Aberdeen City Council has responded to claims social distancing in its schools could be better after a pupil at Cults Academy described how keeping distance is “really bad”.
S4 student Sophie Bentley told The Reporter she had concerns about social distancing at school, particularly in corridors.
Ms Bentley said: “I would like to see better social distancing because right now it’s really bad. In the hallways there’s nothing that says you have to stay to the side. We’re all just muddled together.”
In response Aberdeen City Council highlighted some of the safety measures being put in place in schools as per Scottish Government guidance to keep pupils and staff safe.
A spokeswoman for the council said: “All schools are following Scottish Government guidance in relation to physical distancing.
“Measures which have been put in to place to support this include one-way systems, year group identified entry and exit points, hand sanitising at each entry point, and the use of face coverings during movement throughout the school.”
Cults Academy is one of the larger schools in the Lower Deeside ward, with a population of over one thousand students.
Led by a crystal clear Holyrood
Aberdeen City Council takes school safety protocols from the Scottish Government whose head, Nicola Sturgeon, has received widespread praise for the way she has handled the pandemic.
Music teacher at the International School Aberdeen in Pitfodels, which also takes its covid precautionary advice from Holyrood, praised the clarity of communication the Scottish Government has thus far offered.
Mr Kent Walter, who’s taught at the ISA since 2001, said: “I’ve never been a Sturgeon fan but I have great respect for the way she’s handled everything. I’m pleased with the communication levels we, the teachers, have received.”
Cautious Nicola versus confusing Boris
The Scottish Government has been far more cautious in its handling of coronavirus and the reopening process after what has felt like millennia in lockdown.
Scotland was one of the first of the devolved administrations to make it mandatory to wear face coverings in communal areas in secondary schools to try mitigate the spread of the virus.
The First Minister proposed the measure on the 25th of August to be implemented on the 28th saying, “these are things we all need to be prepared to live with for quite some time.”
In contrast, in England, the UK government initially released advice stating that it was at the school’s discretion whether it should be mandatory to implement face coverings. This was released on the 25th of August.
Then Johnson wobbled and tweaked the legislation, imposing mandatory rules on the wearing of face coverings in schools which are located in areas of concern or going through local lockdowns.
Johnson has also received criticism for the confusing message “Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives” and the debacle around Dominic Cummings breaking lockdown rules by travelling across the country to his parent’s house in Durham in May.
“I do feel safe”
Ms Bentley, who has been a pupil at Cults Academy since 2018 after arriving from Texas, confirmed she does feel safe at school.
The newly entered S4 student reaffirmed her commitment to being in class, saying: “They could do things better, like better social distancing, but I do feel safe.”