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Schools offered support

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By Fiona Reid
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Schools offered support

INCREASED support is being offered to schools in the region to help staff and pupils cope with the emotional stresses from children returning to classes amid Covid-19 and any conflicts it causes.

Scottish Mediation, the professional body for mediators in Scotland, has written to Dumfries and Galloway Council offering its support following the implementation of a service launched nationally to help resolve issues which have arisen out of the coronavirus lockdown and the transition out of it.

Scottish Mediation director Graham Boyack said: “We are hearing genuine concerns for some children about how they are coping emotionally with the return to school and what the impact of the events of the last few months have had on their mental health and wellbeing.

“Some of them may have suffered personal losses or had family difficulties as a result of the pandemic, others may be anxious about the risks of falling ill or are finding it a challenge to cope socially being back among their peers. In every school everyone is getting used to working within changes and adaptations in place to reduce the dangers presented by Covid-19, which has the potential to spill into conflict. Social distancing is not a natural state of mind for youngsters and many find themselves frustrated. We can support people with how to manage this.

“The last thing anyone wants to see is conflict anywhere, but particularly in the positive environment of a school.”

The additional support could also help deal with situations such as negotiating with those who refuse to attend school or about negotiating friendships and creating new ones.

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