Pressure on Nicola Sturgeon to confirm `full-time' schools return

The Scottish Government is facing fresh pressure to confirm that pupils will be back in schools on a “full-time” basis when they return in August.

Schools return on August 11
Schools return on August 11

Nicola Sturgeon has said she hopes to confirm this next week, but the Tories say parents and children are still "in the dark" with a just a over fortnight to go until schools return.

The leadership of Deputy First Minister John Swinney on the issue has also been criticised after he stopped short of issuing a firm guarantee on a full-time return during a statement to MSPs this week.

Ministers insist that the Coronavirus cases must remain suppressed at a low enough level before they can take a final decision on the issue.

But Tory education spokesman Jamie Greene claimed Ms Sturgeon's flagship pledge that education is her "top priority" in office, is increasingly being cast into doubt.

“From the moment she took office as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said education would be her number one priority," Mr Greene said.

“At her own request, she staked her very reputation on that claim.

“Now a lack of leadership from her deputy is jeopardising that ambition.

“John Swinney has completely left children, parents and teachers in the dark and, less than three weeks until schools are meant to return, there’s no clarity at all.

“The plan a for pupils’ return has been a shambles from the outset, and even this late in the day no-one is quite sure what’s going to happen.

“Everyone involved in the schools system deserves so much more from this incompetent SNP government.”

Mr Swinney told MSPs on Wednesday that Secondary schools will be asked to take "practical" steps to ensure distancing between pupils if they reopen full-time on August 11.During an update to Parliament on plans to reopen schools, John Swinney told MSPs primary school pupils will not be expected to distance but high school students may have to.

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