STAFF at a Covid-hit Glasgow school say outbreaks are being “kept hush hush”  – amid growing concern from teachers and parents. 

Workers at Ashton Secondary, in the East End, worry they are being “forced” to turn up, despite a number of people isolating after either catching the virus or being identified as a close contact. 

It comes as union leaders ramp up pressure on the Scottish Government to consider shutting schools in level four. 

Coronavirus Scotland: Covid-19 school absences in Glasgow hit record high

Health officials, however, say less than 1% of pupils have tested positive for the virus across Scotland. 

One Ashton staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “I don’t want to be off and we know this will affect the kids, but there is a lot of talk with the unions and staff right now.

“It feels like we are being told different things one week when it comes to getting tested and something else the next.

“There’s definitely a feeling this is being kept hush hush.” 

Schools in Glasgow have been hit by a number of outbreaks in recent weeks with nearly 5000 pupils currently off for Covid-related reasons. 

As we revealed yesterday, more than 300 staff are also isolating. 

Glasgow MSP Annie Wells said: “The ongoing increase in staff and pupils not being in the classroom is only going to harm the education of our young people.” 

Her concern has been shared by Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who said: “Glasgow is moving into level four because the prevalence of the virus is too high, and that is having an impact in our schools as well as in the wider community. 

“We’ve seen hundreds of children quarantined within single schools and I’ve had serious concerns raised with me, especially from pregnant and Covid vulnerable staff.

Glasgow Times: Green MSP Patrick HarvieGreen MSP Patrick Harvie

“There are clearly questions which the council needs to address, and they should do that urgently, but we also need the Government to ensure a consistent approach to school safety for everyone.”

Union leaders have now called for a possible move to blended learning to be considered. 

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of teaching union EIS, said: “The EIS is clear that, in areas that are now at level four, the current policy of keeping schools operating as normal on a full-time basis is at odds with delivering effective virus suppression.” 

He added: “Teachers understand the importance of schools to the lives of young people and would wish to see schools open, but not at any cost.”

Education Secretary John Swinney insisted Glasgow’s schools are “not a significant area of transmission”. 

He said: “All the evidence points to the fact that schools are not contributing significantly to the spread of the virus.

“We have isolated cases in schools which are essentially a product of community transmission, which is then taking those infections into individual schools.”

A Scottish Government spokesman added: “Being in school is in the best interests of children and our priority remains to ensure schools are safe, open and welcoming.

“That is why we have put in place robust measures – developed with input from our Education Recovery Group, which includes union representatives - to help us to protect our school community.

“There is no current direct evidence that transmission within schools plays a significant role in driving increased rates of infection.”