COVID-19 Education Recovery Group minutes: 22 April 2021

Minutes from 22 April 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 
  • Jean Blair, Scottish Qualifications Authority 
  • Andrea Bradley, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
  • Jane Brumpton, Chief Executive, Early Years Scotland 
  • Craig Clement, Education Scotland
  • Alison Cumming, Interim Director of Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government
  • Greg Dempster, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS) 
  • Sheena Devlin, Executive Director, Perth & Kinross Council (ADES) 
  • Andrew Drought, Deputy Director, Scottish Government
  • Eddie Follan, CoSLA
  • 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
  • Aaran McDonald, Scottish Youth Parliament 
  • Ben McKendrick, Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Janie McManus, Education Scotland
  • Elizabeth Morrison, Deputy Director, Scottish Government
  • Malcolm Pentland, Deputy Director, Scottish Government
  • Fiona Robertson, Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Kay Sillars, UNISON
  • Pauline Stephen, GTCS
  • Gill Stewart, SQA
  • Diane Stockton, Public Health Scotland
  • Matthew Sweeney, CoSLA 
  • Carol Tannahill, Chief Social Policy Advisor, Scottish Government
  • Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People
  • 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 cases amongst children and young people, as well as the general population, have decreased over the Easter break period. Cases will be closely monitored following the return to full-time in-school learning. 

The Teacher Case Control Study is underway, looking at the risk to teachers compared to other members of the population. All members of the education workforce are also being invited to take part in an antibody survey as a part of Public Health Scotland’s monitoring of the pandemic. 

Feedback from CERG members

It was shared that the most recent Lockdown Lowdown survey has been completed, and covers views of young people on the Alternative Certification Model for national qualifications in 2021.

Alternative Certification Model for 2021

SQA colleagues shared an update on progress for the Alternative Certification Model, outlining that the NQ21 group had all agreed on reaching the best possible outcome in the current circumstances. 

With awareness that there remains a reasonable amount of anxiety amongst young people, parents and the education workforce in relation to this, colleagues agreed on the ongoing importance of providing reassurance through national and local communications.

SQA also updated that the next tranche of their work involves confirming the appeals process for summer 2021. This will come to CERG as a future agenda item. 

Next meeting: 29 April 2021

Back to top