Patrick Harvie: Safety must determine school openings

The safety of pupils, teachers and school staff must be the determining factor in deciding whether to delay the return to schools, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP has said.

Speaking after it was announced that the Scottish Parliament will again be recalled tomorrow to hear an update on the Covid-19 situation Mr Harvie said that safety must be paramount in government decision making.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“With COVID-19 once again out of control and concerns about the new strain growing it’s clear that a cautious approach needs to be adopted by the Scottish Government.

“We must be honest and accept that most pupils, teachers and support staff cannot go back to schools until the situation is brought under control. It’s time that the government listened to teachers who have said repeatedly that they don’t feel safe in their classrooms.

“Everyone accepts that schools should be kept open in an ideal world, but the current situation is far from ideal.

“When parliament returns on Monday I expect the First Minister to explain exactly what support will be provided to ensure that periods of online learning, for however long they need to last, are as successful as possible.

“The Scottish Government must also reconsider its decision not to prioritise teachers and school staff as vaccines are rolled out.”