Fri 22 May, 2020

Returning to school with social distancing still in place will be incredibly difficult for children who haven’t seen friends and teachers for months, so communicating long before August exactly what this will look like is critical Ross Greer

The phased return to school must be done safely and to ensure fairness to those in challenging circumstances, the Scottish Greens have said.

Responding to the publication of the roadmap to easing lockdown, which aims for an August return for schools on a part home-working basis, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said:

“This cautious approach to reopening schools from the Scottish Government is welcome and appears to be clearly driven by concerns for the health of pupils and staff. It contrasts sharply with the way English teachers and their unions are being bullied to return as soon as possible.

"Even a return to partial schooling in August will be a monumental challenge though, particularly for the many thousands of children with additional support needs who were already being failed by Scotland’s education system.

“Returning to school with social distancing still in place will be incredibly difficult for children who haven’t seen friends and teachers for months, so communicating long before August exactly what this will look like is critical.

"At the same time, while continued home learning for part of the week will clearly be necessary, it’s still simply not possible for many already disadvantaged families. £30 million to give laptops to those who need them is welcome but that money must also cover installing stable internet connections, without which the laptops are of little use.”

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