Members Bulletin 30 April 2020

COVID-19: Members Update
The situation with COVID-19 is changing constantly but the fundamental priority is keeping people safe. It is essential that everybody adheres to the Government guidance and do not put people at risk.
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) advice
HPS advice can be found at
The most recent ‘Core COVID-19 Information and Guidance for General (Non-Healthcare) Settings (version 4)' can be downloaded here

Community Hubs, Social Distancing and PPE
The teacher unions have been pressing the Scottish Government and COSLA for specific advice for Community Hubs and ASN settings for a number of weeks. This guidance will highlight the need for social distancing, the provision and use of PPE. It is anticipated that specific guidance will be circulated in the coming days.

The current Scottish Government advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19): social distancing in education and childcare settings can be found here  

SSTA Advice

  • Community Hubs must ensure a ‘risk assessment’ has taken place that includes the Scottish Governments’ advice on social distancing
  • Community Hubs must ensure the provision of necessary cleaning materials (including handwashing materials and hot water) and measures to prevent close contact before asking staff to attend
  • If you, or a member of your household, have an underlying health condition, or are a part of a vulnerable group, you must work from home
  • Community Hubs will be staffed by volunteers
  • Community Hubs need to prepare a schedule for the supervision of pupils and a rota for available staff
  • Members must not attend work if you have not been assigned a specific child caring responsibility and given advice on procedures to be followed

SQA and Teacher Professional Judgement
Please follow the link to the SQA process for estimating grades for the current examination diet.

The decision to focus on Teacher Professional Judgement in awarding grades for examinations in 2020 was a sensible approach to the difficult situation that has been created by COVID-19.

SSTA Advice

  • Detailed SSTA advice can be found here
  • It is essential that members use their professional judgement in estimating the final grades
  • It is essential that estimate grades are not shared with pupils and parents.

Supply Teachers
The SNCT Joint Secretaries letter Supply Teachers Job Retention Payment  (JS/20/78) confirms the commitment to ensure supply teachers suffer “no detriment”.

SSTA Advice

  • The Local Authorities should be contacting all supply teachers to confirm the arrangements for payment
  • Members are advised to inform their employer that they are available for work if they have not been contacted by their employer

Teacher Workload During Term 4
Unfortunately, many local authorities and schools have forgotten that schools are closed and the priority is supporting teachers in continuing learning during the school closure. The current situation is extremely stressful for both teachers and pupils. Schools should ensure that unnecessary pressure by ‘standing-down’ many of the normal activities that occur during this term. Many of these activities should be undertaken when schools reopen.

SSTA Advice

  • Main focus should be on teaching and learning
  • Members should not be required to submit daily lesson plans or records of work undertaken
  • Members should aim to follow their normal working pattern as far as possible
  • Careful consideration should be given to the workload implication of change of timetable that will create further workload problems when schools reopen
  • Members should not attend meetings at school
  • Current Working Time Agreements to remain in place until schools reopen
  • Current School Improvement Plans should remain in place until schools reopen