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Praise for workers helping to keep Highlands' schools safe during pandemic

By Gavin Musgrove

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Highland councillors have praised the significant effort and support of the authority’s staff in preparing the region’s schools for fully reopening in mid-August.

Highland Councillor Ben Thompson.
Highland Councillor Ben Thompson.

Councillor Ben Thompson, chairman of the council’s housing and property committee, said: “As a personal observation I would like to commend the property, catering, cleaning and facilities staff, in reopening up our schools, what a fantastic job they have done.

"It goes without saying, we rely on our cleaning staff and our catering staff all the time but now it’s become more apparent – more so than ever – that if the schools were not clean, they simply wouldn’t be open.

"So, I would like to express my thanks to our cleaning, catering and property staff for the fantastic job they have done in going above and beyond in the preparations for reopening Highland’s schools and facilities.”

A report considered yesterday by councillors at Inverness headquarters detailed property related estimated Covid-19 costs of £2.3m currently consisting of the cleaning, disinfection and remediation of school water systems, installation of Covid-related signage, additional cleaning prior to schools reopening, installation of protective screens to dining room till points, supply of additional cleaning materials, initial bulk purchase of hand sanitiser as well as work to improve mechanical ventilation in the school estate.

It added: "Catering, cleaning and facilities management provide a significant level of service delivery to the council’s education and High Life Highland properties across Highland.

"The cleaning and facilities management service have also supported keyworker hubs and humanitarian centres and additional enhanced cleaning services – while managing a number of vacancies and shielding compliance – to schools and other council facilities during the current pandemic.

"The property and facilities management teams are also providing phased support to bring the High Life Life Highland estate back into operational use."

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