22.05.20

Schools in Scotland to reopen with new measures in August

The Scottish Government has announced that pupils will return to schools on August 11, providing scientific advice says it is safe to do so.

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed yesterday (May 21) a plan for safe return to schools, through a combination of school and home learning.

The new date is one week earlier than planned for most pupils, and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.

The plan follows discussion between councils, professional associations and parent representatives and stipulates a number of measures to ensure safety is a priority.

Seating that is two meters apart and staggered arrival, departure and break times will be implemented to keep children safe from the spread of the virus with increased hand-washing and cleaning protocols ongoing.

Smaller class sizes will be created by splitting up the children between home and school working and teachers and staff will return in June to carry out safety assessments and other preparation.

The Scottish Government is investing £9m into technology such as laptops or tablets for disadvantages children to ensure they can continue any learning outside school.

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Mr Swinney said:

“In reopening Scotland’s schools, our overriding priority is ensuring the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff and giving parents the confidence schools are safe.

“Subject to public health guidance, teachers and other school staff will be able to return in June to prepare for a new model of learning from August. Comprehensive health and safety guidance will be in place prior to staff returning to school.

“This is not, however, a return to schooling as we knew it - schools are not returning to normal at this stage.

“We have a mission to make this work, to educate Scotland’s pupils and, above all, to keep them safe. Working with our teachers, school staff, and councils this plan gives us a way to do that.

“We can safeguard our children’s future and get them learning alongside their classmates again. This plan will do that and get our young people safely back to school.”

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