05.03.2021 Update to Parents

 5 March 2021


Dear Parent/Carer,

Please find below a copy of a press release from Dundee City Council regarding the return of face-to-face teaching from Monday 15 March 2021.


With preparations now underway for the return of face-to-face teaching from Monday March 15, families of secondary pupils are being advised that classes will only be available on a limited basis before the Easter holiday.

Safety measures, including two metre physical distancing inside secondary schools for all staff and young people, will result in restrictions on the number of pupils who can return to school buildings at any one time.

Distancing does not apply in primaries, so the return of P4-7 classes will go ahead full-time from Monday March 15, if its judged safe to do so.

Secondary staff are now organising how young people can get back to their classes on a part-time basis until the Easter break starts (from the end of the school day on Thursday April 1).

Priority for classroom teaching time will be given to S4-6 pupils working towards national qualifications.

Staff resources needed to deliver the return under the national distancing restrictions will mean that live remote teaching will look very different for those remaining at home. Pupils will be advised of more online education resources to cover their learning in the meantime.

Secondary places will remain available for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

However, with the organisational challenges surrounding the return of more pupils, it is essential that key workers requiring support ensure that requests for all places are a last resort and only requested for days where no other option is available.

City council children and families convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “Each of our secondary schools is now making arrangements based on their own local circumstances and details will be sent to families as soon as possible.

“We are trying to be as flexible as possible in planning the return of secondary pupils, and I would ask for patience from families for the fourteen days of school that this return will cover.

“This has been a very challenging time for all our pupils and families and I understand these return arrangements may cause some difficulties.

“I would urge everyone to stick with it and ensure that we can continue to keep all our pupils and staff safe after we have come so far.

“Our secondary schools have to ensure that two metre distancing is maintained at all times in the run-up to the break.

“All going well, all pupils will be back full-time after the Easter holiday. But in the meantime, this will be very much a phased return.”

Pupils and staff will be expected to wear face coverings in secondary schools at all times, unless exemptions apply.

Lateral flow tests will continue to be offered to S4-6 pupils and school staff.

Nursery and P1-3 classes have been back in their buildings since Monday February 22.

The city council has a coronavirus information page for schools on its website.

Schools will be in direct contact with families about their own arrangements.

Please be assured, at Baldragon Academy we are working hard to develop a model that builds and delivers on these key messages.  Working closely with your Parent Council, our Senior Leader Team and Extended Leadership Team of Principal Teachers, I will be sharing our plans as soon as possible and to allow you to plan, as a family, for your child’s phased return to school.

At this stage, I want to give absolute clarity.  Under the current Scottish Government restrictions and our school’s safe working procedures and risk assessments, we are very limited to the number of pupils we can have in the building at any one time.  The priority to maximise face-to-face learning opportunities for our young people will evidently impact our capacity to deliver remote learning as per our current model - every teacher will be used for face-to-face teaching from 15 March.  However, my intention is to deliver a sensible, safe and balanced model, and one which builds on the National e-Learning offer (Live learning, Recorded Learning, Supported Learning) to ensure continuity for our remote learners.  Therefore, pupils should continue to follow their normal school timetable unless specifically invited into school for face-to-face learning and the rephasing of pupils to our school building.

Once again, thank you for ongoing patience and support as, together, we adapt to change.

My very best wishes and please stay safe.

H McAninch