SUGGESTIONS for primary pupils’ return to school in Scotland’s largest city have come to light.

Under the plan classes in Glasgow will be split into two with one group having lessons from 9am to 3pm - or possibly slightly longer - on Monday and Tuesday and the second for the same hours on Thursday and Friday.

Pupils from the same family at primary school should be put into the same group so they can attend lessons on the same days, under the plans.

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Schools will be cleaned on Wednesdays to try and prevent any spread of the coronavirus between the two sets of pupils.

It is understood discussions are underway between the council and child care bodies and charities to possibly provide some “very limited” childcare outside school settings on the days their children are not in school.

The proposals are still under some discussion and will have to be agreed with the trade unions.

They were outlined to parents’ representatives earlier this week by Glasgow City Council’s Director of Education Maureen McKenna.

She told the meeting that schools will start again, for pupils, as planned, on August 13, with an in service day for teachers on 11 and 12.

Ms McKenna said: “Classes will be split into two groups.

Glasgow Times: Maureen McKennaMaureen McKenna

"The first group will attend school on Monday and Tuesday and the second group will attend on Thursday and Friday.

"On Wednesday the school will be cleaned."

“Social distancing will be applied in the classroom such as desks being a certain distance apart.”

She added that on the days when children are not in school they will be expected to complete home learning tasks set by their teachers. Home learning packs will be sent home for completion on the days when the child is at home.

The GlasgowTimes understands that classes may be put together to deal with any possible shortage of teachers due to illness. Composite classes, where children of different age groups for example P1 and P2 are taught together, already exist in some Glasgow schools. 

However, they were informed that it was unlikely that there will be direct teacher support for pupils when they are working from home as the teachers will be teaching the other group who are in school.

Ms McKenna also revealed primary one pupils would start school in August as planned, and not in January as had been previously rumoured.

Among the other details set out were that personal and protective equipment would not “generally” be worn by teachers or children; that handwashing will take place at least six times per day and that hand sanitiser and washing stations were being installed at every school.

Representatives were also told emphasis was being placed on the belief children did not appear to get severe symptoms and studies showed they did not spread the disease as much as previously thought.

It was noted only one child has shown any symptoms at hub schools since March and that the test was negative.

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A Glasgow city council spokeswoman said: “A number of models and plans are being looked at and we are speaking to staff, parents and pupils to help shape what the new school day might look like and in line with Scottish Government timescales and guidance."

It is also understood the size of the teaching groups in the school is dependent on the number of children that can be taught safely in each teaching space.

This will be different in different schools.

For example, older schools might have a couple of very large classrooms where greater numbers could be taught together. 

The Danish model where one group attended in the morning and one in the afternoon is also being looked at.