Council to detail its plans for August 11 start to new school term
Scottish Borders Council has reassured parents and pupils that it’s doing its best to make schools ready for when schools restart on August 11, and detailed information will be provided beforehand.
All the region’s schools have been closed from the start of the lockdown, other than a few hubs which opened up for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
Tracey Logan, chief executive of the local authority, said: “In line with the national agreement, our schools will open on 11 August – a week earlier than we would normally restart after the summer holiday.
“It cannot be overestimated how challenging it is to put in place the necessary arrangements to ensure that we can deliver high quality learning in a safe environment for pupils and staff from this date.
“We have a significant number of pupils using school transport and fewer and smaller schools than urban areas, which all impact on how we can adapt our education arrangements, which will involve both in-school and home learning. As one example, a 72-seater coach can only transport 10 people with social distancing of two metres maintained.
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“We absolutely appreciate that parents and carers will be wanting to know what the arrangements will look like for their children and young people and we will endeavour to provide that information as soon as possible.”
This week, we reported that the council was reviewing its options regarding the extension building at Galashiels Academy, which was supposed to be demolished this summer, but teachers say it would greatly help in socially distancing pupils.
Ms Logan added: “At this time I’d like to express my thanks to all the staff who have been supporting vulnerable children and the children of key workers in our childcare hubs. It is also important to recognise the staff who have been helping our young people learn from home through a variety of means, and of course parents and carers who have been thrust into home-schooling. All your efforts will help to smooth the transition back to school.”