Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th January 2021.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green

It seems from that answer that the Scottish Government is committing to taking a precautionary approach, should scientific uncertainty still exist two weeks from today, when the decision about schools is to be reviewed.

I hope that the First Minister agrees that teaching unions are rightly concerned about the safety of pupils and the wider community, as well as the safety of school staff. It has been appalling to see some people—including prominent political figures, who should know better—appearing to question the judgment and even the integrity of unions in their call for a precautionary response to the pandemic. Will the First Minister commit to work with teaching unions on the challenges that schools face?

I welcome the fact that today’s statement appeared to acknowledge that more needs to be done to accelerate vaccination for teachers and other school staff. Will the First Minister assure us that teachers and school staff will see meaningful progress on that before the review date of 18 January?