COVID-19 Education Recovery Group minutes: 12 May 2021

Minutes from 12 May 2021 meeting of the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group.

Attendees and apologies


  • John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (Chair) 
  • Councillor Stephen McCabe, Children and Young People spokesperson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Sam Anson, Deputy Director, Scottish Government Craig Clement, Education Scotland
  • Greg Dempster, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS)
  • Sheena Devlin, Executive Director, Perth & Kinross Council (ADES)
  • Andrew Drought, Deputy Director, Scottish Government
  • Larry Flanagan, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • Eddie Follan, CoSLA
  • Liam Fowley, Scottish Youth Parliament
  • John Gallacher, UNISON
  • Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive and Chief Inspector, Education Scotland   
  • Gillian Hamilton, Education Scotland
  • Carrie Lindsay, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), President
  • Graeme Logan, Director for Learning, Scottish Government
  • Ben Mckendrick, Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Janie McManus, Education Scotland
  • Fiona Robertson, SQA
  • Kay Sillars, UNISON
  • Pauline Stephen, GTCS
  • Diane Stockton, Public Health Scotland
  • Matthew Sweeney, CoSLA
  • Jim Thewliss, General Secretary, School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • Grace Vickers, SOLACE
  • Margaret Wilson, Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS)

Items and actions


Public Health Scotland colleagues updated that general numbers of cases continued to decline throughout the previous week, particularly in the over 50s age group.

In relation to testing of school-age children, there has been an increase in the number of tests taken by younger children, however the number of confirmed cases across the school-age population has remained relatively consistent for around four weeks.

Alternative Certification Model (ACM)

It was recognised that there is often anxiety amongst senior phase pupils at this time of year, but that some pupils are also seeing benefits to the ACM. There was frustration raised over the negative press potentially adding to anxiety for students, and the group agreed to take forward comms work to support young people and the education workforce at this crucial time of year. This will stay on the radar of CERG over the coming weeks.

Contingency planning

It was proposed and agreed that a working group should be established to focus on the details of planning for a possible third wave, as well as to ensure readiness for any future events similar to the pandemic.

Next meeting: 27 May 2021

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