23 April 2020

Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson, Iain Gray, has warned that parents need to know that Ministers have a plan on how schools will reopen, including a strategy to mitigate the attainment gap widened by their shut down.

In parliament yesterday, Iain Gray pressed the Minister for Children and Young People about the plans in place for returning pupils to school, and asked specifically what will be done to recover the educational ground lost since schools were closed.

Unfortunately, Maree Todd was unable to detail any particular decisions that have been made.

Commenting today, Iain Gray said: “Children and parents have returned to their new home-schooling routines this week without the reassura

nce that plans are being laid out to support them when they return to classrooms. “Instead there was confusion as the First Minster, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, and the Minister for Children and Young People all gave different answers on when schools might reopen.

“We cannot be as unprepared to re-open schools as we were for their closure – everyone knows we cannot be sure when they will reopen but we need to see and hear evidence that the planning for how they reopen is happening now.

“There are serious questions to be answered about how a reopening is phased, how safety for pupils and staff can be assured, and how lost time might be made up.

In particular we need to know what new measures Ministers will put in place on reopening to recover the widening of the attainment gap, which worsens every day of school lockdown.

“Scottish Labour will assist in any way necessary to make sure proper planning is in place.”
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