Blueprint for safe return to classes.
Detailed guidance on practical measures to allow schools to re-open on 11 August has been published.
Teachers and other school staff will be able to return in June to prepare for a new model of learning from August. The plans are contingent on scientific and medical advice that it is safe to proceed and public health measures being in place.
Key contents of the guidance include:
- Local plans: education authorities and schools should draw on this national guidance to work in partnership with trades unions, staff, parents and children to develop local plans.
- Physical distancing: With some limited exceptions, physical distancing of 2 metres for staff and pupils will be implemented. Physical distancing measures will be kept under review as the public health position evolves.
- School transport: Schools will work with council transport teams to inform their local planning, particularly in respect of options to minimise and, where possible, stagger the use of public transport. Active travel - walking and cycling - by parents, carers, staff and pupils will be encouraged.
- Determining capacity: Local authorities and schools are encouraged, where necessary, to take an innovative approach to the use of alternative facilities to bring as many children back on a safe, phased basis as possible (subject to risk assessments), while maintaining a positive learning environment.
Separate guidance for Early Learning and Childcare settings is being developed.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Creating this practical blueprint over the last two months was a team effort and that team spirit will be needed to make this next phase a success.
“The guidance - underpinned by advice from public health experts - has been developed with the Education Recovery Group, which includes representatives from local authorities, teachers’ organisations and trades unions.
“The health and wellbeing of children and young people is our priority, which is why in implementing this guidance, we will adopt a cautious approach and monitor progress to inform decisions on further changes to restrictions.
“It is important to stress that there will be regional variation in the approach to implementation. It is for councils to work with teachers and put in place the best solutions locally. I am certain they will rise to the challenge.”
Read the schools re-opening guidance.