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Schools to reopen full-time in August

Stromness Primary School.

Scotland’s schools will reopen full-time to pupils from August 11, the First Minister has confirmed after the latest review of lockdown measures.

Local authorities are believed to be opting for a staggered approach to pupils’ return and in Orkney, it is thought that staff will return to schools on Monday, August 10, and the first pupils will return on Wednesday, August 12.

Nicola Sturgeon say she expects all pupils to be back in schools by August 18 at the latest.

Guidance issued to councils says physical distancing will not be enforced between pupils, although secondary schools should encourage distancing where possible, particularly in the senior phases.

Teachers will be expected to maintain a two-metre distance where possible, but the wearing of face coverings will not be enforced.

A package of measures must be put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus:

  • There should be an increased emphasis on teaching and practising good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene (both indoors and outdoors) and surface cleaning.
  • Hand washing/sanitising should be required for everyone on every entry to the setting or moving of rooms. Young children will need assistance to wash/sanitise hands effectively. Young children will also need support to dry hands effectively. Care should be taken to ensure that any products which are being used are age appropriate and suitable for sensitive skin.
  • As close as possible to zero tolerance of symptoms should be in place, and strict compliance with the Test and Protect system.
  • The preference should be to avoid crowded indoor spaces and, as much as possible, to keep children within the same groups for the duration of the day.
  • Sharing of equipment/utensils/toys/books should be minimised; and smaller groups, more outdoor interactions and activities put in place.
  • Movement between settings of children should be reduced as far as possible. Movement between settings of temporary/ supply/peripatetic staff etc. should be kept to an absolute minimum.