Coronavirus and education

 

About the Inquiry

Legislative Consent Memorandum

Find out more about the Coronavirus Bill 2019-21. You can read the Legislative Consent Memorandum (LCM) and the SPICe briefing on the Education elements of the LCM below:

LCMs are usually lodged in the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Government. They relate to Bills under consideration in the United Kingdom Parliament which contain what are known as “relevant provisions”. These provisions could:

  • change the law on a “devolved matter” (an area of policy which the UK Parliament devolved to the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Act 1998, or
  • alter the “legislative competence” of the Scottish Parliament (its powers to make laws) or the “executive competence” of Scottish Ministers (their powers to govern).

Watch a short animation about Legislative Consent

Further Information

Please find a link here to the Committees 'vulnerable children during the coronavirus outbreak' webpage. The issues on the Vulnerable children's page overlap with issues on this page

Timetable

The Committee will focus on the impact of Covid- 19 on Children and Young People in the coming weeks.

Evidence

COVID-19 and schools: views of children and young people

On 17 June 2020, the Committee held an informal consultation session with MSYPs from the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Education and Lifelong Learning Committee on the impact of COVID-19 on schools.

Exam Diet and Assessments in 2020       

Exam diet 2020 post results

12 August 2020

The Committee heard evidence on Wednesday 12 August from the Scottish Qualifications Authority regarding the exam results and the moderation process.

You can view the video of the meeting here

The Committee wrote to key stakeholders regarding sending in a submission for the meeting with the Scottish Qualifications Authority regarding the exam results and the moderation process. The following submissions have been received.

Following the Committee’s evidence session with the SQA on 12th August 2020 on the exam diet and results 2020, the Committee wrote to the SQA on 20 August 2020  seeking clarity on a number of issues raised in evidence. you can read the letter to the SQA and the response.

The Convener wrote to Professor Mark Priestley on the upcoming short term review on the events following the cancellation of the exam diet and the alternative certification model put in place by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). You can read the letter below.

1 May 2020

At its meeting on the 1 May 2020 the Committee heard evidence from the SQA on the impact on exams and assessment in 2020.

You can view a video of the meeting here.

Following the Committee’s evidence session with the SQA on 1st May on the cancellation of the exam diet, the Committee wrote to the SQA on 8 May seeking clarity on a number of issues raised in evidence. you can read the letter to the SQA and their response below.

The Committee has written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the evidence given by the SQA. Read the letter and the response from the Equality and Human rights Commission.

The Convener wrote to the Chief executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority regarding the exam diet.  The letter from the Convener and the response from the SQA are noted below.

Children and Young People Commissioner Scotland

The Head of Advice and Investigations at the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland has written to the SQA following the publication of our independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment.

Submissions and Focus Group Notes 

The Committee  held three focus groups with teachers and received the following submission from individual teachers and organisations. The notes and submissions are below.  

The Committee received the following submissions from teachers and trade unions in relation to a number of questions in relation the SQA and this years exam diet. 

Submissions from individual teachers

Submissions from teaching unions

The Committee also received feedback from Young people with the help of the Scottish Youth Parliament in partnership with YouthLink and YoungScot We also received feedback from the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland. This feedback can be read below.

Submissions received since 1st May 2020

Parents/ Carers 

Connect sent the Committee the findings from its parent/carer 'How are you doing?' survey, this ran throughout April 2020 and captures families' experience during the COVID19 lockdown.  A link to the findings is here

Connect also sent the Committee a paper which reflects on the findings from their survey, a link to this paper is here.

Youth Work

YouthLink sent the Committee an open letter to National and Local Politicians, which details their survey of the Youth work sector and the effects of Covid-19. The letter can be read here.      

Reopening of schools and early learning centres

The Committee received a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills along with a report on the Strategic framework for reopening schools. you can read the report and the letter below.

The Committee received a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding guidance for the reopening of schools.

The Committee received a letter from the Minister for Children and Young People about guidance for the reopening of Early Learning Centres and Childcare services

5 June 2020

The Committee heard evidence from the EIS and School Leaders Scotland on the impact pf Covid-19 on the reopening of schools.

You can view the meeting of 5 June 2020 here.

12 June 2020

The Committee will hear evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills on the impact of Covid-19 on the reopening of schools and early learning centres, the impact on vulnerable children and the exam diet 2020.

You can view the meeting of 12 June 2020 here.

19 June 2020

The Committee heard evidence from COSLA and from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) on the impact of Covid-19 on the reopening of schools and early learning centres and the impact on vulnerable children. 

You can view the video of the meeting here.

27 July 2020

The Committee heard evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and from COSLA on the impact of Covid-19 on the reopening of schools and early learning centres and other relevant issues.

You can view the video of the meeting here.

Following the evidence session on 27 July the committee wrote to the Education Recovery Group and also to all councils seeking clarity on a number of key issues. The letter to and a response from the ERG is here:

You can read the Local Authority responses below

16 September 2020

The Committee heard evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and from COSLA on the impact of Covid-19 on the reopening of schools and early learning centres, the exam diet, counselling and wellbeing in schools and additional support needs.

You can view the video of the meeting here.

Following the meeting on the 16th September the Committee agreed to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to follow up points from the meeting and the Committee agreed the letter should be copied to the Covid-19 Committee and the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport for information. You can read the letter to the Cabinet Secretary below.

Submissions September 2020

Submissions June/ July 2020

The Committee received the following submissions from the following the Scottish Government announcement about the reopening of schools and early learning centre from organisation.

Academics

Organisations

Young People’s views

Parents and Parent Organisations

Trade Unions

Early Learning, After school care and 1140 hours early years expansion

Organisations

Parents

Written answers on Coronavirus 

The written answers from Ministers on Coronavirus issues that fall within the Education and Skills remit will be published below each week.

There are no Covid-19 written answers in the week beginning 20 April 2020.

Correspondence

The Cabinet Secretary signalled that the Scottish Government would provide the Committee with Covid-19 guidance relevant to the education and skills portfolio. Links to the guidance are noted below.

The NHS and The Scottish Government published the following guidance documents:

The Scottish Government published the following guidance.

Skills Development Scotland sent the Committee a list of useful links to various support services which will support individuals and business.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills has written to  the education authorities in respect of the Coronavirus and the closures of schools and early learning centres.

The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary regarding the provisions of the UK Coronavirus Bill relating to the Committee's remit. The Conveners letter and the response from the Cabinet Secretary are noted below.

The Committee meeting on 25 March was cancelled due to public health restrictions as a result of COVID-19. On that basis the Committee sought written evidence from the Cabinet Secretary in place of an evidence session in Parliament. The letter and the responses from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills are below.

The questions were informed by personal experiences and questions from individuals that have been shared with Committee members. The anonymised contributions received on school education mainly relating to qualifications are here:

As well as writing to the Cabinet Secretary, the Committee has also highlighted the same issues and contributions from individuals to the SQA:

The Cabinet Secretary shared guidance from the SQA on qualifications on 2 April.

The Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Committee on 3 April setting out his approach to issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic:

The Convener received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and a letter from the Director of Education to the Presiding Officer. This correspondence is in respect of Subordinate Legislation SSI 2020/128: The Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020. The letters can be accessed below      

Education Scotland forwarded a copy of a letter that they had sent to the Directors of  Education regarding their work around Covid-19.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Convener to advise that the Scottish Government has decided that the collection of Achievement of CfE level (ACEL) data for 2019/20 should not go ahead.

The Convener wrote to the Co-Chairs of the Education Recovery Group to highlight some key issues for the upcoming meetings.

The Committee received a letter from the Minister for Children and Young People regarding guidance for the safe reopening of childcare settings in phase 3.

The Committee received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and the Children and Young Person Spokesperson COSLA as joint chairs of the Education Recovery Group. This  letter set out an update on the key issues that Education Recovery group are considering.

The Committee received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in respect of the Educational Continuity (No.3) Direction. The letter and links to the Continuity direction are below.

The Committee received correspondence from the Minister for Children and Young People regarding the 1140 hours expansion to funded Childcare. A joint statement from the Minister for Children and Young People and COSLA was also received.

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and ScienceEducation Recovery Group on the reopening of schools (9 July).

The Committee received a letter and a copy of a notice from the Minister for Children and Young People regarding guidance for Childminding settings in phase 3.

The Committee received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in respect of the Educational Continuity (No.4) Direction. The letter and links to the Continuity direction are below.

The Committee received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in respect of the change of dates for Critical Childcare.

The Committee wrote to COSLA regarding Pupil Equity Funding.

 
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