Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advanced Learning Recovery Group minutes: 7 June 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advanced Learning Recovery Group on 7 June 2022.

Items and actions


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

 All agreed the minutes for the previous meeting (3 May 2022) are accurate. Action: Minutes to be published online.


  • Eileen Scott (Public Health Scotland) provided the latest national public health data on COVID-19
  • Professor Linda Bauld – SG Chief Social Policy Advisor reflected on the work of the advisory sub-group and informed the group about how expert advice will be provided in the future
  • Kathy Johnston, Interim Deputy Director, Economic Analysis, Office of the Chief Economic Adviser provided an overview of the economic impact of COVID-19

The following discussion points were raised:

  • members took the opportunity to thank Professor Bauld and the EAG for the work that they have done
  • members highlighted that lost learning remains an issue and should remain on the CRG agenda, in particular the long-term implications of students moving from school into further education
  • mental health issues also remain and are likely to increase in conjunction with the cost of living crisis
  • the CRG should also remain vigilant to issues around long-COVID, and standing down the Advisory Group will not prevent the sharing of further evidence on this issue
  • unions noted that there has been an increase in the need to support members and students with regard to poor mental health and the cost of living crisis
  • CLD highlighted the long term issue of recruitment, particularly volunteers, across the sector, and continuity of expert advice on the impact of COVID-19 on young people and the loss of learning opportunities
  • Professor Bauld advised that there is ongoing research work on lost learning and mental health issues which can be shared CRG when possible. Action: SG officials to follow up on this
  • unions highlighted the lack of any strategic impetuous on planning for and an approach to dealing with a new variant or pandemic, and requested that future preparedness/living with COVID  is covered by the CRG
  • take up of booster vaccinations was raised and how international travel could have increased the rates among young people
  • Professor Bauld advised that there was no planned intervention to increase the rate of booster vaccinations now but we will need to consider messaging around booster vaccinations in the autumn. Working in collaboration with the sector about tailored messaging for HE and FE
  • Professor Bauld also advised that she would keep the CRG up to date on the work of the COVID-19 Learning and Education Group and the Standing Committee on Pandemics. Action: SG officials to follow up on this
  • members welcomed the discussion on the economic impacts of COVID-19 and would like to see more granular data on this, and a further discussion on how institutions could support the economy and share their experience of what is happening at a local level
  • the skills agenda is vital to the sector in terms of supporting the economy and knowing what institutions and the CLD sector could do, and engage in discussions on this issue
  • COVID-19 messaging was also discussed. Concern was raised about the absence of urgency around COVID-19 and that the wider public should know what Government is planning in terms of preparedness
  • it was highlighted that university principle attendance at the CRG has declined and they should attend to engage on local issues and future planning
  • it is noted for the record that universities were represented at the meeting
  • it is also noted for the record of the contribution that Matt Crilly has provided to the CRG


No other business was raised.

Back to top