West Lothian parents back home schooling

Councillors and teaching officials have praised the “huge strides” forward in the remote learning delivered by schools across West Lothian during the latest lockdown.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 9:48 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 9:54 am
West Lothian had had greater feedback across primary schools than a survey carried out national by Education Scotland.

Speaking to the council’s education policy development and scrutiny panel, Greg Welsh, Interim head of education (Primary), outlined a survey of learners and parents with data collected between January 20-27 which showed West Lothian had had greater feedback across primary schools from parents and carers than a survey by Education Scotland.

The national survey captured the views of 2,500 parents while West Lothian’s had responses from 7,500. At secondary level there was response nationally from 12,000 parents and carers while in the county there was a response from 5,000.

Mr Welsh said the roll-out of the Seesaw digital learning programme has had a “significant and positive impact on our youngest learners”.

He added that in older primary age children, what had most impressed was the way that the age group had positively engaged with remote learning. The only downside had been from the children who prefer to learn in school environments.

At secondary level that feeling of wanting to be with the peer group was also reflected in responses from pupils, as was the need for access to practical lessons in senior subjects. Around half surveyed thought the quantity of work was about right, with 48 per cent saying it was too much, reflecting national figures.

Mr Welsh said the survey showed that, overall, West Lothian was performing better than the rest of the country in its provision of remote learning. He added that feedback from the initial lockdown showed that big improvements had been made by the time the second lockdown came into force.

Heather Hughes, local EIS secretary, said: “I think you’ll all agree with me that these results are fantastic and you’ d like to share with me the congratulations to the teaching staff that lies behind that.

“Nobody is having an easy time and a lot of our teachers are parents trying to home school as well as do the day job this has not been easy for anybody.This shows professionalism and dedication of teaching staff in West Lothian and I’m sure we’d all like to congratulate them.”

Councillor Andrew Miller said: “I would agree. The pupils experience has been substantially better this time around. There’s been huge strides forward.”

He added that he was “very happy” with the work done in trying to engage with individual pupils

Chairing the meeting Councillor David Dodds said: "I fully endorse what Heather has said. As someone with three teachers in the family, and as a grandparent I know how hard it has been for parents.”

He said the results of the survey were a testament, dedication and creative professionalism of all concerned.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​