The Scottish Government has published two new documents related to the return to in-person learning in schools and early learning and childcare (ELC) settings.
Policy Scotland Director Professor Chris Chapman has been involved in developing both pieces of advice, as a member of the Coronavirus (COVID19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues and though his work for the COVID-19 Education Recovery workstream.
Mitigations to minimise transmission of COVID-19
The Coronavirus (COVID19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues has published advice on mitigations to minimise transmission of COVID-19 during phased return to in-person learning in schools and early learning and childcare (ELC) settings
In support of the advice on the phased return to in-person learning in schools and early learning and childcare (ELC) settings published on 3 February, the advisory sub-group has considered its existing advice on the mitigations required to ensure a safe return to in-person learning for staff and pupils, and has identified some key areas where the advice should be strengthened. Where no amendment has been made, the existing advice still stands.
This advice is subject to continued reductions in prevalence and community transmission of the virus, no significant changes in the evidence, and reassurance that appropriate infection prevention and control mitigations are in place both within schools and ELC settings, and in the wider community.
Senior phase learners’ return to school
The Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) has published technical guidance on the senior phase learners return to school.
This has been prepared by Education Scotland, working with partners, to provide clarity and support for local authorities and secondary schools on providing arrangements for small groups of senior phase learners to return to school (subject to confirmation on 16 February and scheduled to be from the week commencing 22 February 2021).
This limited return of learners is for the purpose of completing the learning and teaching of critical practical work in relation to qualifications in 2021 that can only be carried out in school.