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Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools

Non-statutory guidance to ensure a low risk and supportive environment for learning and teaching.

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Key scenarios - expectations and actions to ensure readiness

Scenarios

Schools and local authorities should ensure readiness for the following key scenarios, in view of the uncertainty around the path of the virus in the future:

Scenario 1 - reintroduction of mitigations  – schools remain open

Ensuring readiness for an outbreak where mitigations require to be reinstated at either the national or local level, introducing these accordingly and within an agreed timeframe in the school environment , supported by evidence and data.

Scenario 2 - partial attendance – school buildings remain open

Partial attendance/remote learning where staff absence disrupts full-time in-school learning or local health protection teams advise this as being necessary to control transmission.

Scenario 3 - full remote learning for all pupils – school buildings closed

No physical attendance at school for pupils except for key worker and vulnerable children, e.g. where local health protection teams advise this as being necessary to control transmission.

The table below sets out shared expectations in respect of readiness to deal these three key scenarios, and the actions that should be taken to ensure readiness and minimise education disruption as a result of COVID-19.

Issue

Expectations

Actions to ensure readiness

Complete

Risk assessments

All relevant risk assessments are kept up to date for relevant scenarios.

  • follow guidance on preparation and maintenance of risk assessments as set out in this guidance, including in respect of joint working between local authorities, staff and trade unions

 

Communications with staff

All staff are aware of the actions required to reintroduce or remove mitigations, the timescales required, and how they can best support pupils to ensure educational continuity.

  • specify responsibility within the school for communications with staff in these circumstances
  • provide time for teachers and other school staff to read associated comms and become familiar themselves with any changes

 

Communications with parents/ carers and pupils

All pupils and families are aware of the actions required to reintroduce or remove mitigations, the timescales required, and how they will be supported to ensure educational continuity.

Suitable arrangements are in place to support parental involvement and engagement and learner participation under all 3 scenarios.

  • specify responsibility within the school for communications with staff in these circumstances.

 

Mitigations within schools and local desk instructions

All key staff and pupils have access to and understand the guidance on which mitigations should be in place at any given time. Advice is in place to address any questions they may have.

  • ensure key people within school have strong understanding of mitigations for schools and can inform communications to wider staff and pupils on this subject

 

Remote learning lesson plans

Plans for remote learning have been developed and can be deployed in line with Education Scotland guidance, in the event that smaller or larger numbers of pupils and/or staff have to self-isolate. Previously agreed Education Scotland/CERG guidance makes clear that class teachers retain responsibility for planning and organising children’s and young people’s learning, with learning supported by parents and carers.

  • ensure awareness of Education Scotland guidance on remote learning expectations.
  • ensure awareness of Support for Continuity in Learning guidance, which focuses on ASN
  • maintain (and, where appropriate, revise) previously-developed plans for remote learning lessons that can be deployed for relevant year groups and scenarios
  • ES and local authorities to ensure schools, learners and parents are aware of the NELO offer including live, recorded and supported resources for both the BGE and Senior Phase

 

Remote learning materials

Children and young people have been provided with the non-IT materials needed to ensure effective remote learning (e.g. writing equipment, notebooks, etc.)

 

Parents/carers have suitable advice and support on how to support their children and young people with remote learning.

  • ensure awareness of Education Scotland guidance on remote learning expectations
  • identify which non-digital resources should be provided to pupils to support remote learning and how these will be distributed – these will usually be similar to those provided under normal classroom settings (e.g. art materials, textbooks, etc.)

 

IT and connectivity

IT needs of staff and pupils for remote learning for small numbers of pupils self-isolating are met in advance.

  • ensure an understanding of IT and connectivity requirements amongst pupils and staff.
  • signposting to parents/carers to ensure they are aware of any additional support they may be entitled to.
  • schools and local authorities to liaise on provision of additional devices and connectivity where required.
  • ensure staff awareness of relevant support, including tax relief for additional costs for electricity, water and phone calls.

 

Professional learning for remote learning

Staff have been provided with guidance and training to allow them to support remote learning effectively, particularly in respect of use of IT.

 

  • support awareness and uptake of available local and national professional learning opportunities (including via Education Scotland’s digilearn.scot) on use of digital technology to support learning and teaching

 

Wellbeing support

Clear wellbeing support arrangements are in place to deal with range of scenarios and their potential impacts on staff and pupils.

  • ensure staff awareness of local and national wellbeing support, and encourage uptake
  • ensure pupil awareness of local and national wellbeing support, and encourage uptake

 

Identification of key worker and vulnerable children

Schools and local authorities have previously identified key worker and vulnerable children and can update this rapidly in the event it is required.

  • local authorities to agree with schools an approach to identifying key worker and vulnerable children in line with national guidance, and to maintain a regularly updated understanding of this in support of contingency planning

 

Staffing

Development and implementation of contingency plans is supported by the availability of staff via supply lists or additional capacity across system.

  • LAs and schools to factor in potential contingency requirements when making use of additional central funding for staffing.

 

School transport

Requirements for mitigations on school transport in different scenarios are fully understood and can be implemented to required timescales by operators.

School transport arrangements support partial attendance where required.

Agreements in place with school transport operators on approach to be taken to support partial attendance where required.

  • local authorities to undertake joint planning with school transport operators to ensure readiness for these issues.

 

Contact

Email: CERG@gov.scot  

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