'Exhausted' Fife teachers could have to work Christmas Day, warns MSP

Mark Ruskell MSPMark Ruskell MSP
Mark Ruskell MSP
A Fife MSP has claimed teachers may have to work on Christmas Day if there are any COVID cases at their school.

Mark Ruskell said the decision to keep schools open as scheduled meant they may be called on to help public health teams trace pupils identified as having contact with a positive Coronavirus case.

Mr Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, spoke after his party raised the issue at the Scottish Parliament’s COVID-19 committee discussion on the decision not to close schools early.

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The party said that left the potential for teachers to have to do contact tracing work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Mr Ruskell said: “It is bizarre to be keeping schools open right up until Christmas eve during a pandemic.

“The implications of this is that families could be asked to self-isolate on Christmas day if a positive case came back earlier in the week for a child or staff member in the school.

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“It would be far better to close schools earlier to minimise the contact.”He said teachers were “exhausted after an impossibly difficult year.”

Fife Council confirmed all schools across the region will close on December 22, re-opening on January 6.

Shelagh McLean, head of education and children's services, She added: "This has been an incredibly challenging year and I know everyone will be looking forward to a well-deserved break.

"Public health teams will continue the "test and trace" process throughout the holidays and schools will support that process again in the New Year."

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