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Reopening of schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings

The First Minister has set out Scotland’s plans to slowly come out of lockdown – including information about schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings reopening. 

Schools will reopen in August, subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so. This decision has been carefully made and is based on the best scientific advice available at the time. This suggests that the virus is sufficiently under control to start planning for reopening. Measures will be put in place to keep children and staff a safe distance from each other and make sure everything is kept clean and hygienic, so that children can return safely. Local authorities, teaching associations and parents around the country have also helped to build reassurance on the right way to make sure that staff and children are in as safe an environment as possible. 

We know that you’ll have lots of questions about this, and may have some concerns, but it’s important to remember that careful consideration was given to this decision. We’ve created this page to help you work out what these changes mean for you and your family, with more detailed information on our Q&A page

Reopening of schools and ELC settings

All schools will be resuming on 11 August 2020, if the science indicates that it is safe to do so. However, while the schools are reopening, they won’t be going back to the way they were before. The reason for this is to make sure that staff and children are in as safe an environment as possible. 

The main change will be that fewer pupils will be in school at any one time. This means that pupils will take it in turns to go into school for a few days or a week, and then learn at home for the rest of the time. Pupils will start to spend more time in school as soon as it’s safe to do so. It is expected that teachers and staff will be returning to work in June to help put these plans in place and make sure that everything is ready for August. This is being done to prepare for the safety of everyone and your school will provide more information on how this set up will work for your children as soon as possible.

If your little one goes to an Early Learning and Childcare setting, then we are still waiting for more details about when these will reopen and what changes might be required to keep children safe. However, childminders and outdoor nurseries may be able to open sooner than other settings. As soon as anything changes, we will let you know.

Child safety

We understand that the health and safety of your family is your number one priority. The main priority for all schools and early learning and childcare settings will be to look after your children’s safety and wellbeing, and to ensure that they can continue to learn and make good progress. They will all be putting measures into place to make sure that staff and pupils are safe, and can stay a safe distance away from each other.

Critical childcare for keyworkers

If you are a keyworker, and your child has been receiving critical childcare while you work then we’re pleased to say that this will continue thoughout May, June and July.

Schools and ELC settings around the country are working incredibly hard to get everything ready to reopen. They will contact you as soon as they can to let you know what will be happening at your child’s school, nursery or childminder. Please try to give them the time they need to work through these changes before you try to get in touch. 

We know this is a difficult time for everyone, and although we’re now starting to look at life beyond lockdown, there are still many unanswered questions. Because of that, we’ve put together a Q&A page and we will update all these pages as soon as more information comes available.