The Scottish Government statement on 30 July committed schools to reopen to all pupils by 18 August. This was supported by the Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020 document.
This document was to be the reassurance for schools that they would be safe to return. It is expected that all the measures included in the document would be the minimum requirement for schools to return. In addition, the SSTA issued advice that went further to highlight the importance of keeping teachers safe. The SSTA has been in contact with the employers and Government to urge them to add additional measures to protect all staff in schools.
Unfortunately we are getting reports from schools that many of the measures necessary for the reopening schools have not been implemented and members are being put at risk. Members have reported dirty classrooms, no additional cleaning schedules, lack of hand sanitisers, no additional cleaning materials in classrooms, and a disregard of physical distancing measures. It appears to us that many schools are not ready to receive pupils and schools should be considering delaying the return of pupils. It is the duty of the employer to ensure staff safety and act upon all risk assessments. The SSTA has informed COSLA and the Government of the unpreparedness of schools and expects action to be taken to address these issues.
Should your school not have all the necessary arrangements in place to ensure staff safety and the receiving of pupils you should write to the Head Teacher outlining their concerns and asking about the Risk Assessments which should have been done and acted upon. The Headteacher should provide a written response. Please copy your correspondence and reply to email@example.com. The examples returned will be used in discussions with employers and Government to ensure safe working environments.
Tuesday 11 August 2020