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Rennie: “No reasonable explanation” for the government being unprepared on student return

November 18, 2020 5:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today chastised the Scottish Government for being "unprepared" for student movements yet again and pointed out that the term dates "haven't snuck up on them".

This comes after Minister for Higher Education, Richard Lochhead, confirmed to Holyrood's education committee that no decision had been taken as to whether all students will return to campuses after the Christmas break.

Willie Rennie commented:

"The mismanaged return of students in September triggered a dangerous domino effect of infections and caused thousands of people to undertake lonely periods of self-isolation.

"Since then we've known there must be careful planning around the movement of students home at Christmas and back in the New Year. It has also long been clear we need to deploy mass asymptomatic testing to keep people safe.

"These term dates have not snuck up on the government. There is no reasonable explanation for them being unprepared for this mass movement at this stage. I'm astonished the Universities Minister has not learnt lessons from the failings earlier in the year.

"The Scottish Government must urgently offer students a considered and comprehensive plan. They need clarity about how their teaching will be conducted and will have basic questions about how much they need to take home."