Schools are just buildings

Across Scotland community centres and facilities are currently sitting empty. There is a desire and drive to get children back into schools but they can return to education without going back to school. Primary schools have catchments areas that sees children travel across communities, increasing the number of people they come into contact with - as well as increasing parent and cater contact at the school gates. Opening community centres, hubs and facilities within communities will provide a space for the children within a community to come together for education within their own community. This would spread the teaching staff out across multiple locations within their primary schools catchment area - this will strengthen bonds between the teachers and the communities they serve as well as limiting numbers, making social distancing easier. It will also reduce the level of travel by parent and guardians to their immediate community.

Why the contribution is important

Community based educational provision provides a way back toward education and routine for children, builds the sense of community across the country and provide an easy way to react quickly when localised resurgences of the virus spreading occur. This localised approach will make it easier for key services to link in with families in need of extra support as well as bringing back community facilities into the use of their immediate local communities.

by Cath on May 06, 2020 at 09:39AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.6
Based on: 6 votes


  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 09:57

    Community centre or school what’s the difference
  • Posted by lindseystout May 06, 2020 at 10:12

    They are already at school online, until it is safer for the wider community and staff and pupils' families, this must continue.
  • Posted by KirsteenV May 06, 2020 at 10:22

    Although a good idea in principle, this could become more tricky if a staff member requires support for any reason, such as a child or staff member becomes unwell, a violent incident occurs etc. Members of the public are normally unable to gain access to schools unless they go to reception first - if classes are spread across buildings then this may no longer be the case. This then becomes a safeguarding issue for pupils as well as staff. If you have more than one child at a school and they are spread across two, three or sometimes four different buildings, how can you drop off and collect at the appropriate time? Staff and children are, for the most part, familiar with their school building and what to do in the event of an evacuation etc. This would not be the case for other buildings and appropriate risk assessments would need to be carried out. Pupils are currently supervised at break and lunchtime by pupil support staff. How would this work if spread over a few buildings? How could hot meals be provided? Given that cleaning has been difficult in schools due to cutbacks and lack of staff, how would this work given the extend of cleaning required to supress any virus (not just Covid19) if there were more buildings being used?
  • Posted by Edin1234 May 06, 2020 at 10:56

    This is an excellent idea. To help manage risks, 2 -3 classes could run from one community centre, so that help is on hand in an emergency/if needed. There would have to be a mechanism for easy contact to the main/hub school. Online schooling is very patchy and inconsistent and is not appropriate to carry on indefintely - either academically or for the social development/mental health of children.
  • Posted by slf May 06, 2020 at 11:21

    This sounds a lovely idea but not possible in the world we live in today due to safety, numbers, management. Also I'm a teacher and dont work for my local council so I'd be spreading the virus.
  • Posted by pwr6666 May 09, 2020 at 08:57

    Great suggestion. It comes with challenges to address but like the nhs these should and can be addressed to meet the needs of the greater good i.e. our children’s impacted education. Learning at home is not schooling
  • Posted by TLF May 10, 2020 at 23:31

    Super idea, which invites local collaboration and innovation around logistics and support
  • Posted by TLF May 11, 2020 at 18:33

    There has been some work done on this idea in the past. Here is some work which explores the town as the school: a day in the life story: and a model concept:
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas