Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has today called for the Scottish Government to step up support for schools and pupils, as she revealed that despite the resumption of in-person teaching in the final months of the 2020/21 school year, 1 in 10 pupils were not in school.
In response to a parliamentary question from Ms Wishart, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed that that between April and June 2021, the combined rate for pupils not in school due to Covid-19 related reasons and Non-Covid-19 related reasons was 10.4%.
Commenting on the figures, Ms Wishart said:
“These figures confirm the scale of the disruption that pupils have faced. Even after in-person teaching resumed, disruption remained rife.
“The year as a whole was extremely difficult for everyone involved. As classrooms are set up for pupils’ return, the Scottish Government shouldn’t just leave teachers to get on with it again. They need every support and resource available.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to giving every young person the best start in life. That means giving more in-class support to children who need it, and improving teachers’ workloads and conditions, so we recruit and retain people who are passionate about teaching. It also means improving teachers’ contracts with a teacher job guarantee, permanent contracts and a workforce plan so the profession is secure for the long-term.”