More than 2,500 Tayside and Fife schoolchildren were told to self-isolate in the first term after lockdown.
And the figure is likely to be dramatically higher for the second term, as more and more staff and and pupils test positive across the regions.
In just four days to Monday, 28 new cases were linked with 14 schools in Fife. One school – Pathhead Primary School – where another seven cases have been identified remains closed due to a shortage of staff.
Fife Council revealed that 2,100 pupils were absent due to the requirement to self-isolate from August to the October holiday.
NHS Tayside – in response to an FOI request we submitted – said 418 children aged five to 17 were advised to isolate during the same period as a result of being in contact with a positive case at a Tayside school.
Dundee cases were in:
- Kingspark School – which was closed due to an outbreak affecting 40 people
- Dens Road Primary School
- St Clement’s RC Primary School
- SS Peter and Paul RC Primary School
- Downfield out-of-school club
- Grove Academy
- St John’s RC High School
- Craigie High School.
In Perthshire cases were linked to:
- Oakbank Primary School
- Newhill Primary School
- St Madoes Primary School
- St John’s RC Academy
- Community School of Aucterarder.
There were no cases during the first term in Angus.
— NHS Fife (@nhsfife) November 24, 2020
In Fife the new cases reported are associated with:
- Capshard Primary School nursery, Kirkcaldy (one)
- McLean Primary School and nursery, Dunfermline (two)
- Buckhaven Primary School (one)
- Carnegie Primary School, Dunfermline (three)
- Caskieberran Primary School, Glenrothes (two)
- Kennoway Primary School (one)
- Pathhead Primary School, Kirkcaldy (seven)
- Warout Primary School, Glenrothes (one)
- Auchmuty High School, Glenrothes (two)
- Bell Baxter High School, Glenrothes (one)
- Kirkcaldy High School (four)
- Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline (one)
- Viewforth High School, Kirkcaldy (two)
- Waid Academy, Anstruther (one)
The Fife branch of teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, pointed out that the majority of schools were unaffected and urged Fife Council to keep staff better informed of the wider picture to try to alleviate safety concerns.
Secretary David Farmer said: “We did receive this information just after the October holiday but we don’t appear to be getting regular updates from the [education] service, which we would describe as disappointing.
“If teachers were getting this information that would help in terms of reassuring people.
“Everyone knows this is a difficult situation but we want to be as prepared as we can be when we are going into school in the morning.”
Council head of education and children’s services, Shelagh McLean, said the service was in regular contact with all teaching trade unions and weekly updates on the situation in Fife school are given.
She said: “We are working very closely with colleagues in public health to monitor and manage Covid cases in schools and are encouraging all of our school communities to follow public health advice.
“Each school has its own contingency plans in place, including plans for remote learning, which are continually reviewed.
“Staff and parents are being updated by their individual schools if circumstances change and good communication plans are in place and working well.”
Meanwhile, Auchmuty High School, in Glenrothes, where 400 pupils were absent last week due to isolating, said its situation was improving, with just over 40 youngsters isolating on Tuesday and all but three staff members back.