Coronavirus (COVID-19): closure and reopening of schools version 2 - impact assessment
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.
This document, alongside the CRWIA, has attempted to set out an overview of the range of impacts of school closures and reopening schools on the groups of society most affected by these decisions. We know that school provides, amongst many other things, opportunities, support and safety for Scotland's children and young people when they are open and running as we have known in the past. Therefore, it is widely accepted that, whilst school closures have been necessary for the safety of all members of society at this challenging time, there has been a negative impact on many children and young people who have been missing out on the wide-ranging benefits that attending school can provide.
In terms of children and young people, we can conclude that reopening, provided that it is managed carefully and with an appropriate focus on wellbeing, will have an overall positive impact for the majority. Wellbeing is one of three core themes within Curriculum for Excellence alongside literacy and numeracy. This provides both the permission and the requirement to ensure that wellbeing is supported during Term 1 in 2020/21.
There should be an appropriate focus on recovery and support rather than immediate "catch-up" without adjustment or recognition of the experience during Term 4, 2019/20, particularly in the early phase of the return.
A full-time reopening of schools will also have benefits for wider society. School staff will be able to return to work directly supporting young learners. Families will also be to return to work, supporting the wider economy and enabling parents and carers to return to previous working patterns.
However, it should also be noted that the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt into the future, and our children and young people, their families and the education workforce will require ongoing support to help them adapt to returning to school and to recover from the negative impacts of school closures. The Scottish Government remains committed to excellence and equity in all of Scotland's schools, and will continue to strive for this as schools recover and into the future.
We welcome your views and evidence. If you are in regular contact with policy makers in the Scottish Government please feel free to use your normal routes of engagement to provide further evidence or comments. If you are not in regular contact with policy makers in the Scottish Government or have any more general comments on both the assessment and mitigation activities please send them to CERG@gov.scot.
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