Thu 29 Oct, 2020

The Scottish Government must provide a clear answer on whether the ‘enhanced surveillance testing programme’  promised to schools by October is yet fully operational, the Scottish Greens have warned.

Scottish Green education spokesperson Ross Greer called for regular testing in schools throughout the summer but in response Education Secretary John Swinney said ‘surveillance testing’ would introduced, though it would only be fully operational by October.

Mr Greer today raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions but received no clear response.

Speaking after FMQs, Ross Greer said:

“Teachers, pupils and Parliament were promised an ‘enhanced surveillance testing programme’ in schools by October. It was less than the regular mass testing for staff which Greens and others had pushed for, but it was something. October is now at an end and despite enquiries from journalists and now a direct question from myself to the First Minister, we have no idea if this system is actually in place.

“Transmission is taking in schools and we all know that social distancing and other measures are next to impossible to follow in that setting, so staff deserve this basic reassurance, that the testing programme they were promised has actually been delivered. Scottish Greens will continue to push for regular, mass testing but we still expect an answer to this simple question.”

Get involved

More like this

Greens force Tory climbdown on teacher standards

Wed 25 Nov, 2020

The UK Government has been forced by Greens to improve protections for Scottish teaching standards in the controversial Internal Market Bill.

The bill, which seeks to undermine the powers of devolved nations, would have forced the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) to register individuals as qualified teachers, even if they did not meet the high professional standards required to teach in Scotland, so long as they met the lower standards required in England.

Swinney must deliver school testing

Mon 23 Nov, 2020

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP has renewed calls on John Swinney to improve school safety after a survey published by EIS revealed that fewer than one third of teachers feel safe at school, while another from NASUWT shows that an overwhelming majority of teachers feel that control measures in their schools are inadequate.

Parliament backs Scottish Green proposals for safer schools

Thu 19 Nov, 2020

MSPs have backed Scottish Green proposals to make schools safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite efforts to block it by the Scottish Government, ministers have been urged to provide more protection for vulnerable staff and pupils, including offering regular tests and employing more teachers to cover absences.