South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has praised teachers, nursery and school staff for their continuing hard work in extremely difficult circumstances, as many children return to school this week.

Early learning and childcare, P1 to 3 children and a number of senior pupils who have to complete practical work returned to school on Monday.

Colin Smyth said: “Once again, I would like to praise all teachers, as well as school and nursery staff, for all their hard work over the past year in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Many younger children returned to full time education on Monday, while remote learning continues for all other pupils and it cannot be underestimated how hard this period has been for all of those who work in a school environment, as well as parents.

“While remote learning is no substitute for being in school, teachers and support staff have been doing everything they can to ensure our children and young people are able to keep learning.

“However, I know children and young people have been missing their school friends and this partial return will be good news for many.

“I also welcome the fact that we finally have a testing regime in place for teachers and school staff. However, as with all the Scottish Government’s testing, it’s a year too late. Teachers should have had proper testing in place since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We’ve been told time and again that testing is one of the ways we can help tackle this terrible virus and the Government has repeatedly failed to carry it out properly.”

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