A survey by Scotland’s largest teaching union shows major safety concerns ahead of the reopening of schools next week.

EIS conducted the survey, with interim results earlier this week showing less than one in five are confident that schools are currently safe.

How many teachers completed the survey?

A total of 24,354 teachers completed the survey from its launch on Tuesday 4 August to the morning of Thursday 6 August.

What do the teachers say?

While teachers want to see schools re-open, they remain unconvinced that sufficient measures have been put in place to ensure safety.

The survey shows 64% of teachers support the decision to re-open schools.

However only 18% express confidence that schools are currently safe – indicating that much more needs to be done to ensure safety.

Just 3% of teachers are ‘very confident’ that there is sufficient evidence that Covid-19 is sufficiently under control to support a safe return to school.

And less than a quarter of teachers are ‘confident or very confident’ that an established capacity to test, trace and isolate is in place to support a safe return, with 58% expressing a lack of confidence.

The survey also found that around 26% of teachers are confident that sufficient operational changes – such as effective social distancing and enhanced hygiene routines – will be in place to support a safe return to school with 60% lacking confidence.

And 62% of teachers feel either ‘somewhat unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe’ about returning to school next week.

What does the teaching union say?

Commenting on the interim findings, EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The interim results of this survey highlight that Scotland’s teachers continue to have serious questions over the re-opening of schools next week.

“The fact that more than 24,000 teachers completed the survey in a little over a day illustrates the high degree of concern that remains over COVID-19 and schools.

“Teachers want to see schools re-opening, so that they can get back to working with pupils in the classroom environment – but they are very clear that this has to be done safely.

“The initial indications from this major survey confirm that teachers believe that much more still needs to be done to ensure their safety, and the safety of pupils and others within the school, can be properly protected as schools re-open.

"The EIS will be sharing both the initial and final results of this survey with the Scottish Government and local authorities, and will be seeking urgent discussions on the mitigations that teachers still want to see – such as sufficient social distancing, testing for asymptomatic staff, and the use of face coverings where required to ensure safety.”

When are schools back?

Scotland’s schools are to reopen full time from August 11.

What have the Scottish Government said?

A Scottish Government spokesman previously told PA: "Ensuring the highest quality education for our young people, in a safe environment, is our absolute priority, and we also want to make sure teaching staff feel supported.

"Our guidance clearly sets out the approach that must be taken, including a number of specific risk-mitigation measures that will need to be introduced in all schools in order that they provide a safe environment for staff and pupils.

"Individual schools will carry out risk assessments on their estate, as they will know how to apply the guidance in a way that works best to ensure the safety of their setting.

"An enhanced surveillance programme for schools will allow us to closely monitor the impact of the pandemic on school age children and young people and staff and to make adjustments to the arrangements as necessary."