School Closures – SSTA Members Advice

The First Minister made a statement on Wednesday 18 March that all schools are closed as from the 17.00 on Friday 20 March. The closure of schools is on medical and scientific advice. There must be no normal lessons, including senior classes, taking place after this date as schools are closed.

Arrangements for making provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children in school buildings is at an early stage. The number of pupils and the number of staff (teacher and other workers) required has not been determined as yet.

Local authorities are making arrangements for meals for vulnerable children and this may involve the use of school buildings.

The detailed arrangements for pupils in S4 to S6 to meet the requirements of SQA during this emergency have not issued to schools. Until such time members are advised to work remotely and create no new work for pupils.

At this time no senior phase pupils should be in school and this was confirmed by the DFM John Swinney last night on television. No member should be asked to attend school to teach senior pupils at this time. SSTA would like to remind all members that it is important that teachers act professionally and with integrity during this difficult time. Any deviation from this may lead to claims of malpractice.

SSTA Advice

The first consideration for members is your own personal safety.

  • If you, or a member of your household, have any of the symptoms then you must follow the health guidance and isolate.
  • If you have an underlying health condition, or are a part of a vulnerable group, you must work from home.
  • If you have caring responsibilities and are unable to make alternative arrangements then you must stay at home.
  • If you are not able to attend work please inform your employer in the normal way. Early notice is important.

If you are fit for work

  • Please inform your Headteacher that you are available and that you wish to volunteer your services.
  • Schools must ensure a ‘risk assessment’ has taken place that includes provision of necessary cleaning materials and measures to prevent close contact.
  • Schools need to prepare a schedule for the supervision of pupils and a rota for available staff.
  • Do not attend work if you have not been assigned a specific child caring responsibility. Avoid unnecessary journeys.
  • Do not attend work to take part in a meeting. This is an unnecessary risk.
  • All meetings must be conducted remotely.
  • All planning work should take place at home.

Supply Teachers

During this difficult time of staff shortages all supply teachers are required. If you are fit to work please inform your local authority and ask to be assigned to a school. Please follow the advice above.

The situation is constantly changing and we will issue further advice in the coming days.

Published on 20 March 2020 - Information for Members