John Swinney ‘confident’ schools will return full-time

John Swinney is confident pupils will be in class full-time when schools start to reopen from August 11.

The SNP education secretary gave his latest progress update one day before the Scottish Government take a decision.

But parents and pupils will not find out the final plan until Thursday.

The Record has already revealed that Swinney’s top team of education advisers has rubber stamped the proposals to go full-time instead of the previous “blended” part-time plan.

Today Swinney said “we should be confident” of the current timetable.

He added: “As we consider the reopening of schools, it is vital that, along with our partners, we address the wider impacts of the virus on the health, wellbeing and educational attainment of children and young people to whom we have listened carefully about their aspirations about their return to schooling.”

He spoke at Nicola Sturgeon’s regular coronavirus briefing the day after admitting the enhanced testing regime might not be ready for August 11.

On Monday, he said public health officials are working to that timetable “at speed” but he could not give a guarantee.

Scottish politics

Last week, Swinney announced schools could gain around 850 teachers to help class rooms cope with extra burdens caused by coronavirus.

He confirmed he has “ring-fenced” half of an earlier £100m emergency fund for the recruitment drive.

But a parents’ pressure group, and opposition MSPs at Holyrood, warned the plan should have been set out earlier.


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