Breaking COVID19

Concerns have been raised over the decision for schools to remain open in areas where level four restrictions will come into effect from Friday evening.

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Despite non-essential shops being forced to close and a non-essential travel ban becoming law for these 11 council areas, Nicola Sturgeon has maintained the position that schools will remain open for the three weeks restrictions are in place.
The First Minister announced the weekly review decision on Tuesday – affecting areas mostly in the west of Scotland – with restrictions in force from 6pm on Friday until December 11.
In response to the news, the NASUWT teaching union said blended learning – where pupils learn at home and school – should be used to help protect pupils and staff.
NASUWT national official for Scotland Jane Peckham said: “The First Minister has said that pupils who are extremely clinically vulnerable should not attend school, but only that adults in level four areas who are clinically extremely vulnerable will receive further advice and will not automatically be exempted from attending their workplace.
“Given the risks, the NASUWT believes that all clinically vulnerable teachers in level four areas should be advised to work from home.
“Serious concerns also remain about the risks to other groups of teachers working in level four areas who are vulnerable to Covid-19 transmission, including those who are pregnant, those who have other underlying health conditions or disabilities or who are from higher-risk groups such as BAME teachers.
“Ministers now need to go further and issue more robust measures to protect all staff, including those who fall into these higher-risk categories and who should also be receiving additional protection.”
The calls to protect staff and move to a model of blended learning were echoed by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) general secretary Larry Flanagan.
He said: “The EIS is clear that, in areas that are now at level four, the current policy of keeping schools operating as normal on a full-time basis is at odds with delivering effective virus suppression.
“It is not only about the safety of schools themselves, it’s about the role of schools in terms of local community transmission.
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