Opening schools

This is a difficult one; we need parents to be able to get back to work [but be mindful that schools are primarily for all aspects of the education of youngsters; they are currently being thought of as an extension of social services]. Opening all schools would result in a spike in the infection rates, and this would have to be monitored. There are different models such as certain year groups going to school in the morning and older primary and older teenagers going in the afternoons. This would avoid the problems of youngster management over lunch breaks - obviously give children who have free school meals a package to take home. Some parents who are happy to continue with home schooling using teacher provided resources would perhaps not let their children return to school. This would have implications for the work load of staff as they would have to provide material for this as well as teaching - albeit to reduced pupil numbers and reduced teaching time. My suggestion would be to phase back primary schools over a period of a month, but I think it would be better to KEEP PRIMARY SCHOOLS CLOSED UNTIL AUGUST. In secondary schools, we have to try to avoid problems around exam preparation and exam diets looking towards the 2021 SQA schedules, so it might be best to aim to have all pupils in the new [ie 2020-21] intake for secondary classes and coursesin S3, S4, S5 and S6 back for the start of June for that month so that courses can continue/start. Again this would be on a limited but intensive timetable and supplemented with current home schooling methods in order to avoid prolonged lunchbreaks. Have short lunchbreaks one year group at a time.

Why the contribution is important

As stated, my preference would be to keep schools closed and to rely on home schooling to try to ensure some continuing education; but this must be interactive using Zoom etc and registers taken at the start of each "class". Not all youngsters will be able to engage with this but that is a price we have to accept for now; equally some staff will be better and more diligent at this than others We have to ensure continuity of education and exam preparation as well as reducing infection.

by biologist on May 10, 2020 at 12:04PM

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