Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of creating an information “vacuum” over proposals to extend this year’s school Christmas holidays.

It comes after reports that dates could be standardised across the country, with all schools closing on December 18 and reopening on January 11.

The proposals would help contain the spread of coronavirus as families gather for the festive period.

A document from last week’s meeting of the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group, leaked to the Daily Record newspaper, says the government is considering an extension to the holidays, with schools either remaining closed or introducing remote learning for a temporary period.

Pressed on the matter during her Covid-19 statement at Holyrood, the First Minister said discussions on the move were ongoing but that the conclusions could be set out in a matter of days.

She said the decisions “have to be carefully considered and, of course, they have to be driven by the latest evidence”.

Ms Sturgeon added: “I would hope that we would set out our conclusions on that some time over the course of this week to give parents due notice.”

It came after her deputy, Education Secretary John Swinney, said earlier in Holyrood’s debating chamber that he planned to come to a decision “at the earliest possible opportunity”.

Hinting that a degree of remote or blended learning may be likely, Mr Swinney said: “The question of whether or not the period which schools are closed at the Christmas period can either be extended by extending holidays or by putting in place requirements for remote and blended learning – certainly on that point my view firmly is that we want to avoid any sense of learning loss for young people as a consequence of an extension of the Christmas period.”

But Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood, said later: “The First Minister’s answers in parliament today were simply not good enough... Some key workers face a possible childcare crisis in little over a fortnight. This information vacuum is causing anxiety and concern for parents across Scotland.

“In the real world, they need to make childcare plans and speak with their employers. They need answers now."