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Planning and preparation to ensure the safe return of children and young people to Clackmannanshire schools and Early Years Centres is well underway.
The Council's Education Service is working on a Phasing Plan which will see some pupils return to schools on 12 August. However this will be a phased return and not all pupils will return on the same day.
The move comes after the Scottish Government announced that all schools in Scotland will re-open on a phased basis in August. Education staff in Clackmannanshire will return on 10th and 11th August for two days of essential training with pupils returning from 12th August.
COVID-19 guidance issued by the Scottish Government means that schools will look very different to what they were prior to the outbreak. The "new normal" will include much less pupils in classrooms to ensure safe social distancing and schools delivering education in a blended manner which will include a mixture of face to face learning, digital learning and out of school learning.
Cllr Graham Lindsay, the Council’s Spokesperson for Education, said:
"This has been an extremely difficult time for parents and carers as they juggle supporting their children’s learning at home with the many day to day commitments they have such as work or caring responsibilities.
"We also understand that the prospect of a return to school will be a very anxious time for many but I want to reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of our children and young people and also our staff is a top priority. As part of our Phasing Plan, our Health and Safety team are carrying out risk assessments at every education and Early Years establishment in Clackmannanshire looking at the new social distancing guidelines and considering how the classroom and learning spaces can be adapted to safely accommodate learners and staff. This means that the numbers of pupils in each classroom will be considerably less than before. This major task is expected to be completed shortly.
"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our education staff who are doing their very best under challenging circumstances to ensure that learning has continued throughout this time via our digital education tool FlipClacks. We appreciate your understanding and support during this difficult time as we work to create a "new normal" for our children and young people."
The Council’s Education Service's Phased Plan which includes:
The Plan will also take into account:
Lorraine Sanda, Chief Education Officer, said:
"The last few months have been the most difficult we have ever experienced but our education community, including our parents and carers have risen to the challenge in so many different ways.
"Families have been doing an amazing job supporting their children at home, while our schools and education staff have made huge strides with online learning over the past few months. I am so impressed with the innovative ways they have been engaging children. We aim to build positively on this in the months to come in different ways, and we will keep everyone informed as we move to the "new normal" way of education."
Education updates via our Learning and Childcare pages.