Schools U-Turn.

Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse Councillor Tom Cook, has welcomed SNP Education Secretary John Swinney’s U-turn on returning pupils full-time to schools East Ayrshire.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Group Leader says the news is a victory for parents, key stakeholders and the Scottish Conservatives campaigning, including Shadow Education Secretary Jamie Greene MSP

Mr Greene had forced Mr Swinney to come to Parliament to update on the plans, which were set to include blended learning for up to a year.

Councillor Tom Cook says he had received representations from concerned constituents who had also raised concerns with Council officials.

Kilmarnock East and Hurlford  Councillor Jon Herd says that the ‘blended learning’ model was not good enough to support pupils.

Commenting, Councillor Cook said: “This is a welcome u-turn from John Swinney, but it should not have come to this.

I know and appreciate how much time and effort education staff across the Council have put in to make arrangements to implement the original SNP proposals, arrangements which thankfully now look unlikely to be needed.

The SNP’s model of ‘blended learning’ is no substitute for being in the classroom with a teacher for pupils. John Swinney now needs to confirm, as soon as possible, that these contingency arrangements have definitely been dropped to give schools time to undo the good work they have done and East Ayrshire Council must now be given the resources to ensure a full-time return in August.

It simply wasn’t good enough that pupils could have been facing that model for up to a year and there was no leadership given to councils from the SNP Education Secretary.

This is a victory for parents, stakeholders and campaigning from the Scottish Conservatives into making the SNP Government think again about their misguided plans.”