Schools in Scotland to reopen in August, subject to scientific advice

Pupils in Scotland will return to schools in August subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has confirmed.

Schools will return on 11 August, one week earlier than planned for most pupils, while Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.

An agreement reached between councils, professional associations and parent representatives means schools will implement physical distancing measures, increase hand-washing, and reduce class sizes.

To maximise the time pupils can have in the classroom and support children in the new model of schooling, including digital home learning, the Scottish Government is investing £9 million for 25,000 laptops or tablets – with internet access provided – for disadvantaged children as part of the first phase of provision to support their learning outside school. Working with local authorities, a second phase of investment will see further funding to support digital inclusion.

Education Scotland will also deliver new national digital learning resources to support schools’ own arrangements for children and young people.
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.

“To keep our pupils and staff safe we will implement physical distancing, staggered arrival and departure times, staggered break times, increased hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning regimes and a range of other measures."

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