Scotland’s Pupils to Return to Schools ‘Within Weeks’

Schools: Scotland's pupils may return within weeks. Image: Photopin

SCOTLAND’S First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced children are likely to return to schools full time from February 22.

The politician said the move will see a staggered return to schools, starting with pre-school and years P1 to P3 children in as little as three weeks.

Sturgeon said the decision may also see a part-time return for some senior secondary school pupils to allow them to study for their national qualifications.

According to the politician, a final decision on the return will be taken in two weeks at the same time as a timetable for the return of in-person learning for colleges and universities is announced.

The first minister also promised “significant expansion” of testing in schools and nurseries over the next weeks after Scotland’s schools have remained closed to the majority of pupils since the Christmas holidays.

She added: “The judgement the Cabinet arrived at this morning, based on the advice of our expert advisers, is that if we all agree to abide with the lockdown restrictions for a bit longer – so that our progress in suppressing the virus continues – we can begin a phased, albeit gradual, return to school from February 22.”

Sturgeon said the rest of the country’s lockdown measures will remain in place until at least the end of this month.

She added the proposal to reopen schools was dependent on virus figures continuing to improve in the country, which has seen levels of the virus reach high levels over the past few months.

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Sally Underwood

Sally Underwood is a former aide to several former cabinet members and now contributes her views on Parliament’s ever-changing shape in her column for the Euro Weekly News.