TEACHING staff in the Wee County are to work with parents who may be reluctant to send children back to school over health worries.

At a special meeting of Clackmannanshire Council last week, Councillor Darren Lee highlighted there are some anxieties in the community about sending children back to school if they, or people in the same household, have disabilities, respiratory issues or similar.

Education chiefs told the virtual Kilncraigs chamber that work is ongoing to pull together research on the issues, for instance if children have an autism spectrum disorder.

They said: "We are trying to keep up to speed with all the issues which are health related.

"I've been keeping in touch with the youth council as well around the whole area of mental health.

"We know that an awful lot of young people are anxious."

Education officers added: "Mental health is a big issue so we are trying to do our best to prepare our schools to have additional CLPL [career-long professional learning] for our teachers roundabout these areas."

It was suggested outdoor learning spaces could be utilised for those who are too anxious to go into a classroom.

Asking a similar question, Cllr Kathleen Martin wondered about children with underlying health issues and about instances where adults with certain health conditions live in the same household as pupils.

Council education chiefs explained a working group of scientists, advising the deputy first minister, is looking into the issue, particularly whether children are more likely to transmit Covid-19 or not.

They said: "It doesn't look as if they are transmitting the disease back and forward but they are still looking at all the evidence around that.

"We are not the scientific health experts, I think what we have to do is be guided by the best advice that comes out of the Sottish Government – there's about 12 academics and health specialists on that group."

The chamber was told teachers have learned a lot about remote learning over the past three months with positives to take away.

Education chiefs added: "We will put plans in place if children and young people need to stay at home; whether it's on health advice or whether it's on the request of their parents, we would put arrangements in place."