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The first phases of planning and preparation to re-open the area’s schools is underway.  

The Scottish Government announced that all schools in Scotland will re-open on a phased basis from 11 August 2020 if it is safe to do so  with school staff returning from 1 June.

New normal

Initially the school offering will look very different than it did prior to the closures in March but will provide a ‘new normal’ supporting a blended model of education being delivered in a phased manner.

Councillor Adanna McCue, spokesperson for Education said:

“We’re in the early stages of planning to get our children and young people back to school  which will look very different than before.

“The health and well being of our staff and children and young people is  of the utmost priority and that’s why safety checks need to be completed before schools re-open.  We are currently carrying out the appropriate risk assessments that must be undertaken to allow all school staff to return to schools from Monday 15 June 2020.

“While our plans will have to be flexible and reflect national guidance, we have proposals in place which will provide a mix of in-school and digital learning for our children and young people when they return in August.

“Work is also underway to consider and assess the various phased re-opening options that would be possible. We are working with key stakeholders in order that final options can be properly risk assessed and considered jointly by trade unions, staff and parent forums, before a final decision is made.”

Local delivery

A ‘Local Phased Delivery Plan’ will be published shortly outlining a range of options, complying with COVID-19 guidance and include:

  • Class size limits
  • Transport arrangements
  • Staggered school start times and pupil breaks
  • How to deliver school meals
  • Social distancing requirements within playgrounds and social spaces/areas
  • Home learning provision
  • Digital access at homes
  • Supporting young people with additional support needs
  • Blended models of phased school re-opening
  • Increased cleaning provision
  • Hand washing and hand sanitising facilities
  • Provision of PPE  for staff

Robert Naylor, Director of Children’s Services said: “The last few weeks have been extremely challenging as we consider the implications of updated advice and guidance.  

“There are many variables to consider over the coming weeks on how we can get staff and children and young people safely back to all of our establishments.  We understand that this is an extremely anxious time for parents and we will keep them informed as our plans are developed and finalised.”