New Covid safety fears as over 80% of Scots teachers are not confident over classroom social distancing

AN OVERWHELMING majority of teachers in Scotland have said they are not confident social distancing can be maintained in the classroom on the eve of the re-opening of schools, it has emerged.

A poll of nearly 30,000 teachers finally completed underlines the serious safety concerns they have in advance of primary and secondary schools re-opening from Tuesday.

Schools in the Borders and Shetland are first to reopen with most local authorities following on Wednesday.

EIS, Scotland’s biggest teaching union, which carried out the poll, says it is continuing talks at the 11th hour at national and local level to seek resolutions to teachers’ concerns.

Some 81.9% have said they registered varying degrees of a lack of confidence over the ability to keep the required 2m distance in the classroom – as they registered further concerns about Covid-19 safety in schools.

Three in four have said they feel unsafe returning to school with the majority saying they feel uncomfortable teaching without social distancing between pupils.

READ MORE: Scots schools Covid safety fears as teachers survey reveals “high degree of concern” over re-opening

And some three in four say there should be priority testing available for asymptomatic teachers, with a further 57% saying it should also be available for pupils.ADVERTISING

A total of 29,867 teachers completed the survey from its launch on August 4 to the Monday morning – the largest survey return the union has ever had.

Some 60% expressed support for the decision to reopen schools but a similar figure, 66%, expressing anxiety and a lack of confidence that sufficient mitigations would be in place.

Mark Lambert
Author: Mark Lambert

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