Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs RECAP: First Minister to face questions about Alex Salmond inquiry and lockdown easing routemap

Follow here for all coronavirus updates from Scotland, the UK and around the world.

By Beth Murray
Thursday, 25th February 2021, 1:45 pm

Nicola Sturgeon is preparing to face Parliament today in First Ministers Questions after defending her cautious plan to take Scotland out of lockdown.

She said yesterday that she will not offer a specific date for when all restrictions could be lifted, in the same way Boris Johnson has done in England, because she would be “making it up”.

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Last updated: Thursday, 01 January, 1970, 01:00

Nearly a third of students would prefer to be assessed solely online once the coronavirus pandemic is over, a survey suggests

Only around a quarter of students want to go back to all assessments and exams being held in person, a report from the university watchdog found.

The polling was carried out as part of a major review of digital teaching and learning led by Sir Michael Barber, chairman of the Office for Students (OfS).

Lecturers need more training and support to realise the long-term advantages of remote education, the report from the higher education regulator says.

A poll of 536 teaching staff suggests nearly a fifth, 18 per cent, of lecturers were not confident they could deliver digital teaching during the pandemic.

More than a third, 36 per cent, of academics reported having no access to technical support while teaching digitally and 23 per cent said they lacked the right technology to deliver learning opportunities for students.

The findings have been published after university students on practical courses in England were told they could return to campus for in-person teaching from next month.

Minister says ‘we trust judgement of teacher’ amid warning of grade inflation

The schools minister has defended tasking teachers in England with setting the grades of A-level and GCSE students in the absence of exams after experts warned of widespread grade inflation.

Nick Gibb said the Government trusts “the judgement of teachers” and insisted there are checks to ensure consistency for the hundreds of thousands of students in England hit by coronavirus disruption.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is to set out further details of how schools will be tasked with determining the grades in the House of Commons later on Thursday after exams were cancelled for a second successive year.

Could Covid-19 certificates be introduced in Scotland?

Nicola Sturgeon has said she would “never support something that deepens social inequalities”, but said that people needed to keep an open mind to the possibility.

Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has said the Government is looking at the issue of vaccine passports, as debate over the controversial issues continue.

Prof Van-Tam told ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday that it is not appropriate for him to give his personal views, but said he thinks there are “plausible arguments for and plausible arguments against”, adding that we have “never lived in a society here, where we force medical treatments upon people”.

Rural Scotland could go straight to Level 2 after lockdown, says Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon had told Parliament on Tuesday that when the full lockdown ends on April 26, Scotland would enter a new tiered system at level three.

However, at her Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday she suggested rural areas may go straight into level two.

Ms Sturgeon also said she and education secretary John Swinney were trying to maximise the number of pupils who would return to schools from March 15, and that blended learning may allow more to get back to classrooms more quickly than the April date she had previously set out.

All adults on GP learning disability register to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine

All adults on the learning disabilities register should now be prioritised for a Covid vaccine, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised the government and the NHS.

The JCVI has said the Government and NHS should now invite more people with learning difficulties to receive a coronavirus vaccination.

Those with severe learning disabilities are already included in priority group six, but adults with less severe conditions have not been included in the same group.

What time is Nicola Sturgeon update today? How can I watch?

Ms Sturgeon will be answering questions from MSPs at Holyrood during First Minister’s Questions at around 12.30pm – and she is expected to give an update on Scotland’s latest Covid-19 figures prior to this.

Viewers can watch live on Scottish Parliament TV as well as the Scottish Government’s official Twitter page – @scotgov.

What time is Nicola Sturgeon update today? How can I watch?

Ms Sturgeon will be answering questions from MSPs at Holyrood during First Minister’s Questions at around 12.30pm – and she is expected to give an update on Scotland’s latest Covid-19 figures prior to this.

Viewers can watch live on Scottish Parliament TV as well as the Scottish Government’s official Twitter page – @scotgov.

Coronavirus in Scotland: More than 150,000 Scots NHS staff to get ‘interim’ 1% pay rise

More than 150,000 employees in the Scottish NHS will be given an ‘interim’ 1% pay rise, with Health Secretary Jeane Freeman saying it comes amid the “sustained pressure” they have been under during the coronavirus pandemic.

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