BELEAGUERED Education Secretary John Swinney is to make an emergency statement to Holyrood tomorrow about the crisis in Scotland’s schools.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed at the daily briefing that her deputy would address MSPs about plans for ‘blended learning’ when pupils return in August.

The First Minister has warned the country faces an "education emergency" alongside health and economic ones as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.

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It follows a demand from the Scottish Tories for Mr Swinney to explain what the Government plans to do to maximise face-face-face teaching in classrooms.

Mr Swinney last week said it could take a year for schools to return to normality, and he hoped councils could offer 50 per cent class time, with the rest of the week relying on homeschooling.

However, some councils have offered as little as one day a week in class, prompting a parental backlash.

Ms Sturgeon then intervened, saying she had concerns about anything less than 50% class time, and warning councils she would rewrite any plans deemed not good enough. 

Councils have said they are limited by the Scottish Government’s plan for a 2m physical distancing rule in classes, limiting pupil numbers are any one time.

READ MORE: Two-thirds of Scots parents complain about having no online lessons from schools during lockdown 

However SNP MSP Alex Neil has said the current plans are unacceptable, and suggested councils are not being ambitious or imaginative enough.

Former Labour First Minister Jack McConnell said at the weekend that part-time schooling could prove a bigger disaster than the Scottish Qualifications Authority fiasco 20 years ago.

Lord McConnell was appointed education minister after thousands of exam results went missing and had to overhaul the SQA.

Scottish Tory education secretary Jamie Greene said: “It should not have taken opposition parties to drag John Swinney and this SNP government to parliament to explain themselves.

“The furore surrounding the SNP’s plans for re-opening schools is symptomatic of its decade-long shambolic stewardship of Scotland’s education system.

“Parents are fuming and want answers from this SNP government.

“If it wasn’t for the Sottish Conservatives harnessing the anger of those parents and demanding this statement, Mr Swinney would be nowhere to be seen.

“The time for passing the buck is up, and we must get clarity from the SNP this week before its ministers swan off on holiday.”