THE number of pupils off school for coronavirus-related reasons has soared in Glasgow. 

Nearly 5000 youngsters had an absence linked to Covid-19 in the most recent figures – the highest since the Scottish Government started tracking daily levels in August. 

Glasgow’s schools have also been hit by increasing numbers of staff forced to isolate, either as a direct result of having the virus or being identified as a close contact. 

Coronavirus: Nicola Sturgeon confirms Glasgow put into level four covid lockdown from Friday

The total number of workers missing as of November 10 was 337, 191 of which were teachers. 

The statistics have been deemed “very concerning” by councillors in the city with calls for all youngsters to be supported in their education

Shettleston man Thomas Kerr said: “We know that absence from school had a devastating effect on kids during the spring and summer period, especially those from deprived backgrounds.

“I know that schools are doing all they can to keep staff and pupils safe from this virus.

Glasgow Times: Thomas Kerr Thomas Kerr

“If this pandemic results in poorer children, from the East End of Glasgow and throughout the city, falling further behind that would be an unforgivable legacy and the Scottish Government must act now to prevent that.” 

In October, the peak number of pupils missing school in any one week was 3479. For staff, the total reached 156. 

This rose to 4265 children in the first week of November and 337 employees during the same time period. 

Some of the worst impacted postcodes in the city’s latest figures include G53 and G31. 

Those hit by lower numbers of absences include G71 and G64. There is no official breakdown per school. 

Anas Sarwar, Labour MSP for Glasgow, said: “The health and wellbeing of teachers and pupils in Glasgow is vitally important.

“We need to see a rapid expansion of testing in schools, and the Scottish Government must start listening to teachers so that strike action can be avoided.” 


Despite the city being placed into level four restrictions from Friday and pressure from unions to move to blended learning, schools will remain open. 

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, also a Glasgow MSP, said: “I am aware that some people will argue that schools should also be closed at level 4.

“However, our very clear view is that the harm done by closing schools, significantly outweighs any impact that schools have on transmission. 

“Keeping schools open is therefore a priority.

“However, we will keep the guidance for schools – and how it is being implemented - under close review.”

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “Our schools and school staff are doing an amazing job to support pupils and their families as we all tackle the challenges of the virus.

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“We know that this is a worrying time for everyone but we will continue to do all that we can with robust measures to help suppress the transmission and reduce the risk in our schools and supply work to pupils self-isolating.

Glasgow Times: Nicola Sturgeon insisted schools must remain open Nicola Sturgeon insisted schools must remain open

“Everyone can do their bit by following the current guidance – keep your distance, wear face coverings and wash your hands frequently and self-isolate and book a test if you have any symptoms.”