Green councillor calls for children in closed Edinburgh schools to be given free access to swimming pools and historic sites

School pupils displaced by the Edinburgh PPP schools crisis could be given free access to Edinburgh Leisure Centres and pools, exhibitions at the Museums and historical sites run by Historic Environment Scotland.

That is the call from Green Councillor Melanie Main who leads on education issues for the Greens in the capital.

Cllr Main says she is responding to anxiety from parents, looking to keep children occupied in healthy and educational activities without having to add to already mounting childcare bills.  Greens are calling for  families with children from any school unable to attend school just now to be given free access to sports facilities, sites like Edinburgh Castle and special exhibitions at the National Museum in Chambers Street.

Cllr Main said:

“The council is piecing together a contingency plan to get as many children as possible back into school.   The priority is getting our S4 – S6 pupils facing important exams back to school: so it is great to hear teachers  are supporting these pupils daily to continue to work at home, and that all efforts are going into getting them back into classrooms.

“But many families still face uncertainty about when their children will be back at school.  And I know some parents want to use the time meaningfully but face real cost constraints.  For example, a parent looking after his or her own 2 children and 2 children of neighbours who wants to visit Edinburgh Castle would face a bill of £56 for tickets alone.

“That is why I think these organisations should waive charges for families out of school just now.  A scheme like the one I suggest can only ever be a modest offer in the context of a very difficult situation but it may well make the difference for children who are feeling very unsettled.”