Coronavirus COVID-19 Advanced Learning Recovery Group minutes 14 July 2021

Minutes from the group's meeting on 14 July 2021.


The chair Jamie Hepburn - Minister for Higher Education (HE), Further Education (FE), Youth Employment and Training - welcomed all to the meeting.

Previous minutes

All agreed the minutes for the previous meeting (29 June 2021) are accurate.

Action: to be published on the SG website.

Beyond Level 0 guidance (update): Keith Fernie, Scottish Government, Advanced Learning and Science.

  • the minister thanked everyone for the development of operational guidance, to be published this week
  • the group was asked to note that the guidance is a living document and will be subject to ongoing review and change
  • action: it was agreed that the group will see the guidance prior to, and be notified in advance of its publication online


  1. Public health context (update): Diane Stockton – Education Recovery and COVID-19 Vaccination Surveillance, Public Health Scotland.
  2. Expert advisory sub-group (EAG) – blended learning: Carol Tannahill, Chairperson of the sub-group, Marion Bain, deputy chief medical officer.

The presentations provided a high level summary on ‘modelling the epidemic’ and the revised EAG advice on the blended learning model.

In discussion, the following points were covered:

  • options of a phased return for the new term in response to the timeline of vaccination for young people
  • any plans to reduce the time between doses of the vaccine – and whether the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has been asked to consider this for younger people
  • PHS work on increasing the take up of the vaccine amongst young people and the role that institutions have to play on this
  • the prospect of having pop-up vaccination centres, and working with the National Union of Students, in particular, to encourage uptake of the vaccine
  • the public health specifications for quarantine, and the challenge of ensuring relative consistency for student accommodation and hotel rooms
  • hotel capacity in Scotland potentially available for people quarantining from red list countries
  • the need for providers to properly risk assess controlled learning environments and how they respond, for example, on ventilation
  • the notion of promoting ‘personal responsibility’ and how this applies across the sector
  • to consider mainstreaming resource currently deployed on mitigation going forward, such as surface cleaning and hand hygiene

Next Steps – linked to the Expert Advisory Sub-Group: Nic White, Scottish Government, Advanced Learning and Science

  • revised guidance will be prepared for Level 0, with the prospect of the same for the other levels in the future
  • action: a ‘task and finish’ working group will be formed to work on and develop the revised guidance for Level 0

AOB and end of meeting

The chair brought the meeting to a close.

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