Teachers have been praised for their dedication to the job after returning to the classroom – despite a survey showing more than half felt uncomfortable doing so.
Schools reopened their doors earlier this month after several months of home learning due to the threat of coronavirus.
Just before the end of the summer holidays, teaching union EIS conducted a survey of members in Aberdeen City which found around 75% did not feel comfortable returning to school.
But they have now been praised by union chiefs for rising to the challenge.
And further evidence shows some school staff feel more safe now than they did before they returned to work.
Aberdeen City EIS secretary Ron Constable said: “It really shows their professionalism. Every teacher would agree the best place for them is to be in the school teaching their kids, but we are still working through this whole process towards finding out what school looks like during the pandemic.
“Teachers want to do the best they can for the young learners but they also want to be safe doing it, and we need to strike the balance and reassure individuals. It’s constantly changing and the whole thing has been a rapid learning curve.
“We want to work in partnership with the authorities and make it clear we are supporting our members and they are supporting their employees.”
The EIS survey revealed around three quarters of teachers would welcome priority Covid-19 testing for school staff, even if they are not showing any symptoms of the disease.
It also showed nearly one fifth of school staff were classed as being at high risk of contracting it.
Mr Constable believes the authorities’ key focus in the short-term should be ensuring teachers and children feel safe at school.
And he said feedback he has received shows education authorities are listening.
He said: “What we have to do in the first term back is concentrate on health and wellbeing of pupils and staff as well.
“A lot of teachers are nervous.
“What we are getting in terms of feedback is a big variation on how individuals are getting on in the classroom.
“I’ve been in touch with a few reps and what they are saying is there is still a period of settling in. We are still seeing what works.
“The whole key is an absolutely fit-for-purpose risk assessment, both in terms of Covid and personally for staff. Of course people are going to be nervous – that is natural.
“The evidence we have is managers are putting things in place to alleviate the anxiety staff are experiencing.”
John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s education operational delivery convener, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is of paramount importance to us. Our schools have followed national guidance at all times and have worked incredibly hard in having controls in place and have prepared a range of additional precautions controls that can be put in place if required.
“These approaches have been agreed by staff and data suggests that the controls are effective. The controls are monitored daily and updated as and when required in keeping with national advice and local intelligence.
“Additionally, we have support mechanisms in place for staff for whom the pandemic has had additional impacts on their health and wellbeing.”