West Dunbartonshire parents upset at being frozen out of school festive events

Parents have been left upset by guidance keeping them frozen out of school festive events.

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie has been contacted by a number of mums and dads frustrated at being told that schools are unable to hold the likes of nativities and Christmas fairs due to ongoing Covid restrictions.

And West Dunbartonshire Council confirmed to us that parents and carers were not able to attend any events which schools opted to hold.

The Labour member, who challenged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the issue in parliament this week, says she feels it is unfair that children aren’t able to celebrate the season while adults can gather at mass events such as rugby, football and in theatres.

She said: “I completely understand why local parents are so upset by this guidance. It is inconsistent with the approach taken elsewhere so we see large crowds allowed at football and rugby, even the theatres are open, but a small nativity play is not allowed.

“Pupils, parents and teachers alike make valuable, cherished memories at this time of year and it is unfair that their celebrations have been curtailed while the rest of the public are allowed to enjoy everything that the festive season has to offer.

“The Scottish Government must address the obvious double standards and rethink its plans immediately before it is too late for schools to organise anything.”

West Dunbartonshire Council confirmed that parents and carers wouldn’t be able to attend festive activities within schools “due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions”.

A spokeswoman for the authority further explained: “It will be up to individual schools and early learning and childcare centres whether they hold online events. We continue to follow the guidance from Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government.”

Speaking in Holyrood on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I really hope that none of us would suggest that the motivation of the government is to stop children having fun.

“All of us want children to have fun, but we want children, like adults, to have fun safely.

“So, the guidance around schools is being kept under review. We don’t want any restrictions and schools or early years settings to be in place for any longer than necessary.

“We take advice from our education advisory subgroup so that we are basing these decisions on the best available information and I hope children like the rest of us will have a much, much more normal Christmas than was the case last year.

“In fact I hope children more than any of the rest of us have a more normal Christmas this year than they did last year.”

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