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by Jenni Davidson
23 June 2020
Education secretary John Swinney to make statement to Holyrood on schools reopening plans

John Swinney - Image credit: Scottish Parliament TV

Education secretary John Swinney to make statement to Holyrood on schools reopening plans

Education Secretary John Swinney will make a statement in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday on the next steps towards reopening schools.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed at the daily briefing on Monday that the Education Secretary would address MSPs about plans for ‘blended learning’ from August.

The statement comes after pressure from the Scottish Conservatives for the Scottish Government to explain how it intends to explain its plans.

Pupils will go back to school on 11 August but with a ‘blended learning’ approach mixing face-to-face teaching with home schooling, which Swinney had previously suggested could last for the whole school year.

The First Minister has insisted that blended learning will not be in place longer than is necessary.

Swinney has said that he would like to see pupils spend at least half their time in school, but some councils are planning for as little as one day a week.

At the daily briefing today, Sturgeon said: “We want to get children back to education on a full-time normal basis as quickly as possible.

“That is because of the importance of getting children back into education, starting the process of any catch-up, but also because we recognise that from a mental health perspective, getting children not just in school but interacting with their peers and friends on a normal basis is really important.”

But she added that the return to education had to be safe, for teachers as well as children.

Scottish Conservative education spokesperson Jamie Greene said: “Parents are fuming and want answers from this SNP government.

“If it wasn’t for the Sottish Conservatives harnessing the anger of those parents and demanding this statement, Mr Swinney would be nowhere to be seen.

“The time for passing the buck is up, and we must get clarity from the SNP this week before its ministers swan off on holiday.”

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