The EIS PACT Project- equity-related professional learning for the teaching profession

Internal practice



Reason it was developed

It was jointly agreed by the Scottish Government and the EIS on behalf of teacher trade unions at the 2017 International Summit on the Teaching Profession, to develop a joint approach to union-led professional learning to enhance the capacity of schools to deliver more equitable outcomes for young people experiencing poverty. Whilst some teachers will have had the opportunity of some professional learning around broader equity issues, little had been done, systematically, that is focused specifically on the impact of poverty on learning. Few teachers have direct experience of poverty personally, and while awareness has grown in recent years, few have had the opportunity to consider the issue in sharp professional focus. With the above in mind, the Scottish Government has funded the EIS to develop a customised, research-based, professional learning package for teachers on addressing the impact of poverty on education, comprising a blend of online resources and tutorials, paper-based learning materials and school-based inset workshops, underpinned by research, though with a strongly practical focus.


As a result of the pandemic plans to train a cohort of EIS Equality Reps, EIS Learning Reps and other interested activists to deliver the PACT training on an in-person basis have had to be put on hold. Instead, PACT Project staff are currently delivering a series of online modules on a live interactive basis, with the facility for self-access at a later stage also. The professional learning explores, through a range of activities, the nature, causes and consequences of poverty, particularly the consequences as they relate to young people’s experience of education; and examines potential mitigations in terms of school ethos, policy and practice. There is a strong human rights dimension to the professional learning, also.


Since June 2020 the PACT Project has delivered: One special webinar exploring the poverty impact of COVID 19, attended by 50 EIS members. An online launch event attended by around 100 people representing a range of stakeholders- Scottish Government, Education Scotland, the General Teaching Council, local authorities, EIS Equality Reps, EIS Learning Reps, members of sister trade unions, academic partners, anti-poverty third sector organisations and community representatives. Poverty in the Time if the Virus- emerging from the storm: a special module looking further at the impact of COVID 19 on the education of young people from low-income families attended by 50 learners, including some from sister trade unions. Core Module 1: ‘Naming Poverty - how it is: facts and myths; ideologies; narratives, human rights; talking about poverty; collegiate working. This was attended by 73 learners, including some from sister trade unions. Core module 2: Understanding Poverty - how it feels and what it does: power and powerlessness; stigma; risk; identity; mental health; teaching and poverty; activism (teachers and school); whole-school actions. This was attended by circa 50 learners, including some from sister trade unions. Early in December: Core Module 3: Challenging Poverty - the art of the possible: praxis; power and empowerment; anti-poverty policy and planning; activism (learners and community); PL planning; culture; theories of change. So far 94 people have registered to participate in this module. As with the other modules, we expect there to be some drop-off however, this consequential of the significant workload pressures that teachers are currently under as they deliver full time in-school education in the context of the pandemic. Post-pandemic, the EIS plans to resume plans to train a cadre of EIS Learning Reps and Equality Reps to deliver in-person learning using the PACT materials, in their own locales. The delivery model for this has yet to be determined since Project funding is due to end in March 2021.


£270,000 from the Scottish Government with EIS in-kind funding through administrative, ICT, graphic design and line management support to the two PACT Project staff.


United Kingdom
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