By Suzanne Kelly.
Aberdeen City Council yesterday admitted that it has not finalised revising risk assessments for next week’s school openings and have refused to release the assessments to Aberdeen Voice.
Students are due to return to school despite a new lockdown in Aberdeen City Centre in response to the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
The City told Aberdeen Voice the school risk assessments were being revised.
With days to go before schools open, Aberdeen Voice asked for sight of the assessments; a city council spokesperson said:
“These are internal documents which we would not routinely share with the media. You can of course submit an FOI request.”
Aberdeen Voice replied it had never received a freedom of information request response from the city in less than 25 days – clearly too late for concerned parents
The City pointed Aberdeen Voice to its website when we first asked about safety for students, teachers and everyone connected to schools. The website lacks any specific provision details – but does say that distance learning has virtually been ruled out: and parents must send children to school.
Additionally, on the Aberdeen City Council website, it says that risk assessments have been done.
However earlier today ACC told Aberdeen Voice:
“These will be discussed and agreed with all staff at the beginning of next week and before children return. This is in keeping with the best practice advised in the national guidance. The risk assessments are informing the information that is being shared with families.”
How the city can claim the assessments are done when they are now being redone, and claim ‘the information that is being shared with families’ but will not release the assessments to the general public is unclear.
The TUC is one of many organisations to publish its Covid-19 risk assessment; its website reads:
“UK law says every employer with more than five staff must produce a risk assessment. And new government guidance for the return to work after the coronavirus pandemic says that these risk assessments should be published on employers’ own websites.”
One school proud of its risk assessment that has published it to its website is Blackheath; it can be seen here:
Parents and teachers throughout the UK are concerned at safety and according to The Scotsman only 1 in 5 teachers are confident about returning to the classroom.
The myth that children are ‘nearly immune’ to Covid-19 has been dispelled; they are not only efficient carriers who can transmit the virus to others, but when infected themselves, they may be prone to syndromes including multisystem inflammatory syndrome and Kawasaki syndrome.
Aberdeen Voice also awaits comment from Aberdeenshire council and Unison. We are happy to continue receiving information and questions from parents, teachers and health professionals who alerted us to the situation.
- Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.