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SNP must establish pupils who are losing out in lockdown

20 May 2020

The SNP has been urged to establish exactly how many school pupils are without access to digital learning during coronavirus lockdown.

The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly asked ministers to publish figures on the estimated number of children whose homes don’t have the sufficient technology to deliver home-learning.

However, education secretary John Swinney has repeatedly dodged the issue, and again failed to provide the figures when asked in Holyrood yesterday.

Scottish Conservative education spokesman Jamie Halcro Johnston said while the closure of schools harmed all pupils, it was those in poorest communities who stood to lose the most.

He added that, with Scotland’s attainment gap already too wide, the lengthy lockdown would only increase inequality.

Scottish Conservative education spokesman Jamie Halcro Johnston said:

“The SNP government needs to establish exactly how many pupils across Scotland are being left behind here.

“We know not everyone will have functioning internet access or the devices needed to access material.

“They need help urgently – they can’t just have months of being ignored by the education system.

“At least by working this number out and providing them with urgent assistance, some impact could be made before the schools go back.

“Scotland’s attainment gap has been allowed to grow under SNP rule – it should be taking action now to stop it increasing further.”