School closure detail to be announced tomorrow by education secretary

Sturgeon Nicola mental health

The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, says again that the education secretary, John Swinney, will set out detail on school closures tomorrow.

The three priorities will be:

  • supporting vulnerable pupils who rely on free school meals
  • how to address the issue of exams this year
  • how to put in place arrangements to support the children of key workers

Ms Sturgeon points out there will not be a one size fits all approach across Scotland.

Responding to the news that Scotland’s schools and nurseries will close at the end of this week, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “I fully support the First Minister’s decision to close schools and nurseries by the end of the week as it is right to follow the scientific advice.

“Yet many parents will now be anxious about how to balance childcare and any remaining work commitments.

“We should ensure vulnerable pupils who rely on free school meals continue to have access to them. 

“We need to create exceptional care provision for the children of emergency service and other critical workers who don’t have a support network. There is precedent for this already in Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Norway.” 

Meanwhile, libraries and leisure facilities run by LiveArgyll in Helensburgh and Lomond, and across Argyll and Bute, have been closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The trust made an announcement on Wednesday, March 18 that all its facilities, across the whole of Argyll and Bute, would close down from 5pm that day.

Police are investigating reports of a Chinese student being racially abused in connection with the coronavirus.

The incident is said to have happened on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow’s west end at about 09:00 on 5 March.

According to the Glasgow Times, three people shouted “coronavirus” at the student and ripped the person’s clothes.

The student is understood to be doing a PhD at the University of Glasgow. Police said inquiries were ongoing.

A spokesman for the University of Glasgow said: “The university does not tolerate any form or racist or discriminatory behaviour.

“We work closely with the students’ representative council to ensure that all students, members of staff and others feel safe and part of an inclusive community.”

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