Return to school protocol

There’s no way that schools will all be back with a full compliment of pupils and staff - there has to be a mixture of home schooling and in school teacher with a maximum of 6-8 children per room - I reckon they’ll have to consider portacabins in the playground to accommodate this ratio in some schools. Also they’ll have to be employing extra teaching staff to be with the smaller classes. The children in Denmark or Norway are washing their hands every hour and the rooms are cleaned twice a day. I suggest I could be possible that some classes will attend 2 days per week Monday/Tuesday -with work packs sent home for completion for the other days -Wednesday could be crossover day when each room is deep cleaned in preparation for the next intake on Thursday/Friday again with work packs home for completion on the home school days. The Wednesday children free day could be used for staff consultation on the forward planning and preparation / photocopying of the work packs. I’d certainly expect everyone to be wearing masks and definitely masks and face shields for staff. Hand washing / sanitising stations need to be set up in every room which could pose a problem in some schools both modern and older buildings, where there is no sink in the classroom. Visits to the toilet will also need to be done at regular times and hand washing supervised afterwards as children can’t always be trusted to do this properly. Packed lunches will either need to be eaten outside in the class grouping or at the child’s designated area of their room. Similarly, if there are hot meals provided by the school, then they would need to be eaten in the designated area as social distancing would be an absolute logistical nightmare in a school dining hall, which might possibly be commandeered as a “classroom space” anyway. Above all - we are NOT a childminding service and do not exist so that parents can go put to work. Many parents have been working from home up until now so I’m sure that could be accommodated as an ongoing protocol. I’d expect hubs to carry on as they are with “at risk “and key worker children attending hubs on the days not in actual school groupings, but they would have the home learning pack to complete on those days, which would consist of consolidating the learning done on the school days. This would free up teachers to be in school and classroom assistants to be in the hubs. Children would have to follow strict protocols when in school and any refusal to obey this should result in the child being sent home as an exclusion, quite simply there can be no quarter given to indiscipline as this would impact on the health and safety of everyone in the group. The councils will have to considerably increase its teaching force in order to teach the smaller groupings and I’d expect there to be loads of opportunities for supply teachers to work in the actual schools.

Why the contribution is important

As a recently retired primary teacher of 40+ years experience teaching in a variety of different schools and classroom settings and as a former EIS rep and now currently retained as a supply teacher, it’s my opinion that health and safety of both staff and pupils is paramount when considering any return to school and pupils learning. Smaller class groupings are essential in order to maintain the necessary social distancing which will help prevent the further spread of the Covid19 virus. It’s apparent that a normal classroom does not have the floor space to accommodate an entire class so smaller groupings must become the norm for the foreseeable future. Children will need to agree to adherence to the protocol when returning to a school setting, which would mean a new “normal” from the active cooperative learning we have all become used to with the CfE curriculum. The priority needs to be a pared down syllabus with priority being a return to teaching the very basics ie literacy, numeracy and health and well-being. This might be difficult for some children at first but important and necessary to ensure health and safety of both pupils and staff which should be the overriding concern to all involved.

by HeatherMcLean1904 on May 09, 2020 at 01:52PM

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Comments

  • Posted by seileasdar May 09, 2020 at 14:30

    This sounds like a good idea. You could save on the deep cleaning if you did two groups of children and alternated them each week. If you taught face to face Mon-Thu, the deep cleaning could happen on a Fri and the off class time used for the staff to prepare for the next week's teaching. This would also give more continuity to the children being taught for the week.
  • Posted by JVL May 09, 2020 at 15:03

    This is not practical in any way. Yes schools are not a “childminding service” but likewise parents are not all teachers. Many are struggling, and therefore the children are struggling. Furthermore if parents need to work they simply cannot also teach their children the proper curriculum. It’s not sustainable. Also children desperately need the interaction with their friends and the routine of school. This is something that cannot be achieved in this kind of set up.
  • Posted by Balderdash May 09, 2020 at 15:45

    I am a working parent. This is completely impractical. Either schools can open fully or they can't. The disruption and emotional consequences of these suggestions are ludicrous. Young children need security and routine, the concept of being in school for some days but not others will be counter productive. Exclude a child of 5 for not obeying rules? Seriously?
  • Posted by Aham25 May 09, 2020 at 16:52

    Thank you for pointing out that schools are indeed not childminders. Teachers are educators. We are also working parents a fact which people seem to be forgetting right now! Young people need to be kept safe above and beyond everything else!
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