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Wear extra clothing to school, says new Highland Council education boss

By Ali Morrison

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IN a letter sent out yesterday (September 8), Highland Council advises parents to see that their children wear extra clothing to school as part of a strategy to combat Covid-19.

The letter, penned by the new executive chief officer for education and learning Nicky Grant, talks about the risk of coronavirus transmission being greater indoors and that Scottish Government guidance says that school buildings should have "adequate levels of ventilation" and "where centralised or local mechanical ventilation is present, re-circulatory systems should be adjusted to full fresh air".

Ms Grant says in the letter that in order to reduce the risk indoors all Highland schools are currently "operating with windows open to allow as much fresh air into classrooms as possible".

"This is to ensure our school spaces are as safe as possible for our pupils and staff," she wrote.

The letter goes on: "As there is a need to prioritise infection control over thermal comfort, we are encouraging children to wear an additional fleece or a jacket in the classroom if they wish to do so.

The new education boss at Highland Council, Nicky Grant.
The new education boss at Highland Council, Nicky Grant.

"We have relaxed dress codes in our schools as we try to make the learning environment as comfortable as possible while reducing the risk of infection in the school setting. We will continue to work hard across the school estate to improve heating output at all our schools, but we realise this may not provide the expected levels of comfort."

She said that it is "hoped that the Scottish Government will provide further guidance prior to the arrival of winter" as the science evolves around the current Covid-19 crisis.

The council said it is continuing to work closely with Public Health in relation to all health matters and be directed by national guidance.

Updates and further information can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/backtoschool

Parents who have other questions or concerns are advised contact their local school.

Nicky Grant appointed to top Highland Council education post

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