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Responding to the announcement by the First Minister that schools in Scotland will remain closed until at least 1 February except for key worker and vulnerable children, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“We welcome the First Minister’s announcement that schools will remain closed to all but key worker and vulnerable children until at least 1 February. This will provide a measure of relief to many highly anxious teachers, parents, pupils and school staff at this difficult time.

“While the NASUWT has always supported schools remaining open to all pupils as long as it is safe to do so, it is clear, as the First Minister herself has acknowledged today, that the threat posed by the new Covid variant has escalated the risks to the health and welfare of pupils, teachers and the wider community considerably and that the only safe course of action is to move to an extended period of remote education at this time.

“The First Minister stated that the significant uncertainty on the impact of the new variant on children, along with the overall high level of virus transmission in the community had guided the decision to extend the period of remote learning.

“It will now be vital that in reviewing the closure of schools on 18 January the Minister continues to be guided by the medical and scientific evidence on the impact of the new variant, with the priority the safety, health and welfare of children, young people and school staff. The highly cautious and preventative approach set out today must be maintained in order to protect health and welfare.”
Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:
“We welcome the First Minister’s commitment to look at prioritising school staff for vaccination. The NASUWT believes that vaccination of teachers and other staff must be introduced as a central pillar of ensuring the safe operation of schools during the pandemic.

“Prioritising the vaccination of school staff will support the shared aim of restoring in-person teaching for pupils as soon as this can safely be achieved.”


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