October 20, 2021

Scotland: New face covering rules to introduce in schools & some warned to use hand gel ‘sparingly’

Use hand sanitizing gel :-

Strict hygiene measures put by Scottish schools place since they reopened a fortnight ago. Unions say costs linked to protection from Covid must not come from the education budget. Schools across Scotland have introduced a number of measures to try to protect staff and students. These include hand sanitizers and extra cleaning.

Generally these costs are being met by councils centrally so are not placing a financial burden on schools or education budgets directly. But this has not always happened straight away.

One head teacher at a school in the west of Scotland said the costs of basic protection were having to be met from their school’s own budget.

They said their school was facing additional costs of about £20,000 – these included sanitizing gel, toilet paper and masks.

The cost does not fall to individual schools or have any direct implications for the education budget.

The Scottish government has given councils more money to help them meet costs linked to the pandemic.

Use face masks :-

The government is in the “final stages” of consultations with teachers and councils about having pupils wear face coverings while moving between classes.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was acting in response to new guidance from the World Health Organization.

Ministers are also considering whether to make masks mandatory on school transport – but not inside classrooms.

The use of face coverings in schools is currently voluntary, although some schools have started advising staff and pupils to wear them to help combat the spread of Covid-19.

Young people returned to Scotland’s schools earlier in August with no requirements for physical distancing between younger pupils, and no rules around face coverings.

However, over the weekend the World Health Organization (WHO) issued fresh guidance saying children over the age of 12 should wear masks.

Sturgeon said the current consultation was only on a “limited” use of face coverings in schools, because of “the relatively low levels of transmission we are currently seeing in the community”.

However she added that “where there are outbreaks there is an option for incident management teams to recommend more extensive use of face coverings for a period to protect public health”.

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