HALF of the pupils in fourth year at St Columba's couldn't or wouldn't do their school work at home at one stage of lockdown.

And headteachers from the four secondaries in Dunfermline admitted it will be a "tough task" for kids to catch up on the lessons they've missed.

That's raised the possibility of schools opening during the summer holidays, something Fife Council are currently "exploring".

At the City of Dunfermline area committee on Tuesday, Councillor Derek Glen asked about pupils who were "less able or willing" to engage in home or remote-working.

St Columba's new headteacher, Mick McGee, said: "We were down to maybe 50 per cent of our S4s engaging at one point.

"You've got to remember there's a lot of families out there with the parents trying to do their own work from home and trying to home-school their kids.

"Some of them have only got one device and our young people are maybe having to wait until mum or dad have finished their work before they get a shot.

"If they've got siblings as well, it's very difficult.

"We gave out maybe 80 laptops and we distributed those throughout the community, as that was a big worry."

He continued: "When they came back to school, we've been trying to make sure they catch up on the work they've missed out so they're not left behind.

"We also sent out pupil welfare officers for garden visits – they weren't allowed to visit their homes – to see how young people were getting on and trying to get them engaged in their work.

"But it has been difficult for young people and their families."

Dunfermline High rector Ian Yuile said: "There's still a big job to be done in terms of fully re-engaging with a number of pupils and trying to support them to really catch up.

"That's going to be a really tough task for all of us going ahead."

He said the high schools had all experienced difficulties with levels of participation but felt that most pupils "would catch up reasonably well and be in a good position".

He added: "We've been trying to keep up the levels of communication with parents and pupils to remind them but, for the reasons Mick was describing, it can be quite a tetchy subject.

"For some parents, it's the last thing they want to hear, that their son or daughter is not engaging as well as they perhaps could be.

"And the levels of expectation for home or remote learning was very wide as well.

"A lot of people felt they were getting far too much and a lot of people felt they weren't getting anywhere near enough, and quite often that was within the same class."