the lockdown in school need the vaccine, and regular testing for Covid.

Stock photo by John Devlin

That was the call from Scotland’ largest teaching union, the EIS at a meeting of West Lothian Council’s Education Executive.

Local EIS Secretary Heather Hughes told the meeting: “Our teachers and other staff especially in ASN have gone in to work on a daily basis while we have been sitting in our homes. I would like to commend them. I would like this Executive to commend them . They are totally professional.”

She added: “Some don’t feel safe and I’d really like this Executive to push for vaccination for them in the same status as care workers and others, and also push for mass testing for them.”

The Executive heard  that the number of children who have returned to schools during this lockdown is slightly higher than last year but still represents less than 10 per cent of school rolls.

For a variety of reasons the number of children returning to ASN education is slightly higher than in primary secondary schools. Jim Cameron, head of education, told the meeting that despite the higher numbers in the ASN schools there were no reported cases among pupils from August to December. The only reported ASN case was  a staff based transmission.

Mrs Hughes told  the meeting that it was her job to represent teachers at the Executive but closed her lengthy and detailed questions to council officers by praising the commitment of teachers in the county for “stepping up to the mark” during the pandemic. 

“I want to thank them for that,” she said.

She also paid tribute to council officers for  their work: “This has been an incredible fast paced ever changing pandemic. I know that they are working more than 12 hours a day sometimes seven days a week. We will get  to the other side.”

Executive Chair  councillor David Dodds echoed that saying the work of teachers and education staff had been “nothing short of incredible”.