TEACHERS are calling for the Scottish Government to set out what will trigger school closures in any tiered coronavirus strategy - warning the measure cannot be ruled out.

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to draw up a tiered approach, similar to Boris Johson’s strategy for England, and will put her proposals to MSPs when they return to Holyrood from recess next week.

Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), has demanded clarity from officials as to the triggers for schools to be closed as part of any tiered approach to tackling the spread of the virus.

Many schools in the west of Scotland are returning to classrooms after the October break while other parts of Scotland today begin their half term break.

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Union leaders have warned that failing to learn lessons from mistakes encountered during the first lockdown will be “inexcusable”.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan, said: “It is clear that school closures, either locally or nationally, need to be considered as part of measures to control the growth in the R figure and to deal with local outbreaks, where they occur.

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“As a country we should be open and transparent as to the type of indicators which would trigger such a move so that pupils, parents and teachers can be as prepared as possible for such an occurrence; a few days’ notice, for example, would be woefully insufficient.”

He added: “We also need to be confident that schools are able to switch effectively to remote teaching or to blended learning, so that we don’t see a repeat of the ‘digital divide’ which was evident in the last lockdown, with pupils from the poorest backgrounds being disproportionally disadvantaged. “Failing to learn lessons from that experience would be inexcusable.

“Everyone understands the importance of schools being open but as is now evident from decisions and discussion elsewhere, if they need to close, even temporarily, in order to control the virus, that is a decision we need to be prepared to make.”