Schools u-turn needed after disappointing routemap

The Scottish Conservatives have called for an SNP u-turn to bring forward the dates when more pupils will start returning to schools.

Confusion followed the First Minister’s statement yesterday after it became clear that the schools return date, April 5, fell at the start of the Easter holidays.

The Scottish Conservatives are calling for a safe phased return to begin much earlier than the true return date of April 19.

Leader Douglas Ross has also said the plan for ending restriction is so delayed that the SNP are likely to publish their Referendum Bill before the routemap.

Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that a more detailed routemap wouldn’t be published until the middle of March, and that it may not even set out the full steps to the end of restrictions.

The SNP have already published a “roadmap” to another referendum and Mike Russell has said their Referendum Bill will be brought forward by mid March.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “The First Minister’s statement lacked any hope or optimism. It fell short of public expectations.

“We didn’t get the routemap we needed, we got a holding document. It was barely half a plan with little clarity for the longer term.

“Their plan to end restrictions is so sluggish that it’s likely we’ll get the SNP’s Referendum Bill before we get a routemap out of this crisis.

“They gave businesses the bare minimum of what was necessary in funding assurances but did nothing to help people plan for the future. Nothing beyond April 26 was even mentioned.

“We are all agreed that schools must be the priority but the SNP’s plan is too slow. If it goes ahead, pupils will have been out of classrooms for more than four months. We need to see a safe, phased return progress more quickly.”

Notes

The Scottish Conservatives believe the safe, phased return for all pupils should continue from early March and be completed by mid to late March, as soon as it can be done safely with testing for staff and older pupils.

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