Candidate condemns pupils only returning for a day

Stewart Whyte, the Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeenshire East condemns pupils only returning for a day

Stewart Whyte, the Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeenshire East, condemned the way secondary pupils are to return to school next week.

Mr Whyte

Parents have contacted me dismayed that their pupils are only returning one day a week up to Easter. For senior pupils who are preparing for the assessments that have replaced SQA exams two days in a fortnight is almost useless.

On 15th March all secondary pupils are to return to some schooling before the Easter break. Pupils and staff will wear masks at all times and have to be two metres apart in the building and 1 metre apart on school buses.

Mr Whyte continued

The two metre rule is completely ruinous: classrooms will only be able to accommodate 9 or 10 pupils at a time. That means a class of 25 Higher pupils will need to be taught the same lesson three times.

Senior Leadership Teams had this dumped on them at no notice and they are frantically trying to create timetables to deal with the almost impossible instructions.

Each year group will be in for one day a week with the other four days being home learning. How can staff teach face-to-face all week and simultaneously create and mark online work for the classes at home.

Mr Whyte, who is an Aberdeenshire history teacher, concluded

It is right that pupils are returning to school but, the two metre rule in the classroom has to go. The number of Covid cases are very low now in Aberdeenshire and the SNP Government show no understanding of how schools work. They need to listen to Headteachers. Senior pupils need to be in school more than one day a week if they are to achieve their potential in what has been an incredibly difficult year for them.

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