Phase 2 of schools return announced

More pupils to head back to school from 15 March after the announcement from the First Minister

All remaining primary school children are set to return to school full-time from 15 March, with all secondary pupils returning on a part-time basis from that date.

Regulated childcare, including breakfast and after-school clubs, for primary pupils, will also re-start on 15 March as part of the Phase 2 return.

From 15 March, all secondary pupils will receive both high-quality remote learning and some in-school teaching. Councils will decide how to safely balance in-school learning based on local circumstances and needs.

Senior phase students (S4-S6) who are taking national qualifications will have priority for face-to-face lessons in school.

Updated schools safety guidance to support the phased return will be published next week and Education Scotland will develop practical guidance for schools, which will be also published shortly.

Local authorities will be encouraged to support young people’s wellbeing in other ways – for example, by providing more opportunities for outdoor learning.

Colleges, who can have up to 5% of learners on campus at any one time, will also be able to prioritise senior phase pupils.

The plans are conditional on continued progress on suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

All pupils are expected to return to full-time schooling after Easter, subject to continued suppression of the virus.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said

I can confirm that the next phase of reopening education will take place on 15 March. From that date – unless new evidence or new circumstances force us to reconsider – all children in primary 4 to 7 will go back to school on a full-time basis and all primary school children will be able to return to regulated childcare.

All secondary school pupils will return to spend some time in school from 15 March – with a clear expectation that all secondary school pupils will be back in school on a full-time basis after the Easter holidays.

The phased approach to school return is firmly based on the expert advice that we have received. It is the best and also the most sustainable and enduring way to get as many children back to school as possible, as safely as possible.

All secondary pupils will continue to be required to observe two-metre physical distancing while in school in the period immediately after the Phase 2 return. This is in addition to existing measures, including the use of face coverings. School transport will operate with the same physical distancing rules as public transport.

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