Safe reopening of schools in June.

Given that we do not have scientific evidence about transmission within schools, current teaching and learning approaches are incompatible with social distancing, education professionals are unlikely to have expertise in infection control, closure is harmful to many children and finally that the attainment gap is growing with each day of closure, I suggest the following:

1. Schools should return in a limited capacity in June for four weeks as a trial for August.
2. Social distancing within schools must be rigorously enforced in all parts of the school (classroom, playground, communal areas). This would have different impact in different schools. Rural schools with small classes may be able to go back full time depending on space and town schools only part-time. The system in individual schools should be based on their ability to comply with social distancing criteria. A one size fits all approach would not work.
3. All school staff should be trained on infection control measures by appropriately qualified people in advance of setting up classrooms and routines for reopening. Appropriate risk assessment and PPE must be in place. This training must be based upon a shared understanding of normal school routines and allow for education staff and families to raise concerns.
4. There should be recognition that the delivery of the curriculum will alter in response to social distancing measures. This must be clearly communicated to families in advance of reopening in order to prepare pupils and manage expectations.

Why the contribution is important

We must come up with a system that allows schools to reopen safely.

by Glenda on May 09, 2020 at 12:04PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.7
Based on: 20 votes


  • Posted by Maz May 09, 2020 at 12:30

    Agree - especially for Primary 7s and S4-6. Have years in shifts perhaps and use all the classrooms and ' where practical, separate playground areas for breaks and drop off/collect. Say P1-3 Mon - Thurs lunchtime. Then 4-7 Tues pm - Fri (fullday). Really important to let the children out - for themselves and parents.
  • Posted by Bournefabee May 09, 2020 at 12:37

    I think this idea is completely unfeasible without testing and tracing in place. Kids are just as likely to get the virus as adults and yet are far less likely to fully comply with behavioural restrictions. Why send them back to school en mass when you wouldn't do that with the entire adult workforce?
    And spare a thought for teachers. If you can get enough to run the school who aren't affected or shielding you still have a staff who never signed up for a healthcare role.
    Yes we need to come up with measures to allow them back, but not in June. It is far too soon. Our testing capabilty is still too low and there may be treatment developments by August which would make it a different proposition.
  • Posted by MargaretAnne May 09, 2020 at 13:03

    P7 ,perhaps ,should have as close to their transition time as possible. However that will need to be highly modified. They need time to say goodbye to their primary school and be introduced to their secondary school. However,I do not believe the time is right yet for all pupils to return to school. By returning in June,even part time, means so many people mixing and travelling that needn't happen - even with social distancing. By not returning in June but ,all being well, there be a planned return in August we are giving ourselves a further 3 months to eradicate this virus. In that 3 months we may be able to allow children to meet eg in family/ neighbourhood groups. I believe this is more important right now than having to impose more control and rules on children that would be required for them and us to be safe if they are at school. Let children be children. Give them the freedom to meet their friends and get out to play. Education and learning happens best with happy children
  • Posted by Jaruic May 09, 2020 at 13:22

    Totally disagree with this. Better to restart schools at beginning on new session in August 2020. Can't see the point in reopening schools for a few weeks and then have a Summer holiday.
    By August the way forward might be clearer and ideas for socially distancing schools may have been rethought.
    For children to restart, possibly for just a couple of days per week or every third week etc just to say the children are back in school and then stop for the Summer is disruptive to them more than re opening later.
  • Posted by Karenh May 09, 2020 at 13:25

    Our children have missed out on 5mths education and I feel every stage of learning needs a full term . From preschool up There’s transitions that need dealt with that are really important in a young child’s education . My grandson has missed 5mths of Nursery and needs support which he has lost now he is meant to start P1 this august 2020. He I know will not cope after the lockdown and is nowhere ready to attend full time education if children’s emotional balancing isn’t in place they won’t cope I’m only speaking about one child here and I have 3grandchildren in my care . I feel, the children should be allowed to go back to where they left of after so long at being away . Not putting them into another New situation. .all these children have been isolated from there peers , they should be allowed to start back where they left of ,not have the added pressure of moving forward ,when covid19 has held them back. There must be a way that we can give them some of the normality, back before jumping forward with ethereal education . We have to remember that we want the next generation to get it right . Learn from this traumatic experience and they will remember why this happened in the future. We have no way of knowing how long barriers and restrictions are going to be put in place . Asking the children to deal with all these restrictions at school will be hard never mind teaching them . Under these circumstances we have to get there needs met not just open the doors and expect children to behave differently with social distancing at schools . I just cannot see how we expect this to work with very young children who will not be thinking about going back to school or preschool but seeing there friends again . I for one would rather they go back, and get balanced to be ready to learn again . Which I cannot see being this August for preschool to p1 -p4 ,it’s too much of an ask for there emotional well-being . I hope that we could find a way to remove term start and end times to assist there rights to the best education Scotland has to offer them .
    by Karenh on May 06, 2020 at 11:39PM
  • Posted by Callendar May 09, 2020 at 13:32

    Many schools complete “transition” well in advance of June. You can unfortunately now replicate that experience it’s very sad they have missed out on leavers services and parties but sadly this is the reality. They need to move forward not back. There would be nothing to be gained coming back especially as they wouldn’t be together as a year cohort. I think there needs to be a lot of prep for schools going back. How do you make 4 and 5 year olds who have never been in school at all socially distance! It’s hard enough to get them to walk along corridors and find the lunch hall! I think sometimes people’s frustrations at current situation and home working whilst supporting children will hone learning supersedes their common sense.
  • Posted by David924 May 09, 2020 at 13:52

    I would expect those that decide on the curriculum could prioritise the needs/benefits against logistics. There will be some alternative closed establishments/centres that could be adapted to assist not so able areas to meet the expert's target. It's all going on right now i.e. doing things differently and safely.
  • Posted by saltpepper May 09, 2020 at 14:05

    I think that we should not re open schools until August at the earliest. Before we closed the P7 children were extremely nervous about the virus and tried to keep it at bay with handwashing. However most ended up with sore and bleeding hands due to the paper towels and were very reluctant to keep washing them. Through online teaching it is still clear that they are still anxious and unless they are completely sure it is safe to go back many will be reluctant, and this will build anxiety and trauma. I was not convinced that we were safe at school before it closed but did my best to hide my anxiety. We would need to be really sure that it was safe to even test the way we go back, with low infection rates as well as good hygiene measures and social distancing. I think going back to early would be mentally worse for children and staff unless we are completely sure and have a great system for managing distancing in place. It would just consolidate fear for many.
  • Posted by Balderdash May 09, 2020 at 15:51

    Don't bother opening schools until August. It is impossible to socially distance at many already overcrowded city schools. Alternative venues will need to be found for some classrooms. Really we are going to have to accept there will be transmission of the virus unless we lockdown until such time as a vaccine is found - if ever
  • Posted by Aham25 May 09, 2020 at 16:56

    Absolutely not....far too dangerous for all involved
  • Posted by Lucy1980 May 09, 2020 at 17:50

    It’s the 9th of May. I think it’s highly unlikely that the govt will have guidance for schools to return in June any time soon (for example the next week), in order for schools to put staff rotas and pupil rotas in place to return in June. We all know children will be unable to social distance. Even in small groups, as soon as they go out to play they are trying to get up close to play games and chat.

    There’s also lots of staff with underlying conditions who are still in the shielding period.

    Schools should not return until August 2020 as we have a LOT of planning and preparation to do before this point for the safety of all.
  • Posted by Riley54 May 10, 2020 at 11:36

    I'm a little confused about the comment of children missing 5 months of school. Schools closed on the 20th March. There was a two week break in between then and now. That means so far, children have missed 5 weeks. That accounts to only 25 days.
    Despite what some people think, teachers are not stupid. They what is best for their pupils. Their job is to have the 'child at the heart' of everything and to ensure that transitions run smoothly for every child.

    Ideally, I would like to bring pre-schoolers/new S1 pupils in to school to see their classrooms, meet their teachers etc all from a safe distance. Even if this was done in extremely small groups over the course of a week or two during June but only if this was done in a safe way. Then gradually begin to open school in August.

    Arguments I've read on other comments to have schools open during the holidays....teachers ARE working online or in schools. They are NOT on an extended holiday despite what others think. They are working in Hub schools or supporting vulnerable families. Many are doing over and above the work they would normally do when in front of a class.

    Teachers would love to be back doing the job they chose and love but throwing them and children 'under the wheels' to appease parents who have had enough of home learning is not the answer.
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