The Glasgow branch of the Unison union has joined calls to introduce blending learning in areas hit worst by coronavirus.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday that schools in areas at Level 4 of Covid-19 restrictions will continue to be open fully despite calls from the EIS and NASUWT teaching unions to move to a blended model.
Now, the Unison branch in Glasgow has also voiced its opposition to schools remaining fully open.
Brian Smith, the Unison branch secretary for the city, said: “The Unison branch firmly believes that schools and early years establishments should not be fully operational during Level 4.
“We oppose the Scottish Government’s position of attempting to maintain current service arrangements.
“We and other trade unions including the EIS are lobbying the Scottish Government on this matter.”
He added: “There needs to be fewer staff and pupils attending schools and early years establishments.
“There are a variety of possible arrangements to deliver this and Glasgow City Council needs to implement them.”
Statistics released on Wednesday showed just over 0.2% of pupils contracted coronavirus in the first nine weeks of this term, while less than a quarter of schools reported a positive case.
Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh after the figures were published, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “While we will continue to listen carefully to all concerns, these findings do reinforce our view that at this time, the benefits young people gain from being in school outweigh the overall impact of schools on transmission rates.”
Glasgow is one of the 11 council areas that will be subject to Level 4 restrictions from Friday, meaning non-essential shops will be forced to close, along with bars and restaurants.
Travel restrictions will also be placed into law, making it an offence to move into or out of Level 3 or Level 4 areas, bar certain exemptions.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government reiterated the findings of the Public Health Scotland report and said: “The Health and Safety Executive has provided very positive feedback on the way schools are implementing the guidance.
“We are keeping this and scientific evidence under review so where there is a need to take further action we will work with teachers, parents, trades unions, local authorities and young people’s representatives to do so.
“There is no current direct evidence that transmission within schools plays a significant contributory role in driving increased rates of infection among children and ONS data has shown no difference between the positivity rates of teachers and other school staff, relative to other worker groups of a similar age.”
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