Scottish teachers 'back' today - but not many

Apart from heads and hub staff, Scottish schools were largely empty today – despite teachers being told they can return

Emma Seith

Coronavirus: Scotland's teachers could go back to school today - but not many did, according to reports

In theory, teachers in Scotland could start returning to their schools from today. However, Tes Scotland understands that very few have actually been back – on the same day when an estimated 2 million children were expected to return to English primary schools

The return of staff in Scotland will not take place until risk assessments and deep cleans have taken place, according to EIS teaching union general secretary Larry Flanagan.

Meanwhile, Jim Thewliss, the general secretary of secondary heads’ organisation School Leaders Scotland, said that most schools were planning for the return of staff in two weeks' time, on Monday 15 June.

Easing lockdown Sturgeon says teachers can return from next week

CoronavirusMore teachers needed to reopen schools, says government

Schools reopening: Many pupils returning to school in England

Mr Thewliss said: “There will not be very many teachers at all in school today. The word we are getting is what they are planning for is two weeks hence – they are looking at the final two weeks of term. They are getting their heads together over the course of this week and next and planning for the 15th.”

Coronavirus: Teachers 'not yet back in Scotland's schools'

East Renfrewshire Council has said that some nursery children and P7 pupils will return to school on a rota basis from 15 June. It was the first council to confirm its arrangement for a phased return to schools.

The council said it was important that pupils in “key transition groups” got the opportunity to return to a school setting before the summer holidays.

Mr Flanagan said: “There should not be [teachers in today] because the government advice is that before staff return to school there has to be a deep clean and a joint risk assessment looking specifically at a number of Covid-19 issues. I doubt very much if many councils have carried that out because even if they have risk assessments for the buildings – which they will have – these will have to be new risk assessments done in relation to Covid-19.

“There may be the odd headteacher in but there should not be staff in any numbers in school – except for the hubs [where vulnerable pupils and children of key workers are being looked after], obviously.”

Mr Flanagan added that the guidance on reopening schools published last week was “detailed in its requirements” and that headteachers and councils would be spending the coming days getting to grips with that and putting it into practice before teachers return.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

Latest stories

Here is how to ensure effective safeguarding mechanisms

Safeguarding: 5 golden principles for leaders

The need for colleges and schools to have effective safeguarding practices has never been more apparent. This lawyer has some advice on what to look out for
Sophie Kemp 11 May 2021