Government ministers are facing calls to “urgently” provide north-east schools with clarity over plans for ventilating schools over winter.
Schools have been advised to keep windows and doors open to aid ventilation in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Education chiefs have also instructed school staff to ensure outdoor space is used as much as possible.
But the Evening Express has spoken to parents who have voiced concerns over the well being of pupils as a result of the policy.
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have told the Evening Express they are awaiting further guidance from the Scottish Government for the colder months.
When this publication attempted to get clarity from ministers, a Holyrood spokesman said: “Our guidance for reopening schools states there should be adequate levels of ventilation as evidence suggests this can limit the spread of Covid-19.
“Local authorities and schools are best placed to make arrangements on how to ensure there is adequate ventilation.”
But the Scottish Government also said its advice would be reviewed as we head into the winter months.
North-east Conservative MSP Liam Kerr called on ministers to publish fresh guidelines before winter sets in.
He said: “Schools urgently need more advice about what to do after the holidays.
“Parents are well within their rights to worry about their children sitting in freezing classrooms.
“We don’t want pupils to fall ill and possibly cause alarm.
“The SNP must publish guidance for councils before that happens.”
One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said children were spending their breaks outside in playgrounds in Aberdeenshire.
She said: “On very severe weather days the children are out for a sustained period of time in the pouring rain.
“You wouldn’t put an adult out for their lunch in that, and you wouldn’t even put your dog out.
“The schools are interpreting the guidance passed down from the Scottish Government far too literally and are making the children go out in all weather.”
Another said she had been told to make sure her child “wrapped up warm” for attending another school due to the guidance.
She added: “I’ve had an email from my daughter’s school saying the council has told schools they are to have the heating on constantly, but the windows open.
“Her school is a crumbling old Victorian building as it is, so that won’t be fun for the kids I’m sure.
“Plus, there’s the waste of money and heat – not to mention the environmental implications of using and wasting all that energy.”
A letter sent to parents of children attending Greenbrae Primary in Aberdeen also reads: “As you are all aware we need to keep the school well ventilated by keeping windows open despite the temperature.
“With this in mind, can I encourage to provide your child with an extra layer of clothing to wear in the classroom, on top of school uniform, such as a fleece.
“Can I also ask you to provide your child with appropriate waterproof clothing for all weathers.
“We will be encouraging the children to go out for break and lunch unless the weather is extreme.”