Scottish Schools Re-0Pening Failure

Teachers in the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) marching against Tory austerity

DESPITE the Scottish experiment of opening schools in August proving to be a total failure, the Tories proceeded with the re-opening of schools in England yesterday morning.

While millions returned to school in England, new figures emerged to prove the re-opening in Scotland has been an utter disaster.

100,000 pupils in Scotland are absent from school with attendance down to 84.5%, according to Scottish government figures.

Meanwhile a survey by teachers union NASUWT, found that ‘schools and colleges in Scotland are failing to follow essential safety measures on physical distancing, cleaning, hand hygiene and dealing with suspected cases of Covid-19.’

Data collected from local authorities in Scotland shows that more than 15.5% pupils were off school last Friday. However, only 22,821 of the absences are recorded as ‘Covid-19 related’.

Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, said it believed many parents were ‘erring on the side of caution’ and keeping children who had cold symptoms off school.

Pupils in Scotland began returning to school on 11 August after being away since March.

In the survey by NASUWT, no teachers responding to the snapshot survey were able to say that pupils in their school were always following physical distancing.

Only 5% said adults in their school are always keeping a two metre distance from others.

Nearly half (46%) said arrangements for cleaning in their school were not adequate and just over half (51%) said arrangements rely on teachers and other staff who are not trained as cleaners undertaking cleaning themselves.

NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: ‘It is deeply concerning that significant numbers of teachers are reporting a widespread failure to implement the essential safety measures designed to control the spread of Coronavirus in schools or colleges.

‘Ensuring that schools not only reopen safely, but stay open, will require detailed attention to the arrangements in schools for ensuring health and safety during the pandemic.’