TEACHERS have not failed us. During the pandemic, teachers have continued to teach the children of key workers and vulnerable children. They have kept in contact with families to check that they are managing. Many have made home visits. They have ensured that weekly food packages are being delivered to families who receive free school meals. Teachers have often provided help for those needing to access benefits. They have certainly not failed us.

And yet we are about to fail them – if we allow them to return to school with the inadequate package of measures offered by the Scottish Government, which is supposed to ensure a safe return to school.

We all want our schools to return to normal as soon as possible: for the sake of the children, their parents/guardians, the economy of the present and the life skills needed for our economy in the future. But the return must be safe, for teachers as much as other key workers in our economy. The one thing the Government could have done (and only it can do it), is offer the teachers and the rest of the school community a detailed and well thought-out programme of routine regular testing for all staff, whether they are symptomatic or not. Instead, teachers are offered an “enhanced surveillance programme” – whatever that means – which cannot even be debated because it is not ready to roll out!

Teachers have done all they can for our children under such difficult circumstances. Now the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Education must do all they can for all staff going into school on Tuesday. Nothing short of a routine mass testing of all school staff will do it.

Bob Gillespie, Glasgow G44.