Schools to return

The Scottish Government yesterday (Thursday 30 July) approved the move which will see local students return to class from 12 August.

The first few days will see a staggered restart with pupils being welcomed back in smaller groups initially to allow everyone - staff and young people - to adapt to the various changes and safety measures being put in place. 

In line with government guidance, all students will be back full time by 18 August. 

Teachers and support staff will start the new term on 11 August with an in-service day. 

Letters have gone out to parents today (Friday 31 July 2020) explaining the reopening plans with more detail planned to be issued from individual schools next week. 

More guidance will be issued next week following further discussions with head teachers and trade unions.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, convener of education and communities, said: “It’s no secret that everyone - staff, pupils and parents - are desperate for the schools to reopen full time.

“Even those young people who weren’t perhaps the most enthusiastic about school can’t wait to return.

“It’s been a long, hard road to get to this stage and I applaud the heroic efforts of staff, parents and pupils to continue some form of learning at home after the schools were forced to close in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Our education service in particular has shown wonderful agility during these uncertain and extremely challenging times to adapt to the ever-changing landscape and to prepare our schools for the new term.

“Like most things these days, education remains subject to last-minute change because of the unpredictable nature of this virus, which hasn’t gone away.

“We have back-up plans in case they need to be implemented and a raft of measures have been introduced in schools designed to protect everyone.

“Safety of our pupils and staff comes first and that’s been at the forefront of our recovery plans. 

“I look forward to seeing schools reopening in August and I wish everyone the very best for the new term.”

The council’s original blended learning model combining a mix of classroom and home-based learning remains an option should it be required.