Almost 4000 Fife pupils attending school during lockdown

Fife House - headquarters of Fife CouncilFife House - headquarters of Fife Council
Fife House - headquarters of Fife Council
Around 4,000 children are attending school in Fife during the coronavirus pandemic due to either having key worker parents or their vulnerability.

Fife Council's executive director for education Carrie Lindsay said the number - equal to around 8% of all primary and secondary pupils in the region - was made up only of those children who could not stay home.

Delivering a verbal update on Covid-19's impact on schools to the council's education and children's services sub-committee today (Tuesday), Ms Lindsay said not every one of those children would be in every day.

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"We must keep these numbers at an absolute minimum to help to stop transmission," she said.

"If we increase numbers (of children in school) significantly community transmission increases too."

Ms Lindsay added that transport will continue to be provided for those children who qualify to go into school and that discussions were continuing with the Scottish Qualifications Authority with regards to exams.

The education chief also provided councillors with an update on remote learning.

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As reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Monday, almost 6,000 new and reprogrammed devices such as laptops and tablets have been sent to pupils who need them to

access digital learning resources.

Following questions from Scottish Conservative councillor Kathleen Leslie, Ms Lindsay confirmed that there were 300-400 devices yet to be delivered to up to 20 schools in Fife for distributing to pupils.

Asked whether households with several children would receive more than one device, the education boss said kids may have to share - but stressed that electronic means of learning were not the only avenue open to families.

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"Some of (the learning) may be independent learning, or doing an activity - we had one school knitting fishing nets," she added.

"Online learning is only part of that and it would be the same in schools. Different children will learn in different ways.

"This is not easy; this is something nobody has ever experience before. Schools have never been closed this length of time, even during world wars.

"We are trying our absolute best to get it right, to make it work, but no doubt along the way there will be some bumps in the road."

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