McArthur raises concerns over school sports days restrictions


Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Wednesday) questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Shirley-Anne Sommerville, over curbs on parents and carers attending school sports days.

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has today (Wednesday) questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Shirley-Anne Sommerville, over curbs on parents and carers attending school sports days.

Speaking during Portfolio Questions, Mr McArthur highlighted the "understandable anger and confusion" of many parents in Orkney at being prevented from attending end of term events at schools and nurseries, despite the county being under Level 0. Orkney's MSP went on to question why more was not done to help facilitate modified events that might have allowed parents and carers to attend.

Responding to Mr McArthur's question, Ms Sommerville recognised that this was an issue that had affected end of term events across the country, but insisted that the government had based its guidance on “expert clinical advice” and the risks posed in “whole school settings”.

Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:

"After such a disrupted school year, it’s disappointing that ways couldn't be found to allow parents and carers to attend end of term events, like sports days.

“In Orkney, which has been in Level 0 for some time, there has been understandable frustration and confusion about the need for these restrictions, particularly at a time when Ministers have been giving the go-ahead for football fan zones.

"It would seem the guidance in this area is being applied on a uniform basis across the country. As a result, it cannot be based on an assessment of the actual risks in places like Orkney.

"Unfortunately, as schools will be breaking up shortly for the summer, there is little likelihood of things changing. However, I felt it was important to highlight the concerns that had been raised with me by many parents in Orkney over the last couple of weeks."


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