Wed 17 Jun, 2020

Without the resources they need to recruit additional staff, adapt buildings and hire new facilities, councils will be put in an impossible position by a government which increasingly looks like it just want someone else to blame Ross Greer

Councils could be forced to cut jobs and services in other areas to deliver a return to school in August, it has emerged.

At the Scottish Parliament’s COVID-19 committee, chief executive of Highland council Donna Manson told Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer there were “additional costs” associated with reopening schools at 50% attendance in August.

These include additional teachers and support staff, as well as providing additional buildings to accommodate safe distancing measures.

Without being given additional funding or borrowing powers by the Scottish Government, Manson warned that they would face the prospect of cutting jobs in other council services to cover costs.

Responding, Scottish Green education spokesperson Ross Greer said:

“Government ministers are burying their heads in the hand on the challenges of reopening schools. Now we’re hearing first hand of the disastrous cuts which councils will be forced to make in other services, unless the government steps up with the funding required.

"Without the rigorous COVID-19 testing regime Scotland needs to chart and minimise the spread of the virus, we shouldn’t pretend that schools can return to normal safely in August. Issuing vague guidance to councils with no cash to back it up simply isn’t good enough, particularly when the government then criticises councils for proposals they don’t think go far enough.

“Without the resources they need to recruit additional staff, adapt buildings and hire new facilities, councils will be put in an impossible position by a government which increasingly looks like it just want someone else to blame. Ultimately, it will be children, teachers and parents, especially those who are most vulnerable, who lose out if this isn’t sorted quickly."

Get involved

More like this

£10m for theatres is only 'baby steps' to arts recovery

Fri 3 Jul, 2020

The Scottish Government’s £10m crisis fund for theatres and venues has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens, but much more will be needed to recover Scotland’s decimated culture sector.

Speaking ahead of a Scottish Greens live discussion with artists on the future of the sector, the party’s culture spokesperson Ross Greer said: “This funding is very welcome, but it will only buy venues more time, not prevent their closure entirely.

SQA confirm grades will be changed without consulting schools

Tue 30 Jun, 2020

The Scottish Qualifications Agency has admitted it will adjust student’s grades without consulting schools or publishing its methods, potentially failing pupils whose had been submitted a pass grade by their teacher.

In a letter to the Scottish parliament’s Education committee, SQA chief Fiona Roberston confirmed that the agency will moderate grades without any consultation with teachers, using a system which could see pupils marked up or down because of the past performances of their school, no matter how hard they have worked.

School Reopening: Letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Education

Ross Greer MSP Mon 29 Jun, 2020

To: John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education

29 June 2020

Dear John,

Measures to protect pupils and staff in schools

I am writing following your statement to Parliament on Tuesday 23rd, announcing the Government’s intention that schools return full time and without social distancing on 11th August. As I am sure you appreciate, it is vital that the appropriate measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of pupils, staff and the wider community.