Coronavirus testing will be freely available to education staff, the Scottish Government has announced. 

Even if teachers, nursery and school staff are showing no symptoms, they can still access testing 'on demand' if they feel they have been at risk from infection. 

The step has been taken to provide additional reassurance to teachers, nursery and other staff as Scotland's pupils head back to school this week. 

Education Secretary confirmed the decision in Parliament in a move to provide "additional reassurance" to education staff. 

It comes after teaching unions have expressed concerns about the safety of pupils returning to school this week.

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Mr Swinney also laid out details of the £135 million of support previously announced for schools.

The sum includes £80 million to bring additional teachers and staff into Scotland’s classrooms in the coming school year.

According to Government figures, the amount should fund recruitment of approximately 1,400 additional teachers. 

Mr Swinney said: “Ensuring the highest quality education for our young people, in a safe environment, is our absolute priority.

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“Thanks to our success in suppressing COVID-19 in Scotland, it is now safe for schools to return. Guidance, informed by the latest scientific advice, sets out the range of measures schools should take to minimise the risk of the spread of the virus.

“We know concerns still exist and I want teachers and staff to not just be safe, but to feel safe, in school and in nursery.

“While clinical advice is clear that testing those with symptoms must be the priority, we are now offering all staff who are concerned they may have been at risk of infection to have access to testing through their employer.

“I hope this additional measure will reassure teachers, nursery and support staff as we return to full-time in classroom education.”