TEACHERS are raising fresh concerns to the Scottish Government about safety as schools prepare to re-open next week.

New calls are being made for ministers to ensure safety in the classroom in advance of the re-opening of schools on August 11, despite official guidance issued to councils that said children should "return to school as quickly and as safely as possible".

The appeal comes as the head of Scotland’s biggest teaching union has warned that staff may have to resort to drawing a “a ‘don't cross’ line across the front of the class” in a bid to stop pupils getting too close to them.

The Herald revealed last week that teachers and pupils will not be routinely tested for coronavirus when all schools re-open next month, despite fears of an impending second wave.

READ MORE: No routine testing for all teachers or pupils on school return

It has been confirmed that what is described as an "enhanced surveillance" involving sample testing and covering only a cross-section of schools is being planned by the Scottish Government – but that may not be ready in time for August 11.

It has further emerged that officials plan over a "period of time" to work with "substantial numbers of [older] children and workers" at a "representative sample of schools" throughout Scotland, using repeated testing and survey data and participation would be voluntary. Guidance does not yet make clear how often the testing will be carried out.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said that schools will not automatically close if a pupil tests positive for coronavirus with the 'test and protect' tracing system kicking in first with "proportionate measures" taken to break community transmission of the virus.

READ MORE: Teachers to cover faces in enclosed spaces while pupils could be banned from bringing items into schools

It will also take two confirmed positive cases in a school within a 14-day period to be classed as an official incident. Protocols in New Zealand state that where a school or early learning service has one confirmed or probable case of Covid-19, a school must close for 72 hours to allow contact tracing and then, potentially, for a further 14 days.

Following a meeting of its executive, the EIS teaching union is now to approach Mr Swinney for more action on safety in schools and on testing in particular.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, which is represented on the Scottish Government's Covid-19 Education Recovery Group, told the Herald: "The executive believes that more needs to be done around proactive testing of staff within schools.

"Accordingly, as general secretary, I will be writing to the Deputy First Minister making the case for access to testing for any asymptomatic teacher who requests it. This will help build confidence in the safety of the schools as a workplace, which is critically important given the justified concerns and anxieties of many teachers."

READ MORE: Warning 'more could be done' to address safety concerns as Scottish schools prepare to re-open

In a letter to union members, Mr Flanagan has also warned that “we will see an increasing use of face coverings amongst pupils" and that staff “need to be alert to the fact that schools may have to close again" if there is a surge in cases.

He added: “The key mitigation remains two-metre physical distancing between staff and pupils and between all adults.

“I know that some members have expressed concern about the ability of pupils to adhere to such a rule but frankly, if it means a ‘don't cross’ line across the front of the class, then that should happen.”

The Scottish Greens remain concerned over a lack of routine testing and believe that teachers should get the same protection as many professional sports stars and staff at clubs who are tested at least twice a week.

READ MORE: Unreliable 'name and shame' Covid-19 test tracking in Scots care homes abandoned

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has committed that all 53,000 care home staff would be offered weekly tests to help cut infections, the site of around half of Scotland’s Covid deaths. But the Scottish Government has since been beset with problems in addressing that.

Scottish Greens education spokesman Ross Greer who believes teachers should get the same protection as footballers said: "When I first raised regular testing with the education secretary some weeks ago, he seemed supportive of the idea, so I’m disappointed that it seems there will be only this 'enhanced surveillance' testing in place.

"More worrying though is the confirmation that this surveillance testing won't actually be ready for schools reopening next week.

“We’ve seen in other countries that a full return to school can lead to localised outbreaks, so the Greens still believe it essential that regular testing underpin Scotland’s approach, particularly given the reassurance it would provide teachers and staff.”

READ MORE: Scottish teachers 'in state of uncertainty' as less than a quarter feel safe about return in August

The initial findings of the latest parents attitudes survey carried out amongst thousands of Scottish parents has revealed continuing disquiet over arrangements for schooling children during the Covid-19 crisis.

It found that 28 per cent reported that their children received access to live or recorded video lessons provided by their school.

According to the survey carried out by the National Parent Forum of Scotland before Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the return to schools, one in five of parents felt that the amount of work that had been sent home was "not enough".

While 65 per cent said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the Scottish Government's announcement that they would be aiming to return to school full-time in August - one in four were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with further widespread concern about the arrangements in advance of August 11.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "This has been an extremely difficult time for all. We know that many pupils will need extra help to catch up when schools reopen. We are investing an additional £100 million over the next two years to tackle the impact of lockdown and ensure children get the support they need.

"We continue to monitor the parental surveys conducted by the National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS). The NPFS are members of our Education Recovery Group and we worked with them to develop specific guidance to parents on return to school. We will continue to work with parent organisations and local authorities to provide clear, consistent information to parents throughout the new term.”