A ‘back to school backpack’ should be created for child refugees in Scotland so they will not face any costs in their education, it has been suggested.
It comes ahead of the expected arrival of thousands of people from Ukraine fleeing from the Russian invasion.
The Scottish Government is set to act as a ‘super sponsor’ for those leaving the country in an effort to help speed up the process for those coming to the UK.
Now, former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has called on the Government to make funding available so that local authorities can provide the backpacks to young refugees in Scotland.
And he suggested that the move could help avoid encountering costs such as uniforms and school supplies.
Rennie, who is his party’s education spokesman, insisted that ministers must ensure those who arrive in the country will have the “tools to succeed” and to make Scotland their “safe haven”.
“The solidarity shown by Scottish people so far has been astonishing,” said Rennie.
“I am so glad to see thousands of private citizens giving their contribution to those who need it the most in these troubling times.
“However, it is now up to the Scottish Government to make sure those who will arrive here will have the tools to succeed and make Scotland their safe haven.
“Education is such an important tool for a successful future, those who come here after fleeing their homes should have the guarantee that they will be able to go back to school and benefit from our world-class education.
He added: “I urge the Scottish Government to set aside the necessary budget to help local authorities create a ‘back to school backpack’ to ensure that those young refugees who will continue their education here will not encounter any costs, from uniforms to school supplies.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Preparations to welcome those arriving in Scotland after fleeing Ukraine are progressing.
“We are working urgently with local authorities and other partners to ensure that all displaced Ukrainians have the support they need.”