Nicola Sturgeon is under growing pressure to include additional support needs (ASN) education workers in the first roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine.

Larry Flanagan, General Secretary at the EIS, Scotland's largest teaching union, said pupils in ASN settings could had complex needs which necessitate close contact with teachers and support staff.

He said this aspect of their job made such employees similar to those in social care or clinical environments.

It comes after worried staff at a school in West Lothian were threatened with disciplinary action for obtaining the Covid jab.

The vaccine is currently limited to priority groups as determined by advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Frontline health and social care workers, residents in a care home for older adults and their carers, and people aged 80 or above are first in line.

Those aged 70 and over are due to receive the jab in a range of settings, including community centres and mass vaccination centres, from Monday.

In a recent tweet, the EIS said it had "raised directly with the FM the inclusion of staff in ASN settings in the first roll-out of the vaccine... She was sympathetic and reported this was being actively considered". 

Mr Flanagan said: "The EIS has pressed the Scottish Government to include staff in ASN settings for inclusion in the first roll-out of the vaccine.

"Pupils in such settings can have complex needs which require close contact from teachers and support staff, in the same manner  that social care or clinical staff often have to provide support so there is a strong case for ASN personnel to be vaccinated in order to provide a safer environment for staff and students."

A Government spokesman said: "In line with the UK-wide JCVI clinical advice, staff working with children and young people with the most complex healthcare needs, particularly those with severe neurodisabilities, are included in those who will be prioritised for the vaccine.

"This includes teaching and school staff working with children and young people with complex additional support needs.”