Nicola Sturgeon says schools to remain open next week despite rising Covid-19 cases

Nicola Sturgeon has said schools will remain open next week across Scotland despite being urged to “think again” by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

By Conor Matchett
Thursday, 17th December 2020, 2:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th December 2020, 2:31 pm

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon said the public health advice showed it was more important for children to be in schools than out of school and that there were no plans to shut schools ahead of Christmas next week.

Read More

Read More
Scottish Higher and Advanced Higher exams cancellation supported by voters

Mr Rennie had said Scottish teachers felt “forgotten” and that “little useful learning” would take place next week in any case.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Schools are set to remain open next week in Scotland

He said there was a higher risk of Covid-19 being spread to the clinically vulnerable if schools stayed open as cases of the virus continue to rise.

The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: “Yesterday the First Minister tightened advice for Christmas, but is still opting for many schools to stay open for Christmas Eve.

"Teachers are feeling forgotten. I understand the need for pupils not to miss out on yet more education, but the fact is that little useful learning is going to take place in schools next week and if there is then it can be switched online.

"Spreading the virus in schools next week could spread the virus to vulnerable relatives at Christmas, so will the First Minister think again and close schools next week?"

In response, the First Minister said pupils should have as much time in school as possible, but any Covid-19 decision was always under review.

She said: “When it comes to schools, the most important thing is the education of young people and given that our young people have had a term out of school this year, I think as far as is possible our objective and our priority should be to have children in school for the remainder of the term and to have them in school again as they go back after the Christmas period.

"I think that is important and that does not mean teachers are forgotten or we do not listen to the concerns that teachers have. It is because we listen to those concerns and want to address them that Public Health Scotland has done a lot of analysis in terms of the impact of Covid both on teachers in our schools and pupils in our schools.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.