Omicron in Scotland: Teachers union call for delayed school return

Scottish teachers are calling for a delay in the re-opening of schools after the Christmas break amid a surge in Omicron cases and the possibility of new restrictions.

Schools are set to break for the Christmas holidays this week, and as it stands pupils will return to classrooms in early January next year.

However, a teachers’ union is calling on a later return date.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) have claimed there are already staffing issues in schools, from a result of the current self-isolation requirements.

Currently, a 10-day self-isolation period is required if someone or a member of the same household tests positive for Covid.

READ MORE: Scottish colleges move to blended learning as Omicron cases surge

City of Glasgow and Edinburgh colleges have already returned to online learning from today until Wednesday, when the festive holiday starts. Other institutions are also minimising on-campus activity. 

General secretary of the SSTA teaching union, Seamus Searson,  claimed that schools are already ‘struggling’ to stay open, and that parents were delibratley keeping their children at home.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: “”At the moment, schools are struggling to keep open because of the number of teachers who are away because of the virus,

“We need to be reasonable and say that the virus will spread inside schools.

“There somehow seems to be a notion that the virus isn’t spread in school and teachers are immune.”

READ MORE: Chance of white Christmas for Scotland as Met Office predict snow

Nicola Sturgeon is set to make another Covid Announcement tomorrow with more restrictions or a lockdown looming over the nation, as a three-month high of new virus infections was recorded today.

A total of 6,734 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed since Sunday, but the last time more than 6,700 cases were reported in a single day was on September 3. 

Of the 6,734 new cases revealed by the Scottish Government today, 36 of those were of the Omicron variant, bringing the total Omicron infections in the country to 1,111.

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