The general secretary of Scotland’s largest teaching union will stand down from the post this summer.
Larry Flanagan, from the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), announced on Friday that he will be leaving the role he has held for the last decade.
On making the announcement he said “it has been an honour to serve Scotland’s teaching professionals and Scottish education” for ten years.
The move comes in the wake of an “especially difficult” two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has included two spells where schools across Scotland have been closed with youngsters instead doing learning at home.
The long term EIS activist, who previously worked as an English teacher, was elected as the union’s general secretary in 2012.
He also represents the union on the General Council of the Trades Union Congress, and the General Council of the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
After formally submitting his letter of resignation on Friday, Mr Flanagan said: “It has been an honour to serve Scotland’s teaching professionals and Scottish education as the General Secretary of the EIS for the past ten years.
“I have sought to bring my 33 years experience as a classroom teacher to the fore in my role as General Secretary and I remain deeply convinced about the strength of our education system and the quality and professionalism of our education workforce.
“The past two years in particular, during the Covid pandemic, have been especially difficult for everyone involved in Scottish education, bringing many unexpected and unprecedented challenges for the EIS and for Scotland’s teachers and lecturers but I believe we have responded well to those challenges.”
Mr Flanagan served on the Covid Education Recovery Group (CERG) where he consistently made the case for robust safety measures to protect staff and students from the risks associated with Covid.
He also highlighted his belief in the need for substantial investment in staff and resources to support education recovery for Scotland’s young people.
He will continue is his roles as the president of the European Trade Union Committee for Education, the European region of Education International (the global teacher union federation), after he steps down as EIS general secretary.
He has also retained his status as a registered teacher through regular teaching stints in schools, leaving open a potential future return to the classroom as a supply teacher.
EIS President Heather Hughes said: “Larry Flanagan has been a great servant to the EIS, Scotland’s teaching professionals and Scottish education throughout his career.
“He will be a great loss to the Institute and will be a very hard act to follow for his successor as General Secretary.
“I wish to convey my personal thanks to Larry, and those of Scotland’s teachers, for all that he has done for the EIS over the years. We wish him all the very best for the future.”
The process of recruiting the Institute’s next general secretary has begun, with the intention of appointing the replacement to shadow Mr Flanagan during his final months in post.