South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has praised the region’s teachers for all their hard work in very difficult circumstances, as children across the country start remote learning.

As strict Covid-19 lockdown restrictions remain in place, and schools are closed to all but the children of key workers, the local MSP has said teachers and school staff are doing a fantastic job for our children and young people, often at very short notice as plans change due to the pandemic.

Colin Smyth said: “As remote learning starts for many families, it is time we gave our fantastic teachers and school staff the praise they deserve.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down and our children and young people have been seriously impacted by school closures and disruption. But our teachers and school staff have been working tirelessly to ensure that our kids get the best education and support they can at this terrible time both through remote learning and also physically in schools, as teachers are going into the classroom to support children of key workers.

“Unfortunately, it looks like restrictions and lockdowns are going to be part of everyday life for the foreseeable future, until more of us are vaccinated. The First Minister has said that schools will be the first things to reopen when it’s deemed safe to do so but if that is the case, surely it is time the Scottish Government implemented long overdue routine testing of teachers and other staff and senior students before this happens.

“Our teachers and school staff must feel safe when they are carrying our face to face learning and without routine testing, it’s hard to see how this will be possible.

“We also need to ensure that once the vaccine is rolled out to the most vulnerable, those who are next at risk such as our teachers and all key workers are vaccinated as a matter of urgency.”

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