Omicron in Fife: Council rules out return of indoor inter-school sports events

Indoor inter-school sports events in Fife are unlikely to be sanctioned for some time to come due to concerns about the Omicron COVID variant.

Fife Council has confirmed it will continue to monitor the situation, but has ruled out allowing inter-school competitions with COVID cases rising in communities across the region.

The news came in response to a question from Liberal Democrat Dunfermline councillor James Calder.

However, with Fife Council required to minimise movement between schools during the school day, Councillor Craig Walker, education committee convener, stressed that risk assessment protocols must be adhered to for as long as necessary.

Fife Council

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Such competitions can still take place outdoors, while schools can hold competitive sporting events indoors for their own pupils.

“The reason for inter-school competitions not taking place at this time is that the unique features of the school environment have been carefully considered,” Mr Walker noted.

“These include the fact that, in line with current JCVI advice, the vaccination of children and young people only began in August.

“This means that large numbers of unvaccinated children and young people come together in a way that is unlikely to happen in other parts of society.

“We are not bringing together extended groups of young people who would not routinely be together within a school building.”

The news comes amid growing fears about schools and the spread of COVID, with a new survey suggesting almost a third of teachers in Scotland do not think their classrooms have adequate ventilation to combat the risk of COVID.

Seamus Searson, the union’s general secretary, said: “If the numbers keep going up, then we are not going to be in a fit state to reopen schools as normal in January.

“We’re already hearing of schools that are not fully staffed, and parents keeping their kids off to ensure they don’t catch Covid in the run up to Christmas.

“The idea that we need to keep schools open at all costs just doesn’t add up. The education system is crucial, but it’s not life and death, and if we can keep people safe, that’s surely a good thing.”

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