Kids not allowed to watch Scotland v Czech Republic match in Scottish school

Children at a Midlothian school will not be allowed to watch Scotland’s opening game at the Euros to avoid disturbing fellow pupils who will be doing formal assessments – and because others with no interest in watching the game could be learning instead.

In a letter to parents and carers, Beeslack Community High School head teacher Lynn Black also said Covid-19 restrictions prevent the Penicuik school from organising a gathering to view the game against Czech Republic on an opt-in basis.

And the letter says singling out this one match potentially “opens the floodgates” to requests from pupils to watch more games and could leave the school “open to accusations of being parochial” if they only showed matches involving Scotland.

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At 2pm on Monday and during school hours, Scotland will kick off their first major football tournament in 23 years against the Czechs at Hampden in Glasgow.

Children will not be allowed to watch the Scotland v Czech Republic game in Beeslack Community High School next Monday.

For schoolchildren across the country, this will be their first experience of seeing the national football team compete in an international championship.

The letter to parents, sent on Thursday, said: “I am sure it will come as no surprise to you that some of our young people have been asking about whether they will be able to view the Scotland v Czech Republic Euro 2021 football match in school.

“While we recognise that Scotland’s participation in this tournament is a significant event, there are several mitigating factors that will unfortunately prevent us from being able to grant this request.

“Principally, we are still in the process of mopping up various formal assessments and so we cannot risk disturbing those who are undertaking these assessments in various pockets of the school.

Pupils at Beeslack Community High School will not be able to watch the Scotland v Czech Republic game in school.

“Furthermore, as a school, we are first and foremost a place of learning and while we relish opportunities to make links to current world events, we also recognise that many pupils may have no desire to watch the game and may not welcome any disruption to teaching and learning to watch something they have no interest in.

"Unfortunately, Covid-19 restrictions prevent us from organising a gathering to view the game on an opt-in basis.”

The letter added: “Singling out this one match opens the floodgates to requests from pupils to watch subsequent matches, which will become unmanageable and could leave us open to accusations of being parochial if we were only to support the viewing of matches involving Scotland.

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“As a school we are very proud of our culturally diverse school community and had we been in a less frenetic period of time that has been dominated by Covid-19 restrictions, pupils having to self-isolate and senior assessments, it would have been lovely to have undertaken some interdisciplinary learning around the topic of the Euros, but sadly this has not been possible.

“We hope you understand the rationale for our decision. We hate to have to disappoint any young people, especially after a challenging year, but on this occasion we feel we have taken the only course of action we can in the circumstances.

“As always, many thanks for your support.”

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