Aberdeen schools are ready to welcome pupils back in the new academic year after the Scottish Government announced that primaries, secondaries and special schools will be able to fully re-open next month.
Schools across the country closed in March and education moved online as part of a range of measures introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus.
As part of a further gradual relaxing of lockdown restrictions, Scotland’s schools can begin a phased re-opening from August 11 and are expected to be fully open from August 18 at the latest.
In Aberdeen, staff will be review arrangements on site on August 10 and 11 in preparation for pupil orientation days on August 12, 13 or 14 prior to an anticipated full return on Monday, August 17.
The Education Services team will be issuing guidance and information to parents and carers at the start of next week about how Aberdeen City Council schools will manage the return of pupils.
Information on transport arrangements will follow in advance of the new term.
Councillor John Wheeler, convener of the Operational Services (Education) Committee, said: “The Council has been preparing rigorously for the reinstatement of services so we can safely resume something approaching normal life at the earliest opportunity.
“We are confident that all measures needed are now in place to facilitate a safe return to school in line with the Scottish Government guidance.
“Today’s news will be welcomed by pupils, parents and carers, and the wider city, but we must continue to carefully manage the way we behave in a community setting to keep COVID-19 at bay.
“Extra vigilance among staff underpins the approach to the reopening of schools and this will include maintaining records of pupils displaying virus symptoms and asking pupils who have symptoms or have a family member with symptoms to stay home.”
There will be enhanced cleaning regimes at schools and hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities will be available both in classrooms and at each school entry point in addition to the soap and water in toilets.
Pupils and staff will be trained on the handwashing requirements upon entering school buildings and throughout the course of the school day, including meal and break times.
Scientific guidance allows for there to be no physical distancing among pupils but some form of physical distancing in secondary classrooms will take place where the quality of provision will not be compromised with desks arranged to avoid pupils facing each other and consideration of how schools can limit the amount of contact each group of young people have.
Teachers will still maintain 2 metre distancing from pupils in all schools.
For more information about the return to school, click here: https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19/latest-service-update-schools
The Scottish Government said today Scotland is to remain in Phase 3 of its route map for easing lockdown restrictions and will review the situation in three weeks.
The Council continues to implement measures to ensure that people and businesses can safely resume activity.