Nicola Sturgeon was torn apart for the way Scotland is coming out of the coronavirus lockdown as Jackson Carlaw questioned when children can go back to school. He accused the SNP leader of a “record of non-delivery and months of dithering”. It comes as Scottish parents are furious that they have been told to go back to work but their children must stay home.
Speaking in Scottish Parliament, Mr Carlaw said: “Soft words matched by a record of non-delivery and months of dithering on education.
“Matthew Eastwood, a parent of two young children in Edinburgh, has put it better than any of us can.
“Writing to MSPs this week he said: ‘Whilst careers may be furloughed, childhood cannot’ and I agree.
“We must not put a price tag on children’s’ future.
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“So far all we’ve seen are half-measures, buck passing and parents are rightly furious.
“Will she promise to commit the funds that are required, whatever it takes, to underpin a national endeavour to help councils get schools back in place and give this generation of children the start in life they deserve?”
Ms Sturgeon responded: “I don’t put a price tag on the education of children.
“But equally I will not act recklessly to put the lives of children, teachers or the wider community at risk.
But she said that “if we can suppress the virus sufficiently, and have other measures in place, nearer normality may be possible”.
Her comments came after public health expert Devi Sridhar tweeted that her “personal view” is that if cases of coronavirus are low enough, schools should “reopen as normally as possible” when they return on August 11.
The Edinburgh University professor, who is part of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 expert scientific advisory group, stated: “If Covid-19 numbers can be brought low enough in Scotland by 11 August (under 20 confirmed cases) & with appropriate ‘test and protect’ policies, my personal view is that schools should re-open as normally as possible (kids back full-time & able to play/interact together).”
Ms Sturgeon responded by tweeting: “Right now (like other UK nations), we must plan for a school model based on physical distancing.
“But as devisridhar says, *if* we can suppress virus sufficiently & have other measures in place, nearer normality may be possible. It’s why we must stick with plan to suppress.”