The Scottish Conservatives have repeated calls for the First Minister to give clear answers about her decision to shut down schools after New Year.
Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood, asked Nicola Sturgeon whether schools and nurseries would reopen on January 18 or stay closed indefinitely.
In the Scottish Parliament today, she asked: "Can the First Minister tell parents at home what the likelihood is that children will return to school and nursery from 18 January or do they need to start preparing now for a long haul of blended learning at home?”
In response, Ms Sturgeon said it was a “priority” to open on 18 January but did not provide a clear answer, saying it was too early to know.
Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson said: “Parents, pupils and teachers deserve as much clarity from this government as is conceivably possible. But they are not getting it.
“This bombshell announcement on Saturday evening forced people to cancel Christmas plans and find ways to balance work and childcare well into the New Year.
“This is having a significant impact on families and for some it will be about being able to work and pay the bills.
“Yet almost a week later, we have had no meaningful updates, just the same vague assurances we heard again today."
On Saturday [19 December], the Scottish Government announced that schools across Scotland would remain closed after the Christmas holiday due to a new strain of coronavirus
All other pupils will receive ‘blended learning’ from home starting a week later on 11 January.
The earliest date on which schools will reopen is 18 January but the Scottish government have not said if that will happen.
Excerpts from the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues:
- The summary states: ‘There is no current direct evidence that transmission within schools plays a significant contributory role in driving increased rates of infection among children’ (Scottish Government, 3 December 2020, link).
- The study adds: ‘ONS data shows no evidence of any difference between the test positivity rates of pre-school, primary and secondary school teachers and staff, relative to other worker groups of a similar age’ (Scottish Government, 3 December 2020, link).