The SNCT Teachers’ Side wrote to John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, urging caution in plans for reopening of schools. The position of all unions is that the safety of pupils and staff is and can only be the first consideration and that schools should reopen in August . In his response the Deputy First Minister stated:
“Whilst the Scottish Government is clear that we don’t want restrictions to be in place any longer than they need to be, the decision on when and how to re-open schools will not be taken lightly. As you say in your letter, we believe that “stay at home” remains the right message at this time but we are continuing to assess different means of easing restrictions”.
“Any decisions made regarding the timing of school opening will be guided by the science and schools will not re-open until the science indicates that it is safe to do so. Decisions on this will align with the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) framework for decision making which sets out the challenges Scotland faces and outlines the approach and principles that will guide us as we make decisions about transitioning out of the current lockdown arrangements”.
See the Deputy First Minister’s letter.
Within the COVID19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) a number of workstreams have been established to develop guidelines for the reopening of schools and other educational settings. The CERG has been advising the Deputy First Minister on actions necessary. We await a statement on Thursday from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the route map that will give an up-to-date view of the phasing of a return to school. At this point the SSTA is unable to predict what decision will be taken and what the implications will be for members.
Following the First Minister’s statement and consideration of the accompanying detailed guidance the SSTA will be issuing advice to members.