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Countless changes in Moray as schools return after the break

One-way systems, segregated entrances and extra lunch serveries have been created in schools ahead of Moray pupils returning to class today.

Corridors have been empty for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a raft of measures have been implemented to build confidence for parents and children that buildings are safe to go back to.

Hand sanitiser is being provided in every classroom to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Inside Aberlour’s Speyside High School countless signs featuring a buzzing bee indicate one-way systems and hand sanitiser stations for staff and youngsters.

Lockers have also been ruled out of bounds while toilets and the collection point for lunches have been segregated by year group with the games hall also due to be used to pick up meals.

Yesterday head teacher Tricia Goodbrand said she was “delighted” to be able to welcome pupils back to class despite the upheaval.

She said: “We’re going to be having staggered lunch breaks with half the school going at one time and the other half at another.

“We’re also going to be having three separate entrances for S1 and S6, S2 and S3 and S4 and S5 so they feed into the one-way system at different points.

“It’s been a long time without seeing them all, I’m absolutely delighted they’re coming back.”

Meanwhile, union EIS has lodged grievances with Moray Council and Scottish Borders Council about concerns about the lack of a “phased return” for pupils.

Representatives claim there has been a lack of discussion about the approach, which they say has put staff under “intense pressure” while planning to reopen schools.

A Moray Council spokeswoman said: “We discussed return to school guidance with trade unions throughout the school summer holidays and published this guidance following seven virtual consultations with head teachers prior to the start of term.

“There are arrangements in place across our schools to help pupils and staff phase back to normal in the first few days, including staggered starts and soft introductions to the curriculum, particularly for those in transition years of P1 and S1.”

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