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John Swinney Prepares to Announce School Return Date

Education sectary and local MSP, John Swinney, has announced that the decision to return pupils back to school will be clear on the 30th of July.

This comes one week before the decision will be made public, leaving a further 12 days before pupils are expected to go back to school.

That includes school children of ages five and upwards in the plan to get classroom teaching back on the curriculum.

Over an online video connection, Mr Swinney stated to the parliament: “we’re working with our partners in the education recovery group to produce guidance by the 30th of July that would enable schools to reopen in August.”

Mr Swinney promises that schools will receive additional funding of £20 million to ensure safety measures are implemented across Scotland’s schools.

In addition, there will be another £50 million put towards the recruitment of 850 new teachers and 200 support staff to reduce the impact of any learning loss.

The government is also looking for support from youth work by offering an extra £3 million to help in the recovery.

Mr Swinney explained: “All of the school workforce have a crucial role to play in our education recovery mission, and it is vital that they are supported to do so.

“The ring-fenced £50 million funding to recruit more teachers and support staff will enable schools to intensify support for children and young people as they return to full time face-to-face education and help to mitigate for learning loss.

“The final numbers will be dependent on the precise mix of staff recruited and the needs of children and young people.

“The £20 million funding recognises the extremely valuable work of our school cleaners, facilities management and school transport staff, who are essential to the successful delivery of education in Scotland and to whom I want to pay tribute today.”

The announcement also met criticism from the Conservative party for the short notice facing parents.

Scottish shadow sectary, Jamie Greene, responded to the announcement saying: “It’s completely unacceptable that, just a few weeks from the supposed reopening, parents still have no certainty over plans.

“Parents are furious and bewildered as to why pubs, restaurants and shops are all open, yet there’s still no final decision on schools.”


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