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Scottish Tories call for guidance changes on nursery graduations and sports days

The Scottish Government should "urgently rethink" guidance on nursery graduations and school sports day, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
The Scottish Government should "urgently rethink" guidance on nursery graduations and school sports day, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The Scottish Government should allow parents to attend nursery graduations and school sports days from next week, the Tories have said.

Scottish Conservative MSP Meghan Gallacher has written to Nicola Sturgeon suggesting revised guidance after speaking with dozens of furious parents and guardians who have been left unable to attend events.

She said they were “understandably furious” that 6,000 people can attend the Euro Fan Zone in Glasgow, while parents and children will miss out on “precious moments”.

The suggested revisions would include allowing the events to go ahead outside only and asking those who can to take a test before arrival.

The move comes after Scotland’s Children Commissioner Bruce Adamson joined calls for ministers to review the guidance which prevents the events from going ahead.

‘Real frustration’

Ms Gallacher, who is the party’s shadow minister for children and young people, said the “inconsistency” in the the guidance is causing “real frustration”.

She added: “Many graduations have already been cancelled and more are at risk of being scrapped or proceeding without parents’ involvement.

“To try and save these events, I have written to Nicola Sturgeon with proposed revisions to the guidance, which could easily be introduced immediately.”

Mr Adamson joined calls for ministers to review the guidance, arguing the transitions are an “important part of children’s right to development”.

 

Other suggested revisions put forward include asking attendees to continue wearing face masks outside and staggering events with allocated timeslots.

Deputy First Minister and Covie Recovery Secretary John Swinney has already told MSPs that the pandemic means such events are not permitted.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney recently addressed the issue of nursery graduation events in Holyrood.

Speaking in Holyrood last week, he said that Covid-19 safety guidance “seeks to minimise the number of contacts children and staff in early learning and childcare settings by limiting adult visitors to those that are strictly necessary”.

He added that a number of nurseries are looking at “alternative ways” to celebrate these “landmark moments” which do not involve parents gathering together at nurseries or other settings.

Safety guidance

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said early-learning and childcare settings must be kept “as safe as possible so that they can remain open and to reduce the need for staff and children to stay home and self-isolate”.

She added: “We also need to protect the staff who work there and have supported families and children throughout the pandemic.

“We are consulting with the advisory sub-group on this issue and will provide an update if the advice changes.”

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