Parents are feeling “stressed, anxious and overwhelmed” as remote learning for pupils gets underway, according to a charity which wants to see consideration given to prioritising school staff for Covid vaccinations.

Connect warned that, while some know what online teaching will look like for their children, others are still waiting to hear.

Executive Director Eileen Prior said survey evidence had highlighted how a significant number of parents did not feel they had what they needed to support schoolwork at home or did not feel confident.

Schools are closed to all but vulnerable and key worker children until at least February 1, with a review of arrangements due to take place on January 18.

The plan was drawn up in response to a new, more transmissible strain of Covid-19.

Yesterday was the first day of remote learning for thousands of pupils across Scotland - but teaching activity got off to a rocky start as many youngsters and parents were affected by problems when trying to use Microsoft Teams.

An update from the Glow digital learning platform, which was published shortly after 5pm, said the issues had been “resolved”.

Ms Prior said: “From what parents say to us, many are stressed, anxious and some feel overwhelmed. “Some already know what remote learning looks like in their child’s school; others are still waiting to hear, which doesn’t help.

“Keyworker parents are trying to organise wraparound care for their often very long shifts; working parents, especially single parents, are wondering how on earth they can get through this a second time.”

She added: “Working parents are not second-class citizens, although they are sometimes treated as such – they are super human. “Their caring and working roles are both essential; current circumstances put these roles into conflict like never before.

“These parents would say this level of conflict is not sustainable.”

HeraldScotland: Schools across Scotland yesterday reported issues with Microsoft Teams.Schools across Scotland yesterday reported issues with Microsoft Teams.

Ms Prior went on: “Where doing schoolwork at home is not possible, for reasons such as a lack of equipment or space, or the need for additional support, we believe children should be included in the Scottish Government’s definition of ‘vulnerable’ so they can go into school and learn there.

“In England, children who did not manage to do schoolwork during the last lockdown are being prioritised for school places. “This is a clear benchmark for inclusion.

“Surely this must be the most humane and important educational ‘lesson’ we take away from the last lockdown?”

Ms Prior also said she would like to see consideration given to prioritising vaccination of school staff if this helps speed up the re-opening of schools to all youngsters.

Connect, an organisation and charity whose goal is to put parental engagement at the heart of Scottish education, carried out surveys last year which found over 30 per cent of respondents did not feel they had what they needed to support learning at home.

Around 36% did not feel confident in undertaking such activity.

Ms Prior said: “Has the situation improved so all families feel able to cope and to keep their child’s learning going?

“We hope so, but realistically we don’t think so."

Connect’s parent/carer survey in October found 56% had not been told about their school’s contingency plans for a second lockdown, while just over 30% said their child still needed a digital device or internet access.

News on the promised roll-out of devices was also mixed – some had received them, others had not.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “It is entirely understandable that parents feel remote learning is daunting and I want to reassure everyone about the range of support that is available from school, from Parent Club and from other individuals in the same position.

“We are making sure that contact is there with schools and that there is plenty of other support for parents to call upon.

“But, in the end, I would ask parents to remember that they are not teachers. They are doing their best to support their children in a really tough time for everybody. It is we acknowledge and understand that.”