Greens call for evidence on schools decisions

The Scottish Government must publish all evidence on the effect that extending schools’ Christmas holidays or a period of remote learning would have on the spread of Covid, the Scottish Greens have said.

The party’s education spokesperson Ross Greer raised the issue in Parliament today as other parties joined the Scottish Green calls for the Higher and Advanced Highers exam diet to be cancelled and replaced with a robust system of continuous assessment, given the disruption already experienced by tens of thousands of pupils.

Commenting, Ross Greer said:

“Those who pushed hardest for a Christmas relaxation of Covid rules must accept that without measures such as closing school buildings and moving to remote learning, we will face a serious spike in virus cases come January. We can’t take this decision lightly though, so the Scottish Government must publish modelling showing the potential effect on Covid spread of moving to remote learning in late December, early January or both.

“Any school closures must have exceptions built in though, such as for vulnerable children, just as the first lockdown did. Every step must be taken to avoid this difficult year making Scotland’s attainment gap even worse, which is why the continued pretence that the Higher and Advanced Higher exams can go ahead next May is completely ridiculous. I’m glad that other parties are now joining the Greens, parents groups and teachers unions in calling for all exams to be cancelled. The Education Secretary should give teachers and pupils that clarity before they break for the Christmas holidays.”