Tuesday 16th February 2021,
North Edinburgh Community News

Phased reopening of Schools to start on Monday Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed

Schools will start to reopen as part of a phased return from Monday First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has confirmed today.

Speaking in Parliament today, Ms Sturgeon, said that early years and P1-P3 pupils can go back to classes next week. 

She also confirmed that senior pupils in secondary schools will be able to go into school for key face-to-face coursework.

The SNP leader added that it was “unlikely” any further changes to school rules will be announced before March 15 as ministers continue to take a cautious approach.

It was also confirmed that that current lockdown will remain in place until at least march. 

Ms Sturgeon said: “In terms of the order in which we exit lockdown, the Scottish Government has always made clear that education should be the priority.

“I announced two weeks ago our preliminary decision that pre-school children, pupils in primaries 1, 2 and 3, and a limited number of senior phase students who need access to school for essential practical work, would return from Monday 22 February.

“I also said that, from the same date, we would seek to enable a limited increase in the provision for vulnerable children – specifically those with the most significant additional support needs – where schools believe this is essential.

“I can confirm today that, in line with the advice of our expert group, this first phase of the reopening of schools will go ahead as planned on Monday.

“We will need to monitor the impact of this change very carefully before taking any further decisions.

“However, I hope we will be able to set out the second phase of school reopening in two weeks’ time.

“I want to be clear, though, that the need to properly assess the impact of this limited reopening means we think it unlikely, at this stage, that there will be any further return to school before 15 March.

“As we consider these issues, we are of course doing everything we can to ensure that schools are as safe as possible for children, and for the education workforce.

“As senior phase pupils, teachers and school staff start to return, we will be making at-home lateral flow tests available to them twice a week, as part of a wider package of in-school mitigations.

“Comprehensive testing guidance has now been issued to schools and local authorities, and as of yesterday, more than 2,200 schools had received deliveries of test kits.”

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