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Return to school was ‘smooth’

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By Fiona Reid
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Return to school was 'smooth'

THE region's return to school was 'smooth', according to education boss Dr Gillian Brydson.

She told councillors last week that the reopening on August 12 went well, as has the return to learning and teaching.

She said: “We see pupils back in classrooms and learning, we have adapted to new routines.

“We thank all our parents and carers, pupils and staff for their support and understanding as we work through some of this.

“It’s meant we had to adapt to a new working practice across all our schools. Every school building is different, the settings and contexts are different, so we had to work through what this means at individual teacher and class level.”

Dr Brydson revealed the priorities have been cleaning, meals and transport, adding: “Through the commitment of everyone to get schools back open, we are very pleased with what we have achieved.

“Schools are now working with targeted support using our recovery curriculum with a focus on numeracy and literacy.”

The importance of digital is also being emphasised and local virtual resources are being developed, in case of a local lockdown in the future.

They will also be able to be used by people who are unable to attend school for a range of reasons.

Dr Brydson confirmed that counsellors are available in schools for anyone with concerns and she said the education psychology service is leading on positive mental health.

‘Good communication’ is also in place with the region’s public health team.

The education director added: “We know we can respond efficiently and effectively when required.

“Ensuring our schools are safe for all has been our priority. We want staff, pupils, parents to have complete confidence, knowing we have put arrangements in place to make sure we keep people safe and we continue to review those arrangements.”

Meanwhile, education committee chairman Cllr Jeff Leaver summed up the impact on education from covid.

He said: “This has been quite an amazing year really for everyone, especially in terms of education, the way in which things have changed over the last few months.

“There’s been huge amount of change in this period and it’s testament to members of staff within education and learning, to parents who have been involved with home schooling and particularly to pupils who have had to put up with a huge amount of disruption in their lives at crucial time.

“I would like to pay testament on behalf of the committee and all members of the council to thank them for all efforts.”

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