The EIS, whilst  welcoming the publication of the scientific advice around how schools might reopen, has underlined that significant discussion is still required around the actual guidelines to be issued to schools, and specifically the mitigations which need to be in place to ensure that schools are COVID secure environments.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS had called for transparency around the scientific evidence on schools so the publication of these reports is welcome."

"It should be noted that the advice is contingent upon continued suppression of the virus. That shouldn't be taken as a given. The recent experience of Israel, where levels of infection have soared again following the removal of mitigations, is a stark reminder that the virus remains a threat."

Mr Flanagan continued, "The reports highlight the importance of significant mitigations being operational in schools. The EIS will engage in discussion as to what these should be."

"Pro-active testing of school communities is certainly one measure which should be in place and we also think that more should be done around senior pupils, who are young adults rather than children."

He added, "Beyond the immediate issue of how schools reopen is the equally critical question of how schools will be resourced to support the educational recovery of pupils."

"We need more teachers and more support staff. Current efforts by both the Scottish Government and local government is falling short of what is needed."