Pupils are facing "huge disparities" in what they can expect when online learning begins tomorrow, it has been reported.

While teachers will live-stream lessons in some parts of the country, other areas will adopt other online teaching methods.

Only children whose parents are key workers and children who are deemed vulnerable should be in class from tomorrow.

Other pupils will learn remotely from home.

However, parent campaign group UsForThem Scotland expressed concerns that children’s education and wellbeing would suffer as a result of school closures and lack of consistency in the provision of live lessons.

But research by the BBC found that the majority of Scottish local authorities will be including 'live lessons' in their provision of remote learning.


Concerns have been raised regarding "disparity" in education provision across Scotland during during the period pupils are required to stay at home, after Orkney cited issues of connectivity and other council areas said it would be decided on a school-by-school basis.

Jo Bisset, organiser for UsForThem Scotland, claimed there are "a number of reasons" that pupils being forced to stay home for remote learning would be "bad for children across Scotland".

She added: “The fact online learning is totally inadequate and a complete postcode lottery is one of the most obvious.

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“An entire generation of children are paying the price from an education perspective, but also from being socially isolated and excluded from vital life experiences for an indefinite period.”

Midlothian and Orkney were two of the council areas to tell the BBC they would not be providing 'live lessons', while West Lothian said there was "potential" for such lessons - although it would be up to individual staff to ascertain the most appropriate method of delivery - and Aberdeenshire said there was the "option" of video conference-style lessons.

Elsewhere, Dundee and Renfrewshire said schools would have the final say, while South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway said schools were still finalising details regarding remote learning.

Edinburgh said some live lessons may be available - but not the norm - and East Renfrewshire said their programme  "might" include live lessons.

Glasgow council said that video lessons would feature as part of the mix. 

Despite campaigners concerns that this discrepencies will lead to a "complete postcode lottery", the Scottish Government has defended the decision-making approach.

Appearing before Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee on Friday, Mr Swinney insisted local authorities should be “free” to take decisions at local levels.

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He said: "I’m confident good measures have been put in place. We have also invested £25m in making sure young people who did not have access to digital devices have got access to those devices and supporting local authorities in the delivery of all of that technology.” with the Education Secretary saying councils have been told to keep the numbers in school as low as possible.

He told MSPs: “Local authorities will be operating within a framework the Government has set which is to try to reduce human interaction by keeping those placements to a minimum.

“Local authorities must be free to take those decisions at local level, I think that is the right position for us to adopt.

“But fundamentally that means not everybody is going to be able to secure a place for their child.

“Whichever way we look at this, whether it is about where people are employed, whether they are able to work from home, whether they are able to find childcare, all of these factors contribute to the level of human interaction within our society.

“And there may be a necessity for us to restrict that further if we don’t see that reducing as a consequence of the steps we are taking already.”

Meanwhile, Scotland's largest teaching union EIS expressed its support for the decision to keep schools on a remote learning platform following the Scottish Government's lockdown announcement.

Commenting on the decision, EIS General Secretary, Larry Flanagan said: "There was already heightened concern from teachers in Level 4 areas around school safety and the surge in infection levels, driven by the new variant, will have compounded those concerns especially as it seems clear that children can be as easily infected as anyone by the new strain, with subsequent transmission also occurring."

"Given that social distancing amongst pupils is physically impossible in crowded classrooms, moving to remote learning is the correct decision, therefore, if we are to successfully drive down community infection levels. Suppressing the virus is key to school buildings safely reopening."

He added: "Whilst the education system is better prepared to deliver education remotely than during the first lockdown, challenges remain and we need to ensure that all pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can access learning on an equitable basis."