Education statement ‘mother and father’ of Ministerial climb downs

Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson, Iain Gray MSP, has described John Swinney’s statement in parliament, on a return to full-time schooling from August, as ‘the mother and father of ministerial climb downs’ after they were drastically changed in the last week.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills addressed the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, announcing that the Scottish Government is now working towards and planning for pupils to return to classes full-time in August.

Until today, Mr Swinney had said just half of pupils would attend school at any one time in a ‘blended learning’ model, which just 10 days ago he said could last for an entire year.

Questioning the Cabinet Secretary, Iain Gray MSP said:

“We asked for a route map back to schools – it turns out, we’d been on a mystery tour.

“If we can deliver this safely, it is very welcome news. But what a fine mess this is.

“There are still more questions than answers. What, if any, social distancing will be required in the classroom? That question wasn’t answered, and indeed on school transport too.

“What protective measures, PPE, deep cleaning, and testing will be required to keep teachers and staff safe?”

The Education Secretary has now agreed to publish the evidence that this new plan is based on, and Scottish Labour will hold him to this commitment.