Scottish schools are expected to reopen on August 11 in a “blended learning” model, involving pupils attending classrooms as little as one day a week in some council areas. But Alex O’Neil, a former Health Secretary claimed the plans were “bleeding” Scottish education saying the plans were “for the birds”.
Speaking in Holyrood, the MSP said: “My grandchildren have just been told they’re going to get, from the 11th of August, one and a half days a week at school, for the indefinite future.
“I personally, and their parents, regard that as absolutely unacceptable.
“That is not good quality education.
“It’s not ‘blending’ education, it’s bleeding education.
“Surely we can do far better than that for our children?”
His calls were backed by former first minister Jack McConnell who said not having pupils in school full-time from August could cause worse damage than when 2,000 pupils were given the wrong exam results in August 2000.
Writing in the Herald on Sunday, the Labour peer added: “Twenty years on and we face an educational crisis that could damage another generation even more deeply.
“The UK and Scottish governments mobilised on a scale never seen before to save lives and protect jobs. They must do the same now for full-time education.”
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“The total effect of the lockdown, plus part-time schooling to December, would be equivalent to imposing five years of inequality in less than a year.”
In response to the concerns, a Scottish Government spokeswoman told Express.co.uk this morning: “We recognise that the disruption and challenges caused by the pandemic are hitting children from disadvantaged backgrounds particularly hard and we have been encouraging schools to target support where it is most needed.
“We are providing local authorities and schools with flexibility to redirect resources aimed at closing the attainment gap.
“This includes the announcement of £250 million for pupil equity funding over the next two years.”
The government also announced that 25,000 laptops and internet access worth a total of £9 million are going to disadvantaged children, learning hubs for vulnerable children and key workers will remain open in summer.