First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reassured parents after online lessons were disrupted for thousands of learners on the first day of remote learning.
Pupils, parents and teachers have reported issues accessing classroom materials through Microsoft Teams, often when accessed through Glow, the Scottish Government-backed digital schools network.
Dundee schools Grove Academy and Craigie High School are among those reassuring pupils following the disruption.
We're aware of access issues on MS Teams, take a break and try later or access our Learning Hub through the website. It's very busy due to all of Scotland going online today. #teamcraigie
— Craigie High School (@Craigie_High) January 11, 2021
Speaking at Monday’s daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said the issue was not unique to Scotland.
She said: “Let me begin by acknowledging that today sees many teachers, parents and young people embarking on another period of home-schooling. There are a range of resources and support available however I know some of you might be having an issue this morning with Microsoft Teams.
“This is not an issue that is unique to Scotland or indeed to schools but I understand Microsoft is currently working to address it.
“But more generally I don’t underestimate, and I want to be very clear about this, how difficult this both from an educational perspective, how difficult this is for young people.
“Not just learning at home but learning away from your friends.”
It is understood pupils at Carnoustie High School, Angus, have also experienced issues and the school has reportedly been flooded with calls from concerned parents.
Kirkcaldy High School, in Fife, also said the system had caused delays in work being uploaded.
Due to the volume of people across the country trying to use Teams there are massive delays with the system just now. Work has been scheduled to post at 9am. It hasn’t done so yet due to the amount of people trying to use the system. It will post. Please be patient.
— KHSBusinessEd (@KHSBusinessEd) January 11, 2021
The school’s business department Tweeted: “Due to the volume of people across the country trying to use Teams there are massive delays with the system just now.
“Work has been scheduled to post at 9am. It hasn’t done so yet due to the amount of people trying to use the system. It will post. Please be patient.”
Glow also said the issue was being investigated but that it was not exclusive to the learning platform.
But Ms Sturgeon also reiterated the intention to get pupils back into the classroom as soon as possible.
She said: “I want again to say to all of you directly thank you for your patience and your resilience right now. You are having the toughest of time but you are coping with it extremely well, so that you for that.
“And it is also really difficult having to juggle home-schooling with working so I want to acknowledge all of that today.
“It doesn’t make it easier for you today for me to acknowledge it but it is important that I do and also give an assurance that we will all continue to provide as much support as possible and again thank all you for what you are doing.
“We all want schools back to normal just as soon as it is safe and possible to do that. And while I can’t give certainty on that right now I want to be clear to you today that getting schools back to normal remains a priority for us as I am sure it is a priority for all of you.”
Please see below from @MicrosoftTeams – we are aware of the issues, please only do what you can do & try not to worry if it’s not working, step away from ICT for ten minutes & breath. Follow your timetable and there will be time to catch up with anything from this morning later. https://t.co/CJdeyXbA5X
— Grove Academy (@Grove_Academy) January 11, 2021
Grove Academy, in Dundee, offered some support to families experiencing troubles with the server.
The school Tweeted: “We are aware of the issues, please only do what you can do and try not to worry if it’s not working.
“Step away from ICT for ten minutes and breath. Follow your timetable and there will be time to catch up with anything from this morning later.”
A Microsoft spokesperson was unable to confirm when the issue would be rectified but said: “Our engineers are working to resolve difficulties accessing Microsoft Teams that some customers are experiencing.”
Microsoft are experiencing issues with the Teams service across the UK this morning. This is not exclusive to the Glow platform and we are in contact with Microsoft to ensure these issues are resolved asap. Please see our service status page for updates: https://t.co/EVRnFphpzp pic.twitter.com/Vb0FQ0LopT
— Glow Scot (@GlowScot) January 11, 2021