Schools to get extra cash for lockdown teachers and technology

Last updated: 01-16-2021

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Schools to get extra cash for lockdown teachers and technology

JOHN Swinney has pledged an extra £45 million to  help councils hire more teachers to “deal with the challenges of remote learning during lockdown”.

The Education Secretary said local authorities could use the funding to pay for additional staff, digital devices or to provide family support.

Private and third sector day care of children settings will also receive almost £4 million in temporary financial support.

Swinney has also asked HM Inspectors of Education to undertake a national review of the “quality and effectiveness of remote learning across the country”.

The first report is due next Friday.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Swinney said: "I can announce today that the quality and effectiveness of remote learning across the country will be reviewed by HM Inspectors of Education.

"A programme of 'national overviews' will commence immediately and last for the duration of remote learning.

"These will evaluate what is working well and where further improvement is required, based on information collected from varied sources including engagement with schools and local authorities."

Swinney continued: "Schools are, rightly, deeply focused on delivering quality remote education now: we will make sure these reviews do not distract or burden them while providing important assurance to parents and ensuring further improvement in the remote learning offer where needed."

The Education Secretary added: "Remote learning will not replicate in-school teaching - in style, approach or hours of delivery - but what constituted high-quality learning, teaching and assessment prior to the pandemic is what constitutes high-quality learning, teaching and assessment now.

"It remains the responsibility of Scotland's dedicated teaching professionals to plan, organise and deliver that learning.

"I know our teachers are deploying their professional skills and rising to the challenges posed by the current situation."

Scottish Tory education spokesman Jamie Greene claimed Swinney had waited too long to act.

He said: "While this commitment from the SNP government to fund more teachers is welcome, it is yet another example of John Swinney finally doing the right thing at the last minute.

"These teachers have been needed not only during the pandemic, but for many years, as Scotland has fallen down international league tables whilst teacher numbers have been repeatedly slashed.

"Our teachers have gone above and beyond during this pandemic and continue to do so and simply deserve better leadership and support from those in charge."

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