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Responding to comments made by the Deputy First Minister today that it is safe for children and staff to be in schools this week, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers' Union, said:

“The level of threat from Covid has now increased significantly and this is reflected in the decision made by the First Minister at the weekend to impose new restrictions on the whole population.

“In this context we believe there is no justification for keeping schools open this week when remote learning could be introduced to keep pupils and school staff safe, while maintaining learning.

“Moving to remote learning could help to protect life and health, which surely should be the first priority at the time of increased threat to us all. This determination to keep schools open at all costs is reckless.”
 
Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:
 
“The Deputy First Minister has said today he will continue to review the evidence and to take the right decisions to ensure schools are operating on a safe basis. It is difficult to square this statement with his decision to keep schools open this week.

“The Minister risks making a perilous situation on Covid transmission worse by forcing schools to remain open, a decision which is causing wholly avoidable anxiety and fear to school staff, parents and pupils.”  

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