FAQs for parents about the re-opening of schools and nurseries content
In light of the announcement from Deputy First Minister John Swinney that schools could re-open full-time from August 11, we have produced an updated version of these FAQs.
The local authority will be working with the Scottish Government, staff, trade unions and parent councils to prepare for the re-opening of our schools.
Each school has produced an individual plan for blended learning, which will be kept as a contingency in case circumstances change.
These have been sent directly to families by schools and will feature on the school website.
The council will continue to communicate regularly with families about developments through this website www.dundeecity.gov.uk as well as social media channels.
We have had questions from parents and carers about our schools and nurseries re-opening which have informed these FAQs.
The planning for re-opening and recovery for all schools and nurseries is based on these guiding principles:
Plans must protect the physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of children and young people as well as all staff.
Fair and Ethical
Plans should ensure every child has the same opportunity to succeed through their blend of in-school and in-home learning, with a particular focus on closing the poverty related attainment gap; and therefore be able to prioritise learners at key points and/or with specific needs.
Plans should be easy to interpret and understand, and have the confidence of parents, staff and young people so that they can plan ahead.
Plans must be possible and achievable within the resources that each school and the Council has available.
- When will schools and nurseries re-open?
Staff returned to Dundee schools and local authority nurseries from Monday June 15 as preparations continue to welcome children and young people back to the classroom from August 11. Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced on Tuesday June 23 that if Scotland continues to make progress on suppressing coronavirus, schools will return full time.
- What plans will be in place to make sure that my child is safe when returning to school/nursery?
A risk assessment plan is in place for every school and nursery to ensure that there are appropriate safety measures. If there are any additional considerations for your child’s health and safety, please discuss these with your child’s school/nursery.
Some children and young people need additional support, which means that different considerations are required, for example, where staff need to help with intimate care, provision of some medications and healthcare supports. However, schools will be carrying out individual risk assessments to ensure everyone stays safe. For example, they will decide whether PPE should be worn. At all times the wellbeing, safety and best interests of your child and the staff will be carefully considered.
The decision to reopen schools will be based on scientific evidence. This suggests that the virus is sufficiently under control to start planning for reopening, and that by putting measures in place and making sure everything is kept clean and hygienic, children can return safely.
- Will other buildings being used for children to attend, other than schools?
We have been exploring a number of options around each school and its individual circumstances as part of our contingency planning.
There are many things that would have to be taken into consideration around the use of other buildings, including the availability of cleaning services and safe access.
These plans would only be used if changing circumstances prevented full-time re-opening.
- How will children with Additional Support Needs be supported in planning their return to school?
All schools and nurseries must have considered planning for children and young people with Additional Support Needs in their recovery plans. They should be based on what they already know about the child’s needs and review their individual plans this in light of any impact of Covid-19. If there are things which have increased the vulnerability of a child, this will be considered in the planning for their return. We are not able to offer additional time in school/nursery only on the basis of Additional Support Needs as we have to take other factors into account, in particular the safety of all children and staff.
- What about key workers?
The council’s network of eight community support centres will continue to operate over the summer period, providing not only critical childcare for key workers, but also helping to look after some of the most vulnerable children in the city.
- How can I find out what the plan is for my child’s school?
You can visit the school’s website or contact the Head Teacher. If you follow Twitter, there are regular updates from schools and nurseries throughout the week. Schools have been developing blogs to showcase their learning developments and to share good practice, with examples at Our Lady's Primary and Fintry Primary
- What about school uniform policy?
This has been discussed with our Parent Council chairs, Head Teachers and our Convenors. We have reached agreement that individual schools will make the decision about school uniform policy at local level. Head Teachers will discuss this with their Parent Councils and the wider parent forum to agree the approach for their own community.
The answers to other questions which you may have are available on the ParentClub website.