Coronavirus: Closures assessed 'several times a day'

A 'more blanket approach to school closures' is 'highly possible' in the coming days, says Nicola Sturgeon

Tes Reporter

Coronavirus: School closures in Scotland assessed 'several times a day'

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said blanket school closures are considered "several times a day" and could be implemented in the coming days.

The Scottish government, along with the UK government and other devolved administrations, has been against the idea of closing all schools in the country in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Reasons have ranged from the pressure of childcare on frontline workers to the risks presented to children who are no longer in school.

However, staff and pupils are already starting to stay away from schools in large numbers. In the past hour, a secondary teacher contacted Tes Scotland to say attendance was "through the floor" this morning" and that more than 15 staff were off.

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Ms Sturgeon told BBC News last night that "it's highly possible that we will see a more blanket approach to school closures in the coming days."

Will coronavirus close all Scottish schools?

On Monday morning, she had said that “if we are taking a step like closing schools, we will seek to give people as much advance notice as possible”.

In last night's interview, she added: "So far we have judged that the potential downside of blanket school closures – for the wellbeing of children first and foremost – but also the impact that it would have on protecting our frontline NHS and social care staff outweigh the potential benefits of that.

"That's been the judgment so far, but as I say that is not fixed."

The first minister also said there is a "resilience issue" which could be caused, particularly if teachers are forced to self-isolate, which could lead to school closures being deemed necessary.

She added: "I think I said on [the BBC's] Good Morning Scotland that this was under daily consideration, actually this is under consideration several times a day."

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Tes Reporter

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