A COUNCIL leader has said education will not be possible for children in August under the government's current plans.

Andrew Polson, joint leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, said he "cannot deliver" on parents' expectations to give the education their children "need and deserve" if pupils were to return part-time.

The Conservative councillor for Bearsden South has urged the First Minister to reconsider the plans, and revise the 2m social distancing rule to enable schools to operate more freely.

He has also urged Ms Sturgeon not to "fail this generation of young Scots" and reminded her of her pledge to be judged on her record for education.

Mr Polson wrote: "Our locality and community is rightly proud of its reputation as a great place to go to school. Our parents and pupils have a justifiable expectation that their council will deliver the education that they need and deserve. However since lockdown descended on us all I, as the Conservative Joint Leader of their Council, cannot deliver on their expectations. Quite simply we have been told to shut schools and now we are being told to reopen them on a part time basis from the 11 August, meaning at best our children will only return to school on a 2 day per week basis.

"This is not only unacceptable but unworkable, and I am calling on the Scottish Government and you, to urgently reconsider."

He stated that "part-time education is not in the best interests of our pupils or our parents" and added: " Our communities and the economy have suffered enough.

"The infection rate is substantially down, the virus is under control and we need to be prepared to return our lives back to normal.

"If we don't return schools to full time learning then the long term impact of being out of school for our pupils is incalculable, particularly for those children from poorer households who rely on their local schools to provide them with opportunities that cannot be provided elsewhere."

The council chief made two suggestions in his letter to Ms Sturgeon - to reduce the 2m social distancing rule to 1m, and for the Scottish Government to increase council funding to enable them to provide full-time education from August.

He concluded: "You told Scotland that we should judge your term on your record on education. If you are true to your word you will act now to lift the lockdown in schools and increase funding so my council can get on with our job and deliver the first class full time education that our pupils and parents deserve.

"Please, First Minister, give us the funds we need to avert this educational disaster and do not fail this generation of young Scots."

The Scottish Conservatives have today called for an urgent statement to be made at Holyrood on schools, with education spokesman Jamie Greene MSP saying: "The lack of ambition and clarity over school plans is not just infuriating it’s downright irresponsible."

He added: "Teachers are demanding answers, and parents are frantic with worry.

“They’re fearful for their child’s future, and won’t be able to return to work themselves unless this is resolved.

“By agreeing to an emergency statement in Holyrood, at least some of the many outstanding questions could be answered.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government, councils and teachers are working together to deliver the best educational opportunities for our children. We are prioritising the education and health of our school pupils.

“We know there are no more important issues for parents than the education and the health and safety of their children, and these are really anxious matters for parents to be dealing with.

“Subject to the agreement of the Parliamentary Bureau, the Scottish Government intends to make a statement to Parliament on Education this week.”