Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie has today accused the Scottish Government of chaos and dysfunction as analysis of official guidance on reducing the risk from Covid-19 in schools reveals that the Government’s wacky plan to cut the bottom of classroom doors does not get a single mention.
In a letter to the Education committee last week, the Scottish Education Secretary outlined the Scottish Government’s plans to improve ventilation in school classrooms including spending £300,000 to cut the bottoms off doors in around 2,000 “problematic” classrooms across the country which have “persistently high CO2 levels”.
Despite criticism from councils and Scottish Fire and Rescue, ministers including Nicola Sturgeon then spent a week defending the proposals before a bizarre appearance in Parliament from Shirley Anne Somerville in which she claimed her letter had been misunderstood.
Mr Rennie said:
“I want to get to the bottom of how the Government can make a ridiculous announcement with a six-figure price tag attached and spend a week defending it in increasingly ludicrous terms, despite never actually adding the suggestion into official guidance.
“The question is how on earth did chopping up classroom doors make it into the Education Secretary’s costed plan but didn’t even make the cut for the latest schools guidance. Perhaps civil servants clawed the pen out of the Education Secretary’s hand just in time.
“This whole thing reads likes like a job creation scheme for joiners that never got off the ground.
“This is chaotic and dysfunctional government at a time when schools need clear guidance.
“The answers to school ventilation are simple: install air filters in every classroom to tackle Covid and CO2 build up and make our schools safer for pupils and staff alike.”