“School vacation: Nicola Sturgeon blames “vacuum” details

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Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of building a “information vacuum” over plans to expand the Christmas holidays this year.

The dates could be standardized around the country after reports, with all schools closing on December 18 and reopening on January 11.

When families gather over the holidays, the measures will help curb the spread of coronavirus.

A document leaked to the Daily Record newspaper from the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group meeting says the government is considering extending the holidays, with schools either staying closed or introducing distance learning for a temporary duration.

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During her Covid 19 speech at Holyrood, the First Minister asked about the matter, stating that talks on the move were continuing, but that results could be set out in a couple of days.

She said the choices “need to be carefully considered and of course they need to be driven by the latest evidence.”

Ms. Sturgeon added, “I would hope that we would announce our conclusions later this week to give parents timely notice.”

This came after her deputy, Secretary of Education John Swinney, told Holyrood’s debate chamber earlier that he intended “at the earliest opportunity.” to make a decision.

Swinney indicated that some degree of distance or blended learning might be likely: “The question of whether the period when schools are closed over the Christmas period can be extended either by extending the vacations or by introducing requirements for distance and blended learning – on that point, I’m a firm believer that we want to avoid any loss of learning for young people as a result of extending the Christmas period.”

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But Ruth Davidson, Holyrood’s leader of the Scottish Conservatives, later said, “The responses of the First Minister in Parliament today were simply not good enough…. In just over a fortnight, some key workers are facing a potential childcare crisis. This vacuum of information causes anxiety and concern among parents across Scotland.”

“They need to make arrangements for childcare in the real world and speak to their bosses. Now they need answers.

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