Publication - Impact assessment

Coronavirus (COVID-19): closure and reopening of schools version 2 - impact assessment

Published: 25 Aug 2020
From:
Graeme Logan
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Coronavirus in Scotland, Education
ISBN:
9781800040205

An assessment of the impact of school closures and their re-opening on groups with protected characteristics and collates the considerations of all of the following - EQIA, FSDA, ICIA and BRIA.

35 page PDF

640.5 kB

35 page PDF

640.5 kB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): closure and reopening of schools version 2 - impact assessment
Parents, carers and families

35 page PDF

640.5 kB

Parents, carers and families

Age

Older parents and carers

74) For pupils who live with grandparents, there may be concerns at home around those pupils returning to the school buildings and interacting with staff and peers. These concerns could impact the mental wellbeing of older parents or carers.

a) Hygiene and cleanliness will remain of key importance, for example ensuring that pupils and staff wash their hands with soap and warm water or hand sanitiser as they arrive at school, leave at the end of the day, return from breaks, change rooms and before and after eating. Adequate hand-washing or sanitising facilities should be available throughout the school estate

b) Schools and local authorities should ensure that health and safety measures are communicated effectively with all parents and carers to provide reassurance.

Disability

Parents of children with a disability

75) The Family Fund Impact of COVID-19 survey included 232 families in Scotland seeking to understand how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting families raising disabled or seriously ill children. The findings showed that two in five families have lost income; the mental health and behaviour of children is being impacted; that the availability of both informal and formal support for children has been seriously reduced and that education is one of the most serious concerns.[42]

Parents with a disability

76) Some parents with a disability may be cautious about their children returning to school and interacting with staff and peers, which could also impact their mental wellbeing. Parents with a disability may appreciate additional advice and support around both the return to schools and subsequent arrangements during the course of term.

a) Hygiene and cleanliness will remain of key importance, for example ensuring that pupils use hand sanitiser as they arrive at school, and leave at the end of the day, as well as the wearing of face covering where recommended.

b) Schools and local authorities should ensure that health and safety measures are communicated effectively with all parents and carers to provide reassurance.

Transportation

77) In the context of school drop off and pick up arrangements, it is expected that some schools, depending on their location, may encourage pupils arriving by car to park further away from the school and then walk to avoid congestion[43]. Discretion for parents and carers with disabilities should be considered in these circumstances.

Sex

Caring responsibilities

78) With women taking responsibility for a majority of childcare, a full-time return for schools and reopening of both registered and informal childcare options is expected to have a positive impact on their ability to return to previous working patterns.

79) However, if blended learning is necessary, many children will continue with home-learning for a portion of their time. Young children in particular may require supervision when at home, and it is likely that a greater part of this responsibility will fall to female members of the family.

Gender reassignment

80) There are not considered to be any areas of this policy area that could disproportionately impact groups with this protected characteristic.

Pregnancy and maternity

Transportation

81) The impact of COVID-19 on expectant mothers and unborn children is inconclusive at this stage. An increased risk for this group his may affect their decision to send older children back to school/nursery or make the journey to school/nursery more challenging if they are dependent on public transport.

Race

Language and communication

82) Parents and carers who speak English as an additional language risk being disadvantaged through not having a full understanding of the steps being taken or the approach to school reopening within their child's school setting. For this reason, schools and local authorities should continue to ensure they communicate effectively with all families within their school community.

a) Local authorities should continue to work with community sources to identify which community languages information should be shared in.

Religion or belief

83) There are not considered to be any areas of this policy area that could disproportionately impact groups with this protected characteristic.

Sexual orientation

84) There are not considered to be any areas of this policy area that could disproportionately impact groups with this protected characteristic.

Marriage & civil partnership

85) There are not considered to be any areas of this policy area that could disproportionately impact groups with this protected characteristic.

Socio-economic disadvantage

Home learning

86) Research from the Sutton Trust[44] suggests that parents on lower incomes feel less confident to support home learning. There are additional issues that may have to be addressed as part of any long-term blended learning arrangement including access to resources and communication with parents and carers.

Free School Meals

87) Throughout school closures, there had been a risk that eligible pupils may miss out on free school meals. This could also have had negative impact on parents and carers through causing them worry or to go without food or other necessities themselves.

a) The flexibility afforded to local authorities to put in place a provision or provisions to continue free school meals has supported families, around 175,000 at the end of June, throughout the lockdown period. Free school meal provision will continue for all eligible families when schools reopen.

88) A report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found that:[45]

  • Families have appreciated support with food costs from their schools and local authorities in alarming and difficult times.
  • Families had positive experiences of all methods of FSM provision, but by far the highest levels of satisfaction were with direct payments to people's bank accounts. 81 per cent of families receiving payments say this works extremely or very well, and 90 per cent of these
  • During the period of school closures local authorities statutory duty to promote the availability of free school meals to eligible families continued.

Transition

89) Parents are slightly less likely to be concerned about the transition from primary to secondary school if they have higher levels of education, live in less deprived areas or live in higher income households.

Island communities

90) There is not sufficient information available to understand whether there is a disproportionate impact on parents of school-age children in island communities, in comparison to parents in other regions of Scotland.

Gaelic medium education

91) Throughout lockdown and as schools reopen, it remains vital that parents are informed and updated on policy developments. This applies to the GME sector as well as the English medium sector, with Comann nam Pàrant taking a key role in supporting this work.


Contact

Email: CERG@gov.scot