Covid-19 schools plan published to support pupils and parents

A plan has been published today to share how organisations are working together to keep everyone safe ahead of the first full week of the new school term.

The child-friendly document (see below) emphasises to pupils the importance of supporting the health and wellbeing of others by self-isolating if displaying Coronavirus symptoms and staying away from school if feeling unwell.

It also highlights the partnership working between the Council, and NHS Grampian in monitoring school records on pupils and staff feeling unwell.

Pupils have been attending their schools since Wednesday 12 August for orientation sessions to help them comply with new health and safety measures including social distancing, hand washing facilities and one-way systems. Chilldren return full-time on 17 August.

Councillor John Wheeler, convener of the Education Operational Delivery Committee, said: “The health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is of paramount importance and would not wish anything to jeopardise the fantastic work that schools and indeed our entire Education Service have done, in difficult circumstances, in making sure that our school buildings have everything in place for the first full week of term.

“Everyone – parents, carers, pupils and staff alike – has a part to play in ensuring each other’s safety. If we all work as one team then we will minimise risks. I would urge everyone to be diligent in following the national advice and to familiarise themselves with the plan.”

The three circumstances in which someone should self-isolate are:

  • If the individual is themself identified through Test and Protect as a close contact;
  • If they have symptoms of Covid-19
  • If someone in their household has symptoms of Covid-19

The reopening of schools is based on Scottish Government guidelines which concluded it was safe to do so with special safety measures in place. Each authority-run school has undertaken comprehensive Covid-19 risk assessments in line with the national guidance and this has led to the following measures being put in place:

  • Enhanced cleaning arrangements and a focus on hand hygiene
  • Rethinking the school day to reduce the number of children gathering at one time
  • Making greater use of outdoor spaces and improving the ventilation of buildings
  • Consideration of the layout and use of spaces to promote physical distancing
  • Restriction entry and movement between education settings
  • Planning in place to cope with any staff members affected by Test and Protect
  • Individual planning for pupils or staff who are more vulnerable or anxious

The Council is keeping arrangements under review and adapt in keeping with national and local Public Health guidance.

Council officers have been working with public health colleagues on an city-wide outbreak control plan, which is to be published soon.