Nicola Sturgeon: Schools will stay open in Level 4 areas

Scotland’s schools do not have any increased risk of Covid 19 transmission and will remain open in areas of the country that move to level four restrictions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today insisted it was still her "objective and intention" to keep youngsters in classrooms in areas like Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire, which are facing level four when the latest review of Scotland’s restrictions are set out tomorrow.

The EIS teaching union has called for schools to be closed down in areas which face the strongest restrictions and urged a return to blended learning. They have even warned of potential “safety strikes”.

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The First Minister indicated level four was about asking adults to "bear a few more restrictions" to keep schools open.

There is no increased risk of transmission in Scots schools
There is no increased risk of transmission in Scots schools

"We don't take lightly issues of school safety, young peoples' safety, teachers and other people working in schools," she said

"We know that it does damage to young people not to be in normal schooling.

"Young people have had months out of school already this year and if we can at all avoid it, we want to ensure that we don't have further time out of normal full-time schooling."

Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith said the data surrounding schools suggested they were not places of "extensive transmission".

He said: "ONS data suggests that teachers and people who work within schools are no more likely to become infected than people of a similar age in other occupations as well.

"We also look very closely at the proportion of people who have named education as their employment when they're talking to Test and Protect and that has remained constant.

"So we are not seeing any evidence of any significant increase risk of transmission, particularly amongst adults."

Additionally, there is "no compelling evidence" of significant transmission among younger children at school, although this does increase as they get older, Mr Smith said.

"We will continue to track this, we will continue to keep an eye on it," he said.

"But we must be aware that schools are not the only place where young people will interact, we must take that into account as well, but at this moment in time there is nothing to suggest from the data that there is any impact on safety in schools by their return."

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