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Warning that remote learning could return

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Front
Warning that remote learning could return

SOME pupils across the region may have to return to home schooling in the coming days due to a high number of teacher absences through covid.

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education chiefs stressed that this will be for a short time only, and no pupils preparing for exams will be negatively affected.

Gillian Brydson, the council director of education and learning, wrote to parents last week informing them that remote learning may be necessary in some cases due to teachers being off work due to self-isolation rules.

At last week’s education committee, chairman Jeff Leaver said: “We know how challenging the last two years have been for all.

“So, the education team and wider council want our pupils to be in classrooms to learn again whenever possible.

“Although mitigations have been removed, this is against a background of a significant number of positive covid cases within our staff and pupils.

“The director wrote out to parents last week to note that there may be occasions in the run up to Easter that as a result of staff unavailability, we may have to ask individual classes or year groups to move to remote learning for a very short time.

“We are only asking pupils to do this if the situation is unavoidable because of staff absences, and it’ll be for as short a time as possible.

“To make sure exam preparation is not impacted, the senior phase pupils are being prioritised for face-to-face teaching.

“Once again, thank you to parents, pupils and staff for your continued support and understanding with this difficult, but temporary situation impacting on some schools.

“We all hope we can return to normal teaching and learning soon.”

Dr Brydson added: “It’s difficult with such high absences but we are confident that after Easter we will be returning to more normal face-to-face teaching.”

Since the 2021/22 school term began last August, there have been some temporary closures of schools and nurseries, causing a headache for parents.

However, after cases were looked at in “forensic detail”, it was found that covid transmissions have been occurring mainly in the community and rarely in schools.

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