As families prepare for the return of Dundee schools and nurseries from the October holiday on Monday (October 19), a senior councillor is asking them to think seriously about coronavirus safety for the new term.
Stewart Hunter, who is convener of children and families services, explained: “While new measures around home visiting have come in over the last few weeks which are designed to curb the spread of the virus, schools and nurseries remain open for learning and teaching
“So, this means we all have to be extra vigilant as the new term begins.
“To our pupils I would say look after yourselves and if you feel that you have any symptoms please stay away from school and get a test. We all need to act responsibly.
"There can be no let-up in our efforts to guard against the virus, and everyone has their part to play - including families who are dropping off and picking up their children. National guidelines around issues like two metre physical distancing should be followed at all times.
“Hygiene measures will still be in place in our nurseries and schools including the staggering of breaks and lunches, as well as hand sanitising and the wearing of face coverings where appropriate.
“Secondary pupils should always wear a face covering when moving about in corridors and when they visit shops at lunchtime.
“All pupils over the age of five should be wearing a face covering when they are on school transport or public transport. It is vitally important that they do help stop the spread of the virus.
“We appreciate that some staff and children and young people who cannot wear a face covering for good reasons and that position will be respected.”
As the new term begins, city council breakfast clubs will reopen, and school lunches will include a hot bagged meal.
Councillor Hunter added: “Cases that emerged in Dundee schools and nurseries last term were dealt with quickly by public health teams working closely with council officers.
“I would like to reassure families that we are all are committed to the welfare and education of every pupil.
“Since last term, the Scottish Government has confirmed that next year’s National 5 exams have been cancelled and that results will be confirmed through assessments and coursework.
“Schools will be providing more information to families in the new term about how this will go ahead and how teachers and school staff will support their children through this change.”
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%.