New Scottish government figures show that 7 per cent of pupils continued to attend school buildings on Monday after the start of lockdown.
Schools have closed to the majority of pupils with lessons moving online after the Christmas holidays. However, vulnerable children and the children of key workers can still attend.
The new figures show that attendance on Monday in state schools was estimated at around 7 per cent of pupils, with almost one-fifth of special school pupils continuing to attend.
By way of contrast, in March last year, first minister Nicola Sturgeon reported that “only around 1 per cent” of pupils had taken up the childcare places. She admitted at that time she had been “deeply worried” the numbers would be higher, given the implications for staff and pupil safety.
Coronavirus: Fears about the numbers of pupils still in school
At the end of April, figures obtained by Tes Scotland again showed that fewer than 1 per cent of pupils were attending hub schools per day, on average.
The new figures show that on Monday around 9 per cent of pupils attended primary schools, 4 per cent attended secondaries and 18 per cent of pupils attended special schools.
Special school staff have written to the education secretary John Swinney saying that in some councils it was “business as usual” for them in spite of the lockdown because all ASN (additional support needs) pupils had been deemed vulnerable and therefore were allowed to continue to attend school.
The teachers said this policy was putting them and their pupils at risk.
The issue was also raised today with education secretary John Swinney in the Scottish Parliament by the Greens’ education spokesperson, Ross Greer. Mr Swinney said the issue was being explored.
Asked by @Ross_Greer about staff's safety concerns in special schools - where, in some cases, all pupils are still attending - Swinney says the issues raised "are being explored".— Henry Hepburn (@Henry_Hepburn) January 13, 2021