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NEW FACE COVERINGS GUIDANCE FOR SENIOR PUPILS AND THEIR TEACHERS

With new classroom face covering guidance coming into effect for Dundee senior secondary pupils and their teachers at from Monday (November 2), the city council is asking them to back the new safety push.

Families in the city are also being urged to play their part by wearing face coverings at drop-off and pick-up on school grounds, even if they don’t go into the building.

The updated Scottish Government guidance has been released following the confirmation of the coronavirus levels that council areas will be in from Monday November 2.

Dundee has been confirmed as Level 3.

The new guidance states that in local authority areas in Levels 3 and 4, pupils in the senior phase – S4-6 – and their teachers should wear face coverings in classrooms, as well as when they are moving around the school and in communal areas.

Full details can be found here along with updates for school staff and pupils at the highest clinical risk (shielding).

City council children and families convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “This new guidance is part of extra efforts to keep schools open and reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.

“I have been impressed by the responsibility that has been shown around face coverings so far in our schools and I would ask that people pay close attention to these new guidelines.

“Families should play their part as well at drop off and pick up times.”

Cllr Hunter added: “Dundee is facing new restrictions because of the worrying situation in the city.

“I would ask everyone to do their bit to help drive down the number of local cases.”

The guidance on face coverings does not apply to those with exemptions.

Dundee City Council has produced a Frequently Asked Questions page on its website to explain the new measures for the city and the implications they will have on everyday life.

CONVENER ASKS FAMILIES TO THINK SAFETY FOR NEW TERM

As families prepare for the return of Dundee schools and nurseries from the October holiday on Monday (October 19), a senior councillor is asking them to think seriously about coronavirus safety for the new term.

Stewart Hunter, who is convener of children and families services, explained: “While new measures around home visiting have come in over the last few weeks which are designed to curb the spread of the virus, schools and nurseries remain open for learning and teaching

“So, this means we all have to be extra vigilant as the new term begins.

“To our pupils I would say look after yourselves and if you feel that you have any symptoms please stay away from school and get a test. We all need to act responsibly.

"There can be no let-up in our efforts to guard against the virus, and everyone has their part to play - including families who are dropping off and picking up their children.  National guidelines around issues like two metre physical distancing should be followed at all times.

“Hygiene measures will still be in place in our nurseries and schools including the staggering of breaks and lunches, as well as hand sanitising and the wearing of face coverings where appropriate.

“Secondary pupils should always wear a face covering when moving about in corridors and when they visit shops at lunchtime.

“All pupils over the age of five should be wearing a face covering when they are on school transport or public transport. It is vitally important that they do help stop the spread of the virus.

“We appreciate that some staff and children and young people who cannot wear a face covering for good reasons and that position will be respected.”

 

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As the new term begins, city council breakfast clubs will reopen, and school lunches will include a hot bagged meal.

Councillor Hunter added: “Cases that emerged in Dundee schools and nurseries last term were dealt with quickly by public health teams working closely with council officers.

“I would like to reassure families that we are all are committed to the welfare and education of every pupil.

“Since last term, the Scottish Government has confirmed that next year’s National 5 exams have been cancelled and that results will be confirmed through assessments and coursework.

“Schools will be providing more information to families in the new term about how this will go ahead and how teachers and school staff will support their children through this change.”

ROAD SAFETY WARNING AS NEW SCHOOL TERM BEGINS

Police Scotland are confirming that they will be assisting in the city council’s school road safety campaign by deploying officers to areas surrounding schools as the new term starts on Monday (October 19).

The pledge comes as a senior councillor urges families to park sensibly at schools and nurseries and to observe speed limits.

Roads Policing Sergeant William Strachan said: "Road safety is quite rightly a significant concern for parents in many schools and Police Scotland is fully committed to reducing incidents on our roads and working in partnership with schools to provide support where required.

"Speeding is always a top concern in any community especially near schools therefore motorists should always drive cautiously and slow-down. I would remind those who do the school run to not obstruct driveways, and do not park on zig zag lines. Extreme caution is required when young children are in the vicinity, so please be alert.  

"Preventative activity is carried out in Dundee throughout the year by Police to send a clear message about the importance of taking care when driving or walking to and from school. It is absolutely crucial that pupils, parents and motorists alike are aware of the dangers of the road and that we speak to each other to raise awareness.”  

 

Councillor Stewart Hunter, children and families services convener, said: “I welcome this ongoing commitment from Police Scotland to our partnership to help prevent accidents on roads outside schools and nurseries.”

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Cllr Hunter continued: “I would urge families to pay particular attention to safety when it comes to parking and driving.

 

“Please observe the 20mph speed limits around schools and do not park illegally. Each of our schools has a Safer Route map which highlights parking zones that help cut congestion.” 

For further information and advice on road safety, visit the Police Scotland website –www.scotland.police.uk - or the road safety charity, Brake https://www.brake.org.uk/