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Council prepares for schools to return

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By Fiona Reid
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Council prepares for schools to return

PARENTS are to receive an information pack from the council about the return to school.

It is expected to be confirmed today that schools in the region will resume full time on August 12. And education officials are preparing to communicate with families about what to expect.

The ‘Parent Packs’ will include information on areas such as transport and free school meals.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that it will cost £2.2 million to restart education locally up to October, with £470,000 needed for cleaning, £328,000 for transport, £80,000 on cashless catering and £1.3m to cover staff costs. The Scottish Government has committed funding of £100 Million to support the national return to school and it is anticipated that the allocation to Dumfries and Galloway will be around £1.37 million.

At a meeting today, councillors will be told more about the restart plans, including the ‘recovery curriculum’ which will focus on pupils’ wellbeing and mental health. They will hear that all buildings have been risk assessed and support is in place for staff with medical conditions to return safely, as well as for pupils with additional needs. In regards to cleaning, a “Find it Clean, Keep it Clean” regime is being adopted across all schools with anti-viral wipes available in all classrooms and spaces alongside a daytime cleaning model which ensures there are staff on site to continually clean the higher risk areas such as toilets, and touch points such as door handles and switches. In addition, there will be mobile units created who will be available to meet any specific demand such as staff absence or suspected cases. Public health advice is being taken with regards to school meals and a phased return to hot food provision is planned.

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