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

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.

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie put the blame at the feet of the Scottish Government.

She said: “It is completely unacceptable that parents, pupils and teachers in West Dunbartonshire are still in the dark about when and how they should return to the classroom.

“Schools are due to open in just over two weeks. Yet local authorities still don’t actually have the resources that they need and guidance on risk reduction is still being written.

“John Swinney still seems to be making guidance up as he goes along. The additional teachers that he announced amount to less than half a staff member per school, and councils have two weeks to recruit them.

The Scottish Government need to stop messing about and provide support, resources and answers now.”

The EIS teaching union welcomed the increased number of cleaners for schools and the cleaning regime during the day and in the evening.

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.

“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 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 details of allocations to councils would be agreed with leaders this week in 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.

A final decision on schooling is set to take place soon. Data published by the Scottish Government on Friday shows there were believed to be just 500 infectious people in Scotland as of July 17.