NICOLA Sturgeon has warned that Scotland will “inevitably see more cases which involve school students” - while stressing that there is no evidence to suggest the virus is spreading in schools.

The First Minister has appealed for parents and communities to focus efforts on a “hard slog for quite some time yet to come” after addressing clusters in Aberdeen, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire and Tayside.

Yesterday, Renfrewshire Council said a case has been confirmed at Todholm Primary School in Paisley, while two cases have been detected in pupils in Perth and Kinross.

READ MORE: Two more primary school pupils test positive for Covid-19

Cases have also affected Bannerman High School in Baillieston, Glasgow; Caldervale High School in Airdrie, and St Ambrose High School and St Andrew’s High School, both in Coatbridge.

Ms Sturgeon urged caution, indicating that these cases are thought to be “community clusters with an impact on schools rather than school-based clusters”, adding that “it is not thought that the virus has transmitted within the schools”.

She added: “There does appear to be a link with indoor social events. The evidence we have at this stage seems to suggest, perhaps not surprisingly given how infectious we know Covid is, if the virus is present at say a house party, everyone attending the house party is at considerable risk of infection.

“We will, I think, inevitably see more cases which involve school students in the weeks and months ahead.”

The First Minister was quizzed over concerns raised by the EIS union over the lack of social distancing rules in schools, despite a plea for young people not to gather outside of school hours – amid calls for 3,500 teachers to be hired in order to cut class sizes.

READ MORE: EIS union in plea for Nicola Sturgeon to cut school class sizes to halt Covid spread

Ms Sturgeon indicated that official guidance could be altered if more scientific evidence emerges around the spread of the virus but stressed the importance of keeping schools open as the harms of children losing out in an education are “considerable”.

She said: “We will continue to talk to the EIS about requirements that they think are necessary. We have set out, previously, funding to increase the numbers of teachers and we will certainly be happy to talk to them about the basis of the figure they are using.

“Nothing we’re doing here, we’re doing lightly or in an uninformed way. The guidance that’s in place for schools, we took great care and scientific advice around but it’s not set in stone.

“This is a virus that we are still learning about. As we get back to normal, we will see more evidence of how it transmits. If we need to change any of that, we will.”

The First Minister has also pleaded with parents to help schools remain open full-time by playing their collective part in suppressing the spread of Covid-19.

She said: “I suspect every parent right now will be feeling huge anxiety about their child being back at school – that's understandable, but I suspect every parent also really knows how important it is for their children to be back at school and to be having education on a full-time basis.

“If we want to protect that, all of us have to do all of these other things that help us to keep the virus suppressed.

“There are no easy answers in any of this – I so wish that there were and I wish there were easy judgements and simple solutions to all of this.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “This is a hard slog for all of us – for every single person having to follow all of this advice and it’s unfortunately going to be a hard slog for quite some time yet to come. But increasingly, we have to focus on doing everything we can to keep the virus suppressed for its own sake but also so we can start to ease some of these other harms that lockdown and having children out of school are doing.

“We will succeed or fail in all of this by the collective efforts of all of us.”