Education Secretary John Swinney has pledged pupils and teachers who develop coronavirus symptoms will have quick access to testing when schools reopen.
He also revealed plans for a surveillance programme for potential infection in schools and other “vital health measures” including guidance for what should happen if coronavirus cases are discovered.
More details about the proposals for when children return to classes will be confirmed on Wednesday
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, Mr Swinney said: “Measures will include issues such as a surveillance programme, outbreak management protocols and quick access to testing for all symptomatic staff and pupils.
He also reiterated his warning that schools will only be allowed to reopen fully if the Scottish Government believe the spread of coronavirus has been adequately suppressed, with a final decision set to announced on July 30.
On the prospects for schools being able to welcome all pupils back from August 11, Mr Swinney said: “Having witnessed at close hand the endeavours of colleagues across the sector’s in recent weeks, I’m confident that we will continue to support our children and young people to return safely to education and to achieve the same.”
Asked whether the recent spike in new coronavirus cases in parts of Scotland could prohibit the return of schools, he said: “If we find ourselves in a situation where we are not able to effectively suppress the virus, then the opening of schools is called into question.
“We’re working very, very hard on all fronts to suppress the virus and to make sure we have all of the preparations in place for the restart of schools in August.”
Urging the public to try to prevent the spread of the disease, he added: “I’m one of the strongest advocates of the importance of reopening of schools.
“Reopening of schools will be good for the wellbeing, for the educational opportunity and for the support for young people within our society.
“It’s critical that we get schools open at the earliest possible opportunity but it has to be done safely.”
Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, has written to local authorities calling on them to recruit additional teachers to help pupils catch up after missing months of schooling.
In the letter, general secretary Larry Flanagan suggested prioritising jobs for new and recently qualified teachers rather than looking to retired staff.
“Teachers make the difference – let’s get as many as we can into our schools,” he said.
Citing lockdown’s “traumatic” impact on pupils’ attainment and wellbeing, Mr Flanagan added: “Tackling all of these aspects will be a labour-intensive process as children will need counselling, support and nurturing.
“To this end, we will need more teachers, more specialists, and more support services.”
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