ARGYLL and Bute Council says it has no plans to employ extra cleaners in the area’s schools when pupils and staff return to class next month

Neighbouring West Dunbartonshire Council recently announced plans to employ additional day cleaners, allowing its evening cleaning teams to focus on touch points such as door handles, stair-rails, and main door panels, while creating 55 new jobs in the process.

Argyll and Bute, however, says its current level of cleaning will be enough to meet requirements when pupils and staff return.

READ MORE: Back to school in Helensburgh and Lomond: Answers to parents' biggest questions

A council spokesperson told the Advertiser: “We maintained our cleaning services in schools throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and followed Health Protection Scotland guidance to ensure everything we did met the required standards.

“We are considering our detailed response and plans for schools reopening in August and cleaning is part of this.

“Given everything we have learned over the past few months, we are confident that our current employees, and the bank staff we have available, are more than able provide our school children with a clean and safe environment when they return to school.”

READ MORE: How Helensburgh's schools will reopen safely next month – and the new rules that will be in place

The new term in Argyll and Bute is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 11 with an in-service day for teachers, with pupils expected to return to class on Tuesday, August 12.

Education secretary John Swinney announced just days before the end of the summer term in June that schools in Scotland would be expected to return to full-time classroom teaching, with no physical distancing - scrapping a previous plan for a 'blended model' of class-based and home-based learning.

Mr Swinney is expected to confirm final details of the country's 'back to school' plans in a speech on Thursday, July 30.

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