Support for Pupils in Pandemic Praised


2nd September 2020

Dundee school staff are being thanked for their efforts over the period of lockdown and for ensuring that nurseries, primaries and secondaries have reopened to welcome pupils back.

The important roles of those supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable young people through the coronavirus crisis are also being praised in a new report, which will be considered on Monday September 7.

The children and families committee will be told of the work that has being going on since schools closed in March and how services are now looking to recover as restrictions ease.

The delivery of eight Community Support Centres during lockdown ensured that:

• Approximately 650 pupils attended the centres daily, which is a significantly high proportion of pupils compared to the national average for provision during lockdown
• 86% of other pupils already receiving additional support before the outbreak were contacted to offer and/or provide support at least weekly by school staff
• 100% of children on the Child Protection Register were seen and supported by Social Work staff at least fortnightly
• 100% of care leavers aged up to 26 years were seen and supported by the Aftercare Team at least fortnightly
• 100% of families with disabled children who were receiving respite before lockdown started were offered alternative support

The principles informing the establishment of the centres and the flexible maintenance of key services through the pandemic are being sustained through all stages of recovery. 

Committee members will be told that as coronavirus cases emerge following the return of pupils, an incident response team is working across the children and families service alongside Public Health and NHS experts.

Communications have been developed to ensure that parents/carers, pupils, staff and partners receive key information. Mechanisms for fast track testing where required are in place alongside protocols for cleaning with Tayside Contracts.

Children and families services convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “Everyone in our children and families services has played a crucial role throughout lockdown and continues to do so as we move forward.

“I would like to thank them all for their efforts, which helped support our children and young people through a very difficult time.”

Cllr Hunter added: “Nobody is in any doubt that significant challenges lie ahead not only for the service, but for the entire city.

“The recent outbreak at Kingspark School and the emergence of other pupil cases demonstrates that we cannot be complacent and that the virus is continuing to have an impact.

“This recovery plan shows us a roadmap that will help us to move forward.

“I am confident services will recover because of the dedication and commitment of our various teams, backed up by the support of city families.”

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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