As we begin to get life back to some form of normality, new challenges face us all.

We now begin to adapt to the social distancing measures that allow us to get to work, education or even allow visit those who were shielding or living in our care homes during the height of Covid.

Education is very topical at the moment, as all our schools and early education centres re-opened last week after five months.

You will recall that in June the education secretary, John Swinney, bungled return-to-school arrangements that offered some pupils just one day a week at school. Due to an outcry from parents, the SNP was forced into a quick U-turn.

Unfortunately our staff and teachers had to start the process of planning the return to school days before the end of the school year.

Thankfully they have worked tirelessly to introduce safety measures and protocols that allowed for a full-time return last week.

There is no doubt the measurers introduced will make schools look and feel very different to what we are all used to, particularly for those children and pupils who will be new to nursery, primary one or first year at high school.

However, these measurers are required to keep everyone safe and I was very content to read the planning and risk assessment documents prepared along with the additional cleaning regime.

I wish to thank everyone involved and express my best wishes to all teachers, staff, pupils and parents for the coming school year.

The other big education story has been the latest political gaffe by the SNP over grades for pupils who were unable to sit exams due to the lockdown.

Firstly the SNP were supporting the downgrading of teachers’ assessments by the SQA. The outrage of pupils, parents and teachers was totally justified, when we learned pupils grades from disadvantaged areas were reduced by double the amount of those from the more prosperous towns.

We already know there is a huge education attainment gap for pupils in areas of deprivation. Locally the situation was disgraceful. The SQA reduced our results by 36 per cent.

Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney both defended the SQA’s actions at first, and only made their next U-turn to save John Swinney’s job as parliament was set to vote on a motion of no confidence.

Thankfully our pass marks have been restored and our pupils have gained recognition for their efforts.

While John Swinney didn’t lose his job, he certainly must try harder with our children’s education.