Parliament backs Scottish Green proposals for safer schools

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.

Earlier at COVID committee, clinical director Professor Jason Leitch told MSPs that shielding teachers should “speak to their employer” about working from home, but Parliament has called on the Scottish Government to take responsibility after hearing stories of vulnerable teachers across the country being pressured back into classrooms against the advice of their doctors.

Speaking after the debate, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said: “The Scottish Government has so far ignored the concerns of frontline school staff but it cannot ignore the will of Parliament. The very least that staff and pupils deserve is to feel safe at work. Instead, they are being made to feel expendable.

“By passing these Green proposals, Parliament has given the Government a clear instruction to act, to deliver regular testing, protect vulnerable staff and recruit the additional teachers required to avoid school closures due to Covid-related absences and take on the huge additional workload created by the pandemic.”