The experience of lockdown has brought home to many that schools are about much more than simply learning; they are thriving communities that are critical for the socialisation, wellbeing, and mental resilience of our children.

Worryingly, many parents will have witnessed the growing trauma of lockdown in their children’s demeanour, notwithstanding their own care and the effort of teachers and schools to provide support during the last 100 days.

From a standing start, everyone had to adjust to a home learning model which very quickly exposed the impact of poverty on so many children faced with not only digital inequity but often an even more basic challenge of not having books, paper and pens.

I know of many schools where teachers carried out weekly “drop-offs” of such materials, also allowing them to make contact with pupils who might otherwise “disappear” off the radar.

READ MORE: EIS union warns over support for 'severely traumatised' pupils returning to school in August

If continued suppression of the virus allows us to move towards pupils being back in school full time come August, it should not be business as usual, because lockdown has sharply exposed deep fault lines which need to be repaired.

Certainly schools will have to be Covid-secure to guard against local outbreaks or even a second wave of the virus, but beyond that they to focus on children’s wellbeing, their re-engagement with learning; their need to be nurtured and supported; and, crucially, the particular needs of those who have been most disadvantaged by school closure. Failure to recover lost ground for them now will lead to life-long consequences.

The litmus test of how much we care about education and equity will be whether, as a society, we are prepared to fund an education recovery plan.

READ MORE: Continued Covid testing fails in Scotland raise serious concern about pupils' return to school

Ironically, given the way it is currently being dismissed as not good enough, blended learning offers an effective platform for addressing the deepened disadvantage created by lockdown. But it requires extra teaching staff to create additionality for pupils beyond their classroom experience. In a similar vein, we need more specialist support staff to help pupils with additional needs – but will they be employed?

Frankly, despite some sympathetic noises, neither the Scottish Government nor COSLA are showing anything like the ambition required to truly build true education recovery. Education Departments, schools, headteachers and teachers need to be supported in reversing the damage of lockdown on our young people.

Larry Flanagan

EIS general secretary