Publication - Advice and guidance

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

Guidance to help schools ensure a low-risk environment for learning and teaching.

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

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. These actions will help contribute to the development of a “pandemic-proof” education system:

1) Scenario 1 (Removal or reintroduction of mitigations  – schools remain open): Ensuring readiness for an outbreak or moving between the protection levels should these require to be reinstated at either the national or local level, introducing or easing mitigations accordingly and within a carefully considered and agreed timeframe in the school environment.

2) Scenario 2 (Partial attendance – school buildings remain open): Partial attendance/remote learning where self-isolation of large numbers of staff/pupils disrupts full time in school learning.

3) Scenario 3 (Partial attendance – school buildings remain open): Partial attendance of pupils to facilitate re-introduction of physical distancing where required, e.g. in the event of a beyond level 4 national lockdown scenario, or where local health protection teams advise this as being necessary to control transmission.

4) Scenario 4 (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. in the event of a beyond-level 4 national lockdown scenario, or 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 four key scenarios, and the actions that should be taken to ensure readiness and minimise education disruption as a result of Covid.

Scenarios: readiness

Scenario(s) Issue Expectations Action to ensure readiness Complete
1, 2, 3, 4 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 Reducing Risks Guidance, including in respect of joint working between local authorities, staff and trade unions  
1, 2, 3, 4 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. 
 
 
1, 2, 3, 4 Communications with parents 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. •    Specify responsibility within the school for communications with staff in these circumstances.  
1, 2, 3, 4 Reducing Risks Guidance and local desk instructions All key staff and pupils have access to and understand the guidance on which mitigations should be in place dependent on the scenario. •    Ensure key people within school have strong understanding of Reducing Risks guidance, and can inform communications to wider staff and pupils on this subject.  
1, 2, 3, 4

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 remote learning lesson plans 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.
•    Continue to maintain two-way communication arrangements with parents in relation to remote learning, as appropriate. 
•    Bear in mind the additional support and advice that may be needed for parents in particular circumstances, including parents for whom English is an additional language, parents of children in Gaelic Medium Education (where Gaelic may not be the main language used in the home), parents of children with additional support needs and parents with fewer financial resources or time/capacity to support their children’s learning.  
•    * Note: Resources to support Gaelic Medium Education are also available via the NeLO by searching “Gaelic” or “Gaelic Medium Education” in the search bar on the main NeLO landing page. Information on e-Sgoil’s Gàidhlig Bheò is available via the e-Sgoil website. Education Scotland’s Scotland Learns web resource contains a dedicated section on GME.

 
1, 2, 3, 4 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.) •    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.)
 
 
1, 2, 3, 4 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.
•    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
 
 
1, 2, 3, 4 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. available local and national professional learning opportunities (including via Education Scotland’s digilearn.scot) on use of digital technology to support learning and teaching.  
1, 2, 3, 4 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.
 
 
3, 4 Identification of key worker and vulnerable children Schools and local authorities have identified key worker and vulnerable children in advance, and can update their understanding of 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.  
1, 2, 3, 4 Staffing Sufficient staff are available (via supply lists or additional capacity across system) to support implementation of contingency plans. •    LAs and schools to factor in potential contingency requirements when making use of additional central funding for staffing, in line with guidance on workforce planning in Reducing Risks guidance.  
1, 2, 3, 4 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 operators on approach to be taken in event of partial attendance.
 
•    Local authorities to continue joint planning with school transport operators to ensure readiness for these issues.  

 


Contact

Email: CERG@gov.scot  

First published: 25 Mar 2021 Last updated: 1 Oct 2021 -