Caution and Patience Urged for School Return


12th March 2021

Dundee families are being urged to exercise caution and patience as more pupils return to the classroom from Monday March 15.

P4-7 classes are going back to lessons full-time, while secondaries will open their doors again to all years on a phased basis. Secondary pupils will be asked to observe 2 metre distancing and wear face coverings* inside.

Priority is being given to young people in S4-6 working towards national qualifications. Secondary schools are in direct touch with families about how temporary timetables will operate until the Easter break.

Staff resources needed to deliver the secondary return under national distancing restrictions will mean that live remote teaching will look very different for those remaining at home in the meantime.

Pupils are being advised of more online education resources to cover their learning until the holiday.

Meanwhile, a senior councillor is asking everyone from Dundee’s school communities to follow guidance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep the return as safe as possible.

This includes:

  • Families should observe 2 metre physical distancing while dropping off and picking up outside nursery or school, while they are also encouraged to wear face coverings
  • Secondary pupils observing 2 metres physical distancing in school
  • Secondary pupils wearing a face covering while in school
  • They should also wear a face covering if travelling by bus or visiting local shops
  • 1 metre physical distancing applies on school buses
  • Key workers requiring support should ensure that requests for all places are a last resort and only for days where no other option is available

Councillor Stewart Hunter, children and families convener, said: “It has taken an enormous effort by all of our school staff to prepare for this latest phase of return and I would like to thank them all.

“The pandemic is presenting a number of challenges but we are all determined to do everything to keep our pupils and staff safe.

“Our secondary schools have been communicating directly with families about arrangements for the return and I know that the opinions of young people have been listened to and taken into consideration.

“We are also remaining in close contact with parent councils about developments.

“I would ask for patience from families for the fourteen days of school that this return will cover.

“This will be an exciting time for the P4-7 and secondary pupils who have not seen their classmates and teachers for a long time.

“All going well, all pupils will be back full-time after the Easter holiday, but we have to stick with the guidance after we have come so far.”

Meanwhile, lateral flow tests will continue to be offered to S4-6 pupils and school staff. National plans have been announced for the tests to be offered to S1-3 pupils after the Easter break.

Nursery children and P1-3 classes have been back in their buildings since Monday February 22.

The Easter holiday begins from the end of the school day on Thursday April 1.

*The guidance on face coverings does not apply to those with exemptions.

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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