Rapid coronavirus testing may be rolled out for teachers in Scotland to help reduce staff concerns over school safety.
Education secretary John Swinney said a pilot scheme is being considered which will see all school staff tested regularly for the virus.
The plans were announced during a debate on school safety, led by Green MSP Ross Greer, who called for senior pupils to also be tested regularly.
Parliament heard how many teachers felt unsafe in the classroom over the rising number of pupils isolating and the lack of access to testing for those who did not have symptoms.
Mr Swinney said: “We have already put in place arrangements to allow members of school staff who are concerned to get a test, whether or not they have symptoms.
“We will bring forward plans, in the near term, informed by clinical advice to build on this, potentially including and rolling out in-school rapid testing of staff.
“We will bring more details of these plans to parliament in the coming weeks.”
New evidence from the Covid-19 advisory sub-group on education said there was no increased risk to school staff in comparison to other working groups.
However Mr Greer said many vulnerable and shielding staff members had felt pressured to return to the classroom despite guidance from their GP.
On November, 630 school staff were absent with either confirmed Covid-19 or with symptoms, compared with 1,985 other Covid-19 related staff absences.
Mr Greer welcomed the move to offer wider testing opportunities to school staff, saying: “We know that mass regular testing is key to supressing the virus but it is also key to giving people the confidence to actually go to work believing that they are safe.”
In the debate, Mr Swinney also reaffirmed his commitment to keeping schools open despite calls to close as a result of rising coronavirus cases.
He added: “We’re asking the wider Scottish society to shoulder a greater burden of restrictions so that we can prioritise Scotland’s children and keep their schools open.
“None of this, however, discounts the understandable anxiety felt by school staff.”