New learning norms

How has the return of nurseries, schools, universities, colleges and other educational settings affected you?

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on October 05, 2020 at 08:58AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.0
Based on: 24 votes


  • Posted by Nicamb October 05, 2020 at 16:23

    Blended learning is the only way to protect our young people and teachers, there’s no way to social distance no matter how hard schools are trying.
  • Posted by NyRw October 05, 2020 at 16:32

    Commit to making blended learning work - education of young people in Scotland is important, yes. But school staff shouldn't be expected to risk their health or even lives. As a teacher who was previously shielding, I do not feel particularly safe or valued at the moment with cases rising.

    Ensuring all pupils have the technology they need to achieve in their education - whether at home or in school - is vital. Technology is mentioned numerous times in the guidance for teachers on reopening schools and has been given a great deal of emphasis in the advice for Learning and Teaching within specific subjects - this technology is yet to materialise in most cases.
  • Posted by Angelaahill October 05, 2020 at 17:16

    My daughter is so relieved to go back to school, it's made a massive difference to how happy she is.

    Blended learning is all very well for people who are in two parent families. For a large part of the population who have young kids and full time jobs it's impossible.
  • Posted by VictoriaW October 05, 2020 at 17:47

    I understand children need to be in education but for me as a parent I feel it’s a game of roulette. Whenever I collect them I hope they have not picked anything up. I trust the authorities are doing all they can but we are also being asked to trust other households and hope they are sticking to the guidelines and likewise they put trust in us before we put out kids in to school. I have three asthmatics in the house and I worry every single day.
  • Posted by AnyaHill October 05, 2020 at 17:52

    Make blended learning work, please, so that kids who are waiting for tests etc get an education (in practice, they don't).

    Some people will need to send their children to school, but others can support blended learning at home. The fewer children in school, the lower the chance of COVID spread and the safer it will be for everyone. If you allow this graduated approach, it will be both safer and more effective in terms of education.
  • Posted by Trp October 05, 2020 at 17:59

    Being back at school has been so great for our children (and my husband who is a teacher). Their physical and mental health is much improved from rejoining school plus their other activities and it gives them a sense of normality through all this. I would hate to see schools closed again and wouldn’t want it unless there was robust data to show it was causing a rise in death rates.
  • Posted by angel October 05, 2020 at 18:02

    The rise in covid cases is solely due to the return of schools with no FACTS and university students being packed in to halls of residence. There is no routine testing in educational establishments so the government cannot say that there is no evidence of transmission in schools. Most children have mild or no symptoms so are not tested and yet they are travelling on ten journeys per week to and from school, going in and out of shops and spreading the virus in the community and to their families.

    The only way to reduce the spread is to change to blended learning to allow for smaller class sizes and physical distancing. Masks should also be mandatory in all indoor settings.
    Any pupils or teachers with underlying health conditions or with family members who have underlying conditions must work from home to protect lives.

    A short, strict two week lockdown is also needed over the school holidays to break chains of transmission and get numbers down.

    The data is clear that the spread is driven by educational settings first and then work place settings so measures put in place to stop people socialising will not work until the spread in educational establishments is addressed.
  • Posted by LC70 October 05, 2020 at 18:08

    Kids need to be with their peers and part time school is no replacement for face to face teaching, kids are not at high risk in relation to this virus and are also not known to transmit it.
  • Posted by Maagar October 05, 2020 at 18:16

    There needs to be a better approach in secondary schools. They can't socially distance in class, in the corridors, out of school for lunch. Scotland's teens need clearer messaging i.e. socially distance from friends but they can sit beside them in class. Stagger start and end times to reduce volume of kids moving around at the same time, stagger lunch to ensure the number of kids who leave school for lunch are reduced at local shops. Get Covid patrols in schools and local shops - deploy the army to do this for a limited period to minimise the potential for infection sharing. This is tough on teens and they need to feel physically safe.
  • Posted by Jane1000 October 05, 2020 at 18:21

    The way I understand it is that decisions are a matter of balance ie risk versus harm.
    The harm to date is that community transition enters schools not schools driving infection rates. Children pose surely minimal risk to the community given they can't enter other houses and they aren't old enough for evening hospitality. Schools being open is a managed risk.
    The risk to schools not being open is substantial. Educationally, socially and particularly for those most disadvantaged.
    My own experience in schools closing was not positive. The school is usually great, but there was no face to face teaching. My younger child got confused and stressed re what was being asked of her, my older child is worried it will affect her higher study this year and her ability to enter uni with the grades she wants.
    Full time schools unless it can demonstrably be shown and clearly evidenced that the risk outweighs the benefit. I'm not seeing now that it does.
  • Posted by massimop October 05, 2020 at 18:27

    I'm a new Ph.D. student and I have to meet my supervisor at the pub because we are not allowed to have access to the university building. I don't think a pub is safer than the university building.
  • Posted by Ursula October 05, 2020 at 18:27

    Children in school need to remain in school full time. Primary school aged children especially need that stable environment and the socialisation with their peers. Schools also need to be properly equipped with enough soap etc. Teachers and other school staff should be encouraged to wear masks. A school by school approach needs to be taken rather than a blanket closure/blended learning.
  • Posted by Ursula October 05, 2020 at 18:29

    Universities should be disntace learning only except for practical labs for science/health based subjects for example. Anything that would normally be taught in a lecture theatre should be taught online. University halls should be closed (they should never have been allowed to open) as they were always going to be hotbeds for the virus to spread even if every protocol was followed.
  • Posted by Callendar October 05, 2020 at 18:39

    Can mask wearing for parents/carers etc be made mandatory for school collection and drop off. This includes the playground. Families and school staff very vulnerable.
    Mask wearing should also be mandatory in corridors for all schools and not just secondary.
  • Posted by Lharris12 October 05, 2020 at 19:13

    Children need to be in school full time, parents also need private nurseries open. The benefit for children far outweigh the risks. It’s clear that the virus is not being spread in schools like it is elsewhere so our children deserve their education
  • Posted by Avocado October 05, 2020 at 19:17

    I have been overwhelmingly impressed by how fantastic the school has been for my child (P1) after several months of lockdown. His confidence has grown and he is thriving. To take this away from him and my younger child who is in an Early learning setting would be so detrimental at a time where it is both difficult to get outside and we are not allowed to meet indoors. The virus has been shown to have little effect on the young, and the benefits of full time school outweighs the risk. Please do not take this away from them.
  • Posted by Spuddie79 October 05, 2020 at 19:22

    Please never ever close schools again. Our children must not become collateral damage
  • Posted by StephIhoe October 05, 2020 at 19:30

    Schools and all learning establishments must remain open.
  • Posted by Jules1907 October 05, 2020 at 19:37

    The re-opening of schools and childcare settings made a huge impact on children who were suffering from the lack of structure that school and education brings, along with the physical and social impact of running around, playing and mixing with their peers; for working parents it enabled them to better balance work with family. The mental load of working full time whilst attempting to educate children was the greatest stress many working parents have ever had to face.

    Schools must remain a priority in terms of staying open.
  • Posted by Kayrob October 05, 2020 at 19:43

    Blended learning will not work. Firstly the parents need to work, and cannot school their children as well as work full time. Also, the majority of parents couldn't school their children through standard grades or highers. I know I couldn't, and I have a degree and a masters behind me. Thirdly, it unfairly discrimates between the wealthy and poor, as resources are different.

    It is also unfair on the children who have remained in school or kept up with their work, they will now need to revisit the work already done to allow the ones who couldn't to keep up with the curriculum.

    If people feel the need to keep their kids out of school to home school then they should be allowed... its their perogative. But our children need the education and interaction with other children.
  • Posted by harlequinn October 05, 2020 at 20:05

    There has to be some consideration given to the staff that work in schools. They should have the same protection as the rest of society. Social distancing is impossible in secondary schools and the wearing of masks by the pupils is virtually non existent. These buildings have pupils up to the age of 18 so the idea that transmission won't happen in these buildings is ludicrous. As a previous shielding teacher I feel very unsafe and in no way valued. I, along with others, have had a risk assessment done that puts us in the highly vulnerable category based on the governments own risk assessment form. The answer seems to be if we don't feel safe we should go off sick! I love my job but as a single parent I want to be alive to see my own children grow up. I'm not advocating all schools be closed but they should be open alongside blended learning to reduce numbers in the buildings at any one time. Too many are seeing schools as a cheap babysitting service.
  • Posted by WKD234 October 05, 2020 at 20:22

    Blended learning in schools should be compulsory, there is little social distancing at secondary schools putting staff, and families at risk. Pupils have returned full time whilst university students are getting practically no face to face learning and are unable to even visit their families. This is heading towards a massive mental health crisis for University students. A balanced approach should be taken with both some home learning at schools and universities.
  • Posted by alileslie October 05, 2020 at 20:22

    Primary Schools and nurseries need to be open full-time and remain a priority. The long term harms caused by the closure of schools and early years far outweighs the risks posed.

    Transmission is not driven by schools. Those cases identified in schools have occurred through community transmission and have not spread through schools and nurseries. Children are not driving transmission and we must protect their social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Posted by kaz618 October 05, 2020 at 20:24

    My kids have been so much happier since returning to school and nursery. I didn't realise how much it affected them to not be seeing their friends and teachers.

    A home learning environment didn't really work for us and caused so much tension and arguments and now that we've returned to work its not something we could return to doing.
  • Posted by Charlotta October 05, 2020 at 20:36

    Schools and all learning establishments must remain open. Blended learning does not work for children or parents.
  • Posted by O52O2O October 05, 2020 at 20:37

    Scottish Government should implement the blended learning contingency plan for over the winter months, to allow for proper distancing within classrooms (for primary and secondary schools). Yes, it makes life harder and isn't ideal for parents or children (I am a single parent family working full time so fully understand this) but I firmly believe that schools have contributed to the spread of the virus. Thankfully young people and primary age children are unlikely to become seriously ill if they do contract the virus, but that doesn't mean that they don't carry it home to their families. At least with blended learning, children will still be in the classroom for some of the week so it is a better option than being fully isolated from their friends again.
    People also need to think of teachers' health. It seems like a lot of people view school as a babysitting service and base their views on this rather than the potential risks of kids being back at school full time during a pandemic, with limited/no social distancing in place.
  • Posted by Lornab13 October 05, 2020 at 21:06

    I’d like the government to acknowledge that opening schools & universities might have impacted cases
  • Posted by Feea October 05, 2020 at 21:20

    Education is so important to the future of young people, particularly those approaching exam years. Their future could be in jeopardy if they miss out on education so it is so important that schools are back full time with as much safety as possible. School and education is much more important that pubs, restaurants and holidays.
  • Posted by Morrisc0502 October 05, 2020 at 21:20

    Schools must stay open for a variety of essential reasons. Schools and track and trace have a good, working and sustainable system in place. Good hygiene measures

     BLENDED LEARNING IS NOT THE ANSWER for primary and secondary schools.

    These developing years in a child’s life are so important for them to progress in society and working life. We cannot risk children loosing out on their education for up to two, three years.

    It’s a recipe for disaster.

    Children have the right to an education, they have a right to be nurtured. Their health and mental well-being depends on it. Children’s needs and health should always come before the people that teach them. As do patients over the people that care for them throughout our nhs. Some of us have to put our health on the line for the greater good, and providing an education for our future generations is no different.

    Schools must only close as a last resort. However as someone who has used both the hubs and the return to primary school I have been very impressed with the way the authorities have implemented measures to protect the balance of education and spread of the virus.

    It’s working. Don’t change it

  • Posted by Kerrie79 October 05, 2020 at 21:33

    The difference in my child since returning to school is amazing. She is more focused when learning and enjoying being around her peers. Parents are not educators and children should not have their home environment overtaken by learning. I absolutely understand staff need to have their needs met but there are ways that it can be a safe environment for them.
  • Posted by JudyL October 05, 2020 at 21:52

    Schools must not close.

    My teenage sons mental health suffered terribly during lockdown.

    Since going back to school and interacting with his friends and in person learning he is back to his energetic, happy and funny self.

    Children and young people must not be collateral damage.
  • Posted by GillianForHealth October 05, 2020 at 22:25

    We have to allow our kids and young people to be in actual buildings with actual people for the sake of their mental and physical health. Solitary confinement in front of radiation emitting technology is certainly the way to breed anxious and ill young people.
  • Posted by thistlerose October 05, 2020 at 22:44

    From my experience of blended learning during lockdown it is not effective for long periods of time; my children started off motivated and enthusiastic, but after about 6 weeks any effective learning tailed off. It also impacted on our parent/child relationship as it became a stressful experience all round. Learning at school should be the normal situation for primary and secondary pupils with blended learning used as a precision tool to support learning during self-isolation or school specific situations for as short a time as necessary.
  • Posted by montyred October 05, 2020 at 22:46

    Schools must continue, not only for learning, but for children to socialise. I cannot imagine how difficult it has been for only children during these times, not to mention children with difficult home lives. For them, school is often the only stable things in their lives.
  • Posted by Jason2488 October 05, 2020 at 23:15

    Totally agree for the Primary school and younger high school / academy students they MUST remain in school.

    S4-S5 - S6 / College / University Students - must be given a better blended learning approach. (1 Term in 1 Term Remote there are many ideas that can be placed here )

    Some courses yes need alot more hands on like Engineering / Animals / Medical. These should rightly be allowed to go ahead.

    Other courses units / elements can be done remotely should be this should be enshrined in law.

    Why cram 100% of University Students in to unfit building for social distancing and potentially wreck the health of the future generation. When a bit of common sense and careful planning would allow a good percentage to stay at home and reduce the risks to others.
  • Posted by CatMacIdeas October 05, 2020 at 23:38

    Thank you to the Scottish Government for standing firm on keeping the schools open so far. Please keep them open. It makes a huge difference to my children on so many levels.
  • Posted by lauz84 October 06, 2020 at 00:26

    No blended learning. We KNOW school children are very low risk &
    that transmission of new ‘cases’ isn’t being driven up by kids! They deserve better! They are being harmed mentally with the restrictions & silly rules like ‘no singing’ but its better than online/blended - they need routine, structure & proper targeted learning from qualified professionals!
  • Posted by LeiaAvra October 06, 2020 at 06:08

    We are doing online courses in college and it’s terrible. No organization whatsoever and we cannot learn like that! If you weren’t ready , you shouldn’t have opened them up.
    How can all the students sit together at a fast food restaurant or a pub and not in a class?
  • Posted by Cmckenna October 06, 2020 at 06:39

    As a self-employed mother of a 6 year old and a 3 year old, I can say with utter conviction that blended learning (or rather, part-time learning) does not work.

    First of all — how am I supposed to work and teach my child? I lost a huge amount of income over lockdown because I wasn’t able to focus on work and helping my son complete his assignments. He’s young Primary age and cannot he left to figure it out on his own. Meanwhile, the toddler was left to watch CBeebies for hours on end and was getting none of the stimulation he would normally get at his nursery.

    Second - I am not a teacher. I have no teacher training, and have absolutely no idea how to teach primary school. It is so unfair to put the responsibility of my children’s education on me when our primary school has not had one single case of confirmed COVID. That’s a disproportionate response to this pandemic.

    Third - blended education is a disaster to closing the gender pay gap. Yes, I earn less than my husband due to the inherent discrimination against women in the working world, despite me having a master's degree and him not. So the responsibility of education now falls on me. Why did I even bother going to university?

    Since being back at school and nursery in August, my boys have thrived. They have come on leaps and bounds in terms of their development, despite my best efforts sacrifices during lockdown. Please don’t close schools and early years centres again. It is a disproportionate response and harms not only our children, but so many parts of what was once a progressive society.
  • Posted by Singleworkingmum October 06, 2020 at 08:41

    Blended learning should have been implemented from the very beginning. Some councils wanted to but were voted against. Children may not be at high risk but they can still carry the virus. Blended learning will protect the vulnerable and the teaching staff while still allowing the children to socialise and see their teachers 2 and a half days a week. The schools definitely should NOT be closed again full time.
  • Posted by JoMacD October 06, 2020 at 09:38

    I would like to see continued commitment to making sure schools and nursery’s stay open.

    Our children cannot be thrown under the bus again. They need to be prioritised and valued for the future.
  • Posted by Ang October 06, 2020 at 10:07

    As a single parent that is unable to wear a mask and has no support, I think blended learning should be considered, I worry every day about catching covid but only because I would have no one to help care for my daughter. School playgrounds are still overcrowded with parents putting us all at risk.
    I think blended learning should be till at least after Christmas holidays
  • Posted by getusoutofhere October 06, 2020 at 10:22

    Schools are back, children in a routine and slowly rebuilding their mental health. There has been no major our breaks in schools, it’s time to make even more reductions in their restrictions for the health of our children.
  • Posted by JaneMurray October 06, 2020 at 12:04

    I am thankful that the schools are back and I believe they should remain open, as normal. My daughter suffered greatly during lockdown and she struggled to engage with "home school", which consisted of 2 emails a week to parents, with worksheets attached. There was no teacher or peer supported learning. The whole experience had a huge impact on my daughter's mental health and like many parents, I gave up on the school work and focused on creating learning opportunities that she could engage with. I believe a blended learning approach could only further disadvantage children who are already vulnerable. I think education and the wellbeing of our children should be our first priority as a nation. We need full-time normal schooling for all our young people.
  • Posted by essess October 06, 2020 at 13:03

    I would welcome a recognition that one size solution does not fit all families - for several important reasons my family would much prefer an online or blended learning approach but appreciate there are clear reasons why this is more difficult or impossible for others. Surely it could be feasible to have 2 different models working in tandem and giving families the choice or offering temporary home ed to families who can and are willing to do this (reduces the risk to them and others by reducing numbers in schools)
  • Posted by JeniaFinegan October 06, 2020 at 15:43

    It is vital that the schools stay open. It is now clear that children and young adults are minimally affected by this virus. However it is also now clear that school closures and isolation of children and young people had been catastrophic for their wellbeing and mental health.
  • Posted by JeniaFinegan October 06, 2020 at 15:46

    Blended learning is not a viable option for single parents, families where both parents work or for the poorest and most vulnerable of families. This option will only increase the educational gap between the richest and poorest children. It will destroy all the work undertaken so far to narrow this gap.
  • Posted by PoppyG October 06, 2020 at 21:34

    It should remain a priority to keep schools open. I don't think home learning has worked. My daughter lost all motivation to do school work and she really missed her peers. She is back to her usual self now she is in school. Great to see her interested, motivated and a lot cheerier.

    For blended learning to work, secondary schools need to be a lot better prepared with a digital strategy on how to run classes on-line, how to engage the children and provide feedback on their work. During lockdown, the provision of on-line learning has been inconsistent from teacher to teacher, no work produced was marked, limited teacher availability and a lack of leadership from education department.

    We need to keep schools open.
  • Posted by DrSaraParvis October 06, 2020 at 21:44

    There is considerable debate among University staff about the rights and wrongs of face to face teaching, and the UCU has called for online teaching only, but I and various colleagues have been adamant that it is right to continue to have face-to-face teaching available for those who want it as long as it is safe, without forcing anyone, staff or student, to take part in this way if they don't want to. Social distancing needs mean that large lectures or classes of over 20 cannot happen in the space available, but small group teaching is perfectly feasible at the moment. Those of us who have been teaching face to face find it brings joy both to us and to the students, who are otherwise miserably huddled at home binge-watching recorded material and trying to make sense of it all, and that's before you add all the problems of bad internet connections, problematic software platforms and so on. People who want all students at home studying online should consider the social reality that would lead to- young people across Scotland living with their parents, fighting over all the usable wifi or study space, going stir crazy and adding to the existing widespread mental health problems Covid has already caused. And those who think University subjects can be divided between 'useful' and 'not useful' need to think about what differentiates human beings from robots- precisely all those 'useless' subjects like literature, music, history, Classics, religious studies and so on.
    Universities are communities which depend on sharing ideas. It's easy enough to get everyone to social distance and wear face coverings in a teaching context- they're all adults. Sure, people who need or want to stay at home and teach and learn online should do so. But if it's safe for schools to be open, it's surely safe also for Universities, as long as the necessary measures are in place.
  • Posted by AlisonL October 07, 2020 at 09:53

    Please keep schools open. All the data points to the spread being in the community - mainly house parties.
    My child has just started P1 this year and her school has been great. Her confidence is gaining and she is loving it. Blended learning would not be an option- during lockdown she didn’t want to engage with anyone over zoom. Most of my friends said the same about their kids that they didn’t really interact with computer.
    For people coming close to exams - blended learning would be a disaster - maybe fine if a parent is able to help out or employ a tutor but for many school children this will not be an option and they will disengage. Particularly the ones who need help most. The social divide will just get bigger.
  • Posted by christine1001 October 07, 2020 at 19:18

    Blended learning will not work. Kids need school for socialisation and to learn from peers and teachers, this is not achieved in a home environment. Is there any evidence primary school kids even get Covid let alone pass it on. Do not punish our children. Studies have shown the government should be working to reduce anxiety over covid and work towards bettering the countries mental health, not threatening us with closures every week because there have been three deaths.
  • Posted by tama October 09, 2020 at 14:20

    I understand that keeping schools open full time is important for education and mental health reasons and that it is difficult for some families to do home learning.
    But I'm worried about my child and my husband's health and my own health since she's gone back to school. For me, health is more important than education especially considering how dangerous Covid-19 is.
    Many studies show that children play a role in spreading coronavirus. Family members can get coronavirus from children.[…]nsmit-SARS-CoV-2-virus.aspx

    We don't know how the virus will affect children's health in the future.
    Also there are adults who suffer from long covid disorder.
    (Will the government help people financially if they become ill long term and cannot work or study??)

    I strongly believe that both primary and secondary should move to blended learning, so that schools can try the approach to see if it works and they can fix problems for the winter.

    Coronavirus can spread via airborne droplets, so face masks should be worn all day at school except for lunch time at both primary and secondary schools. Exemptions would apply for children who cannot tolerate masks for health reasons.[…]tion-prevention-precautions
    Also good ventilation is important.

    If this is not possible, please give parents/carers a right to decide whether to send kids to schools and please give children authorised absence.
  • Posted by ShieldedGrandad October 10, 2020 at 12:48

    Schools should never have reopened full time.
    The complete turnaround on the blended learning plan after 24 hours was appalling.

    We are dealing with a worldwide pandemic and the Scottish Government decided to use the herd immunity strategy while not only knowing that this virus is airborne but knowing that schools, secondary schools in particular will have no hope whatsoever of any social distancing measures.

    The gross negligence shown by Nicola Sturgeon, Jason Leitch and John Swinney with their refusal to even acknowledge that the schools are a breeding ground for this virus is criminal.

    What we do know about this virus is that it kills, it causes long term debilitating illnesses. We know people have lost limbs to this virus. We know people are left needing lung transplants. We know people are left with irreparable damage to their heart & lungs. We know teenagers are having to learn to walk again after being struck down with this virus. We know that there could be a link to male infertility. These are only a fraction of what we do know about this virus.

    So why are the Scottish Government deeming that pupils, school staff and disabled family members are expendable.

    This is revolting. Why should every other sector adhere to the FACTS but when it comes to schools FACTS have to be left at the school gates.

    3 of my Grandchildren are severe asthmatics. 1 of my grandsons is severely disabled. My family have shielded as a whole for months to create a shield of protection around my Grandson. That shield has been broken by Scottish Government stating that my other grandchildren should return to full capacity high schools.

    Scottish Government have failed the people of Scotland. You have failed in your duty of care to provide safe measures to keep the whole population safe, not only those that you choose to.

    Blended learning may not even be a safe option now but it absolutely should have been the only option that was taken.

    At the very least, families who have disabled/shielded members or pupils who have shielded themselves should have been given the option for their children to carry on with the online learning programme that was used throughout lockdown.

    Your inability to even acknowledge these cases that are spreading like wildfire is negligent in your part.

    Nicola Sturgeon said schools would only return if the numbers/levels were at a safe %

    This was a blatant lie. You have introduced herd immunity when every decent scientist in the world will tell you that this is a recipe for disaster when we have no vaccine.

    School pupils, school staff and the poor family members who have had to adhere to your turnaround on the blended learning plan will pay with their lives. This could have been avoided. Do something before it’s too late.
  • Posted by Pipkins October 10, 2020 at 16:56

    We need to go back to blended learning while the pandemic is ongoing. Of course children need to be educated but we need to deal with the reality of the situation which is a pandemic that has killed thousands in Scotland and a huge increase in infections going into winter. Schools all round the UK have experienced Covid cases and outbreaks and very little is being done to protect teachers and parents. We know children can spread Covid to vulnerable adults and we know what measures are likely to be helpful - small class sizes, limited contact time, ventilation and mask wearing. Blended learning was an ideal compromise and should never have been abandoned. We were told it wasn't necessary because of the low prevalence of Covid in Scotland but that it was a 'Plan B' if things started deteriorating. With record numbers of infections daily we need to introduce blended learning now.
  • Posted by MazKatzs October 11, 2020 at 13:52

    Not enough protection in schools.
    The government may well have seen good practice, however getting pupils to social distance is questionable. Loads of steer on what teachers should be doing , not sharing IT and more, I've raised a few things including the positioning of my desk before return to school, as PC also needs moved...still waiting, none of these has been addressed...
    I am more than happy to discuss off forum with someone....but much more needs to be achieved for all to be safe in school especially with current situation, which is likely to continue into the long winter.
  • Posted by Coco12 October 11, 2020 at 13:57

    Kids need school (even those who homeschool need social interaction and ability to meet/ go places for education).

    Parents can not work effectively from home and properly care for and homeschool their children.
  • Posted by LorraineF October 11, 2020 at 14:20

    My 17 year son has started college in September. 300 miles from home, so not really possible to see him during term time. It broke my heart telling him that he could not come home to his own bed during the October break as it is an offence. He struggled to understand this when others staying in halls can go out to the pub every night.
    Yes he may be staying in halls and that may be deemed as forming a new household, but he is still a child and has definitely not left home. Please ensure that young people in this situation are able to return home to their families during the Christmas break without it being an offence.
  • Posted by ShieldedMumAtRisk October 11, 2020 at 15:05

    Will this/these comments ever actually make any changes? I sincerely hope so.

    Scottish Government have completely failed in their duty of care to shielded pupils, school staff and at risk family members.

    Scottish Government have to be held responsible for deciding to actively introduce herd immunity in schools.

    Your blatant disregard and failure to share the correct data in relation to cases in schools speaks volumes . Your inability to make the only justifiable decisions for school pupils and staff only prove that you believe they are a worthy risk.

    Nicola Sturgeon, Dr Gregor Smith and Jason Leitch all advocated for a full time return to schools with no social distancing measures in place only 24 hours after announcing a blended learning return.

    The blended learning return is the only way forward. When will this happen? When pupils or staff lose their lives? Or will that be justified because they had “underlying health conditions”. Do the parents who are shouting for schools to remain open even know that an underlying health condition can be something as acute as childhood asthma?

    Schools are not your babysitters. It is not up to the school staff to look after your children in the middle of a worldwide pandemic all so you can carry on working. These are your children and your responsibility. If you cannot work because the schools are moving to a blended learning plan then is not the government’s responsibility to fix your childcare issues.

    Why should you be able to work while adhering to all social distancing measures while pupils and staff are being left to avoid a deadly virus with a window open and a bottle of hand gel?

    Scottish Government have failed in their duty of care to allow all of the people in Scotland the ability to follow FACTS. Our schools are not equipped to deal with a deadly airborne virus.

    I want my son in school but only in a safe and controlled environment. It is vital to his education that he is able to receive a mixture of online/face to face learning. However, Scottish Government deemed it safe for a full time return to a full capacity high school with no social distancing in place. It is not safe. COVID19 is in his school. COVID19 is in his year group.

    My other son is in his final year of University and all work is being done online. Is this ideal? Probably not. However, we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic and on the scale of things his safety outweighs any education.

    We, as a family are at risk. We are all asthmatics. However, my oldest son is severely disabled. As well as many other things, his lungs work at a capacity of 35% and he only has one working kidney. If this virus enters my home it is very likely my son will succumb to it.

    This is why, as a family we shielded completely for 6 months. In fact 4 of us still do.

    However, sadly not my youngest son. John Swinney, Nicola Sturgeon, Jason Leitch and Dr Gregor Smith seem to believe that COVID19 will not affect teenagers. Teenagers cannot be infected with this virus. Teenagers cannot transmit this virus home to immunocompromised family members. I must have missed this scientific evidence completely.

    You are completely negligent.

    You have a responsibility to share all TRUE data relating to cases in schools. Parents and staff need access to the full facts and figures that you are determined to conceal.

    Lives will be lost. Young lives. School staff. Family members succumbing to a virus that is only penetrating their homes because of your inability to make the correct decision.

  • Posted by santoc October 11, 2020 at 15:23

    A lot of countries are giving to the parents the right to choose wether they want to risk their kids and family sending the kids back to school (as kids of any age can get COVID19 and spread it to others, and, even though the chance that a kid could die of COVID-9 is low, a kid can die of it) or having online learning provided by the school/council. I think it’s my right to choose if I want to keep my kid learning from home (to protect her, my newborn and my family) or sending her to school. At the moment, I don’t have this right of choice as it is mandatory to send her to school, even though neither school or government can guarantee me that she wont be sick and that she wont contaminate the rest of my household if she gets COVID-19. I have to take the chance and hope she or my newborn wouldn’t be a colateral damage. I have to believe that all the measures school is taking will make sure that she is safe (even though her teacher told to an almost 5 years old kid that she could eat the snack that she dropped at the floor - yes, really hygienic in times of a pandemic!).
  • Posted by Kelsoboy October 11, 2020 at 15:52

    We should use more age differentiated measures.
    I think students should be allowed to mingle but keep the student bars separate. Lectures on line to keep staff safe.
    With regards schools a blended model would suit the older high school kids and allow space for the others to spread out.
    Primary school age being in full time doesn’t appear to have created a spike in cases so keep them in full time.
    Any vulnerable staff should given a safe alternative
  • Posted by Amcc October 11, 2020 at 16:52

    I have two secondary aged children both of whom understand and acknowledge the need for physical distancing and the potential danger of the the virus, however there appears to be little or no distancing in school common spaces such as the lunchhall or corridors, in class the kids sit side by side. I agree that it’s vital for schools to be open however given the lack of distancing the likelihood of transmission must be high. The only way to avoid it is to increase testing for teachers and children in schools, waiting until symptoms appear is too late, we must actively test to identify cases as quickly as possible to prevent the virus spreading amongst school children who in turn take the virus home and to potentially vulnerable members of the family.
  • Posted by Whittijo October 11, 2020 at 17:07

    My autistic 13 year old daughter is going to school for mornings only.

    As all children are being kept in school over lunchtime, the school is very busy all day even with staggered lunchtimes.

    The mornings only approach is working well for us and might be a good model for other students.

    Being autistic my daughter will struggle with some days at school and other days at home.

    I realise there is no ideal solution here.
  • Posted by DrEcon October 11, 2020 at 17:17

    Universities should be better supported, and rewarded, for delivering high quality online learning. Many of us have worked all summer to create a safe, online learning experience that is in many ways better than the traditional chalk and talk lecture. Face to face teaching should only return when it guarantees the safety of the student, the teacher, and the wider community. Some of us are being pressured into plan face to face teaching in Spring when there is no change in sight to the status quo. What about lecturers or teachers with existing health concerns? Delivering a high quality online learning experience in Higher education takes an incredible amount of work and effort, and it's clearly the safest option for all concerned.
  • Posted by Porkchops October 11, 2020 at 18:17

    Schools are unsafe for pupils and staff. Test and trace has been undertaken by educators not PHS.
    Signs in the playground do not stop parents/carers from entering.
    Young children do not understand social distancing.
    Blended learning would be best for the winter, you’ve provided the digital inclusion fund so let’s see how it works.
    The hubs setup for Key Workers also put staff in an unsafe environment and these were being misused.
    Staff were trying to teach online, man the hubs and help families each day. It was overload and a very stressful time for everyone I know who works in education.
    Mandatory attendance for online lessons this time would make a difference - families need to engage. They have digital technology and dongles available through schools therefore no reason for families to not take part.
    Those extra teachers you funded should support online learning across all authorities - where are they??

  • Posted by TCoutts3 October 11, 2020 at 19:18

    I seriously can't believe some of these comments. Blended learning is and was the worst idea! Parent's work how are they meant to teach and work especially those with children with special needs. I'm sorry to say but teachers are no more important than a nurse, shop worker or any other key worker that has had to work all the way through. We should all be valued the same regardless of what job you have. If the children are not in school a very high majority will be on the streets causing chaos as witnessed during lockdown. Every child is entitled to an education and that should never EVER be taken away from them! If you don't feel safe with your child in school. Homeschool them and let others get on with what they want for their kids!
  • Posted by Castle October 11, 2020 at 20:42

    My kids have flourished being back and I’m appreciative of the amazing work that the school has done. But I’m apprehensive about winter. Blended learning isn’t ideal but we need to do what’s scientifically required to eliminate the virus as quickly as we can.
    1. I am apprehensive about winter and feel that schools will need supported in maintaining good ventilation during this time - closing the windows because it’s cold is something that will happen but it’s only going to result in positivity rates increasing. This needs to be explained to teachers and pupils.
    2. Provide easier, quicker testing to all - primary children not being tested/ providing inaccurate samples due to child being upset will mask numbers. Many people I know had their kids tested when general bugs spread round primary in August. I don’t know one child who found this pleasant - fortunately I’m amongst a group of parents who realise the importance of accurate sampling but I imagine that getting an accurate sample next tine won’t be easy - I believe that many either won’t choose to test or will keep their kids off school. This will falsely mask numbers of cases being spread in primary school.
  • Posted by Castle October 11, 2020 at 20:46

    Blended learning in a manner that splits the bubbles with 72h between groups (primary and younger years setting) would be the most effective model. Cleaning everything within a classroom is impossible. At least this way, the kids would feel most comfortable, be with their friends and continue to receive the benefits of schools whilst halving their (and their families) risk.
  • Posted by Castle October 11, 2020 at 20:57

    Embrace and encourage outdoor learning whenever possible. I realise this isn’t suitable for all settings but this shouldn’t mean it isn’t encouraged where it is possible. It’s hugely beneficial to kids and it would be wonderful if this was one of the things that could be a positive long term change that comes out of this.
  • Posted by Mysay7 October 11, 2020 at 21:05

    This subject, like all aspects of restrictions, divides opinion and therefore clearly one size does not fit all, so we need a range of options that takes better account of individual family circumstances and affords parents and staff the opportunity to engage in the way that’s safest for them.

    Current arrangements of return to full time education without more measures in place, is in my opinion, too high a risk for many families and school staff.

    I recognise for some families a return to full time education in school feels essential in order to function and fulfil their work commitments, which I full respect. I also accept that some are not concerned about or they may be less risk averse about Covid-19 than others, but we also have families who feel the risk is too great for their household due to vulnerable health, or perhaps vulnerable circumstances (e.g. single parents with no fall-back position should they take ill and not be able to look after their children). Each is passionately defending their position as the correct one, so one arrangement cannot be the solution when it leaves either side so anxious about health/ household vulnerability/ their employment/ the economic impact/ their child’s education/ social interaction/ etc.

    There needs to be choice in the system which allows for some to attend full time at school (additionality built into the previously run essential workers Hub arrangements) / some blended learning / and some temporary homeschooling in partnership with schools. Much messier than an ‘all or nothing’ approach, but by consulting families and then designing educational arrangement to take account of their needs and then effective planning, it could be done. It would enable us to more effectively work through this horrible period in a more respectful manner.

    I completely agree that children need good education, but this can be provided in different ways including at home where skills, resources and capacity mean it is possible for parents to deliver it. A strict black or white approach of ‘in school full time’ or having to ‘formally withdraw your child from school for permanent homeschooling’ is not taking account of these very exceptional circumstances. Supportive temporary arrangements need to be available to families.

    If wider options aren’t forthcoming, then, if, as I’m hearing, the Teachers Unions are insisting that teachers with class commitments should not be required to prepare work for pupils to do at home where a parent has not felt able to send their child back to school, then additional resource needs to be made available at local authority level to support those families to sustain the relationship with school, class and classwork during this temporary period.

    This support would take account of the very differing circumstances of families and would avoid parents feeling forced to formally withdraw their child from school education or feeling forced to send their children and live in fear of their household vulnerability being tested in the knowledge that this could for many, with no fall back support, mean contemplating their children having to be cared for by ‘the system’. That simply isn’t an acceptable position to place people in.

    For those who dismiss this as a concern- you clearly are the fortunate ones who have a fellow parent/ grandparents/ extended family or friends that you’re confident would care for your children should you become ill. Many parents (especially single parents of children with complex needs for whom in non-Covid times a babysitter for a few hours is elusive, never mind full time care of their child should they become ill) this is a very real and distressing reality. We need options that the current arrangements are not providing.
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