Thu 16 Jul, 2020

Regular coronavirus testing must be available to teachers and other school staff as classes go back says Scottish Greens Education Spokesperson Ross Greer MSP. 

Commenting on new Scottish Government guidance for schools, Mr Greer said:

“This new guidance shows that the ‘back to normal’ scenario outlined by the Education Secretary just a month ago isn’t going to happen anytime soon and, coming less than a month before pupils are due to return, raises a number of serious concerns. 

“The Scottish Government still cannot confirm whether regular testing will be available to school staff, despite the Education Secretary stating that he was supportive of the proposal when the Scottish Greens first made it last month. Making regular testing available to teachers and older pupils would offer significant reassurance at a time when anxiety amongst school staff is only growing. It must be in place when schools return.

“The suggestion that the burden of requesting protective measures be put on the most vulnerable is concerning. Staff and pupils from BAME communities and those with pre-existing health conditions, who are most at risk, shouldn’t have to seek out protection, councils and schools should proactively provide it. 

“The advice also raises a number of practical questions such as how pupils who have half a dozen classes each day with different teachers in different areas of a school are supposed to avoid moving around and mixing, and how teachers can give pupils the attention they might need while maintaining social distancing.”

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