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Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 21st May 2020.

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The First Minister:

Before the crisis, we had already been doing work to increase the provision of outdoor education; Maree Todd has been a champion of that in the early years context. We now have not only an opportunity but a necessity to look at doing that even more, within the constraints of the Scottish winter weather with which we are all familiar. It is an important aspect of what we will need to do.

It will be a difficult conundrum to work through, which is why it is important to do it in partnership. None of us wants children to be unsafe at school, but we all want to see children back at school and in a way that allows them to be children. None of us relishes the prospect of kids—particularly, young kids—having to socially distance or to be as aware of the risks as we will require them to be. For children in particular, it is important to get as much normality as possible in the school environment. We should not underestimate the challenges of that, but it is central to all the careful planning that is under way.