Covid Christmas: Leaked paper from COSLA exposes plans to prolong school holidays

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MEMO LEAKED.

According to a leaked COSLA document, the Scottish government is considering extending the Christmas school vacations.

On Jan. 11, instead of between Jan. 5 and 7, students around the country will theoretically return to school, as most students and teachers currently expect.

Yesterday, at a meeting of the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group, council leaders discussed the government ministers’ proposal to limit the spread of coronavirus after holiday meetings.

The Daily Record confirmed that the leaked document contained a plan to place schools in December over a five-day period on a “temporary distance learning system” and that council leaders were asked for their “thoughts” on the winter holiday period between Dec. 19 and Jan. 11.

The memo, released by The Daily Record, read, “From Dec. 18, 2020, to Jan. 11, 2021, the Scottish Government is considering a national extension of the Christmas holiday, either on the basis that schools remain closed or the temporary introduction of distance learning.”

“Scottish Government officials have indicated that the aims of an extension would be to ensure that school staff are not busy socializing over the Christmas period,” he said.

Following the general relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period, an extension would serve as a “An extension would serve as a ‘pause’ after the general relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period.”

Some of the questions raised about extending the holiday season are also mentioned in the study, including child care for key workers, union demands to turn to distance learning, examinations and free school meals.

It says:’ The following points were posed for consideration by early input from civil servants, SOLACE and ADES to the Scottish Government.

The need to understand clinical guidance and any modeling for school staff and pupils on the effects of further easing of restrictions over Christmas.

Clarity as a backdrop for school closure on the relations with broader constraints and levels.

Evidence to date from the Scottish Government has shown that schools pose a low risk of transmission.

This proposal could have consequences for future consideration of whether schools, particularly given the concerns of the unions, should remain open.

As this has previously been provided by school staff, there would be no provision for emergency childcare, and therefore there are implications for key workers and vulnerable children and young people.’

It remains uncertain if early education and child care facilities will be closed during this time.

Taking into account the potential loss of learning opportunities, particularly those related to testing.

“The need to provide funding clarity and ensure that resources are met for free school meals, etc.

“If a change to distance learning is needed, it will take time for local authorities and schools to plan.

‘Practical consequences, including the right to resign, 195 contract periods and the possible effect on pensions, the status of other school employees, compliance with current transport and cleaning contracts, and probably a provision that teaching staff, as was the case during the initial time of closure, should not be disadvantaged.’

Remember to consider the risks of getting together over the holidays, especially if your household has vulnerable people.

This guide will help you remain as safe as possible if you choose to spend Christmas with family and friends.

Pic.twitter.com/iKhNlHhbfI https://t.co/i1QaIU09GY
-Government of Scotland (@scotgov) November 26, 2020

Matthew Sweeney, COSLA’s policy manager for children and young people, signed the document.

It comes after the Scottish Government released its full guidelines yesterday in relation to Christmas period meetings, in which it announced that up to three households will be permitted to assemble between 23 and 27 December over a five-day Christmas period.

It notes that three households can gather between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 during the five-day holiday period. It also advises that those planning to bubble should restrict their social interaction with others as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission and protect their loved ones before and after bubble formation.

When the government urges families to v v, one Scottish teacher who wants to remain anonymous said,

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