CONCERNS have been raised about a lack of clarity ahead of schools returning in just two weeks.

Millions of pounds have been pledged to increase cleaning and teacher numbers, but council bosses have confirmed they don’t know how much they’re getting.

Teachers have repeated demands to know West Dunbartonshire infection rates to properly assess going back into classrooms in August.

The Scottish Government is expected to announced today their plan for all pupils will return to classes.

Last week, education secretary John Swinney announced £50million to expand teacher numbers, on top of £20m pledged in June for cleaning and other preparation in schools.

But West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) said they are awaiting knowing the exact figures of local cash pledged from each fund – while the local branch of the country’s biggest teaching union says it still doesn’t have full confidence that enough is being done to make sure staff and pupils are safe.

The EIS teaching union welcomed the increased number of cleaners for schools and the cleaning regime during the day and in the evening – but said it still didn’t have full confidence that staff and pupils would be safe.

Jim Halfpenny, joint secretary of the EIS in West Dunbartonshire, said: “This is a step towards making schools safe for both pupils and staff.

“However, the identification of local infection rates in West Dunbartonshire will be a crucial factor in any attempt to overcome this virus and this must be uppermost in any assessment of whether schools are safe.

“This assessment has been made even more difficult by the recent decision of the Scottish Government that all students should return to school without the need for social distancing. Teachers, who are asked to maintain social distancing, will be alarmed at this impossible situation for them.

“Sudden changes of direction from the Scottish Government in the last few weeks have thrown preparations for a safe return into disarray.

“While we recognise the hard work of WDC management in education and cleaning in their attempts to adapt to each announcement, we believe that we are still some way short of a health and safety regime that will give confidence for our return to schools.”

Mr Halfpenny added: “The failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment [PPE] to carers and care homes at the outbreak of this pandemic, with the inevitable tragic consequences, will give staff and parents throughout the country cause for concern that we don’t make the same mistake and underestimate the threat to health and safety in our schools.”

The Scottish Government said councils’ allocations would be agreed this week through the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).

A spokeswoman for WDC said: “Additional investment in education is always welcome and we await further information from the Scottish Government on what WDC’s share will be of the funding for teachers and support staff announced in June. Once we know our allocation, we can plan on how best to invest the money locally.

They added that new real-time information on local infection rates was planned by the Scottish Government.

A total of 124 people have died from the virus in West Dunbartonshire.

The council said they use the same weekly public information.

The spokeswoman said: “In common with other local authorities, we receive the information from the national data published weekly by the National Records Scotland but these figures do not include local infection rates.

“The council is being guided by and will stringently follow the scientific evidence and advice from the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland.”

Both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Education Secretary John Swinney have said that the return of pupils to classrooms will only happen if the virus continues to stay at low levels.

Data published by the Scottish Government on Friday shows there were believed to be just 500 infectious people in Scotland as of July 17.