Latest Service Update - Schools

Updated guidance on reducing the risk of COVID-19 in schools has been published.  The guidance introduces an important change to self-isolation arrangements.  From the start of term: 

  • Whole classes and large groups will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days if a member of the class/group tests positive 
  • Only the children and young people who Public Health believe are at the highest risk of being exposed to infection will be asked to self-isolate and take a PCR test   
  • A negative PCR test result will enable an asymptomatic learner to return to school and end their period of self-isolation.   
  • Only those returning a positive result or displaying symptoms will be asked to complete their 10-day isolation.   

Families will still be advised of positive cases in their child’s class and we ask that you remain vigilant to the symptoms of COVID-19 in order to limit any risk to our children and young people. 

The vast majority of control measures in place in June 2021 will remain in place until the end of September.  This includes the need for secondary pupils to wear face coverings on school transport and in schools.  Primary children are no longer required to wear face coverings on school transport.  One-way systems, physical distancing and staggered entry and departure arrangements will remain in place as well as enhanced cleaning arrangements.  The change in contact tracing arrangements will allow schools to relax some arrangements put in place to maintain ‘bubbles’ and schools will consider what this means when they return for the new term.   

Risk assessments for 2021/22 

Pupils return to school on Tuesday 17th August.  Schools will open with the same controls as were in place last term so the risk assessment in place at the end of June will apply in the first instance.  School staff will review arrangements all arrangements in keeping with the updated national guidance.  As risk assessments are updated and agreed, they are posted on school websites.   

Aberdeen City Council will continue to review local arrangements following the publication of any updated national guidance with the first update anticipated at the end of September.  We will keep you up to date with any resultant changes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Aberdeen City Council worked to national guidance to determine the controls required to minimise the risk of infection.  We also work closely with our local Public Health team who continue to offer advice and guidance.  All mitigations put in place are detailed in individual risk assessments which are posted on school websites. 

Physical distancing between adults, and between adults and children and young people, should remain in place in the school estate where possible. Schools who can maintain 2m distancing should do so, 1m distancing can be applied in exceptional circumstances. 

All school staff and secondary pupils who engage in the LFD testing programme are encouraged to restart twice weekly, at home LFD testing in the week prior to the return to school. Ideally, tests would be taken on a Wednesday and Sunday evenings, ready for the first day of school 

In line with the move to Level 0 and beyond, children and young people can now engage in all drama, music, PE and dance activity in schools, indoors and outdoors 

Only young people aged 12 and over are required to wear face coverings. This means that children aged 5-11, who were previously asked to wear face coverings, no longer need to do so.  

Physical distancing between passengers who travel on dedicated school transport is not required. Pupils should be supported to understand that, where possible, it is safer to keep a distance from other people. As a precautionary measure, we recommend that 1m distancing between drivers and children and young people on dedicated school transport should continue to be observed where possible.

When physical distancing restrictions on public transport are removed, measures to increase capacity on public transport for school pupils, e.g. dedicated zones, will not be necessary. It is acceptable for pupils from different schools to share dedicated school transport.  This change will impact on Lochside and Hazlehead Academy only. 

Secondary aged pupils are asked to wear face coverings on school transport and in school until the end of September.  The wearing of face coverings will be reviewed when the national return to school guidance is updated at the end of September.  Primary children no longer require to wear a face covering on school transport. 

If your child is exempt from wearing a face covering they will not be required to wear a face covering. 

The return to school guidance in place for August 2021 asks that schools review arrangements in keeping with the updated guidance within the first few weeks of the new term.  This will allow school staff the opportunity to review their risk assessments.  Schools will advise parents and carers of any changes. 

No, secondary schools have a small supply of face coverings for those who forget to bring their own face covering.   

The health and wellbeing of our children and young people is of paramount importance.  Schools and the education service continue to review arrangements in light of the needs of our children, young people and families. 

All eligible children will receive their 1140 hours of ELC from August 2021. 

We await further information on arrangements for the exam diet in 2022 and will ensure that young people and parents and carers are kept informed of arrangements.   

Schools continue to use Local Authority guidance to deliver transition support. Individual schools contact families if there were any changes to their transition programme.

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