SCHOOL bosses have been forced into a u-turn after saying senior pupils should attend for school as normal - despite a government ruling.

Bishopbriggs Academy ignored guidance from education minister John Swinney that all schools across Scotland should shut from the end of Friday.

In a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus pupils are being sent home but head teacher Gordon Moulsdale wrote to parents to say S4, S5 and S6 pupils should show up on Monday morning.

But, follow complaints from concerned parents, East Dunbartonshire Council has said all of its schools will be closed on Monday.

Ann Davie, Depute Chief Executive for Education, People & Business, said: "We would apologise for any confusion and upset a communication from one of our schools to parents/carers has caused. 

"We are still developing the plans for our schools which will fully comply with yesterday's announcements by the Depute First Minister and we will be ensuring that a consistent approach is taken across all East Dunbartonshire schools. 

"Our plans will also comply with public health guidance. 

"As soon as we have finalised our arrangements we will share these with parents/carers and pupils and we thank all of them for their continued understanding in these challenging and worrying circumstances in relation to coronavirus

Deputy First Minister Mr Swinney announced on Wednesday that Scottish schools must close due to the coronavirus crisis.

But Mr Moulsdale wrote to parents at his school saying the senior three years should attend.

His letter said: "Clearly and understandably, a number of our pupils are anxious and upset by the announcement and a number of our staff and myself have done our best to reassure them as how we are going to provide support over the next few weeks. 

"My key message to you as parents, however, is that we believe that, wherever possible, it is really important for S4-6 pupils to attend school as normal over the next couple of weeks. 

"When Mr Swinney was announcing that the exams would not take place this year, he said that grades would be instead awarded on the basis of a number of factors including prior knowledge, prelim grades, internal coursework and teachers' professional judgement. 

"It is our aim to try to do everything we possibly can to ensure that the body of evidence in support of the estimate grade we will be submitting for every young person in each of their subjects is as robust as it possibly can be. 

"We will be able to do that most effectively if we see pupils regularly over the next couple of weeks.

"Although we have a number of staff off, we believe that we can run our S4-6 timetable almost as normal."

One furious mum said: "How can the head teacher think he can overrule the government on this when it has been decided as a vital step to protect our children?

"This is a very confusing message and I, for one, will not be sending my children to school on Monday."

East Dunbartonshire Council then sent out a message on Friday afternoon saying all pupils should remain at home next week.

A letter to parents reads: "We will be ensuring that a consistent approach is taken across all East Dunbartonshire schools and our plans will also comply fully with public health guidance.

"We can confirm today, that all schools and early years centres will remain closed on Monday, March 23 2020 to conclude our planning

"We will contact parent/carers on Monday, March 23 2020 to advise of the provision which will be available from Tuesday 24 March 2020."