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Reopening of schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings - FAQ

With schools now preparing to open full time in August, parents are likely to have lots of questions about how this will work for their children. Here we aim to answer as many questions as possible to help you prepare.

Some of the details are still being worked out so we’ll be adding more questions and information soon. Some of the answers will be different depending on whether your child is attending an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) setting or school, and on the different settings and schools themselves.

Schools, ELC settings and local authorities are all working towards getting everything ready to reopen and will contact parents as soon as they can to let them know what will be happening. Parents should allow schools and settings time to work through the changes before getting in touch.

When are schools and ELC settings reopening?

When will schools reopen?

The Scottish Government is planning to reopen schools full time in August 2020, if the science continues to indicate that it is safe to do so. Your child’s school will provide more details to you on their opening date when this is decided.

When will ELC settings reopen?

Childminders and fully outdoors settings were permitted to reopen to some children from 3 June. We expect all registered ELC providers to be able to open from 15 July, if they choose to do so. This depends on Scotland moving to Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown by then. We don’t expect all settings to open straight away, and term-time settings are likely to open in August.

Why are schools now planning on going back full time, when previously they were going back part time?

When schools were first planning to reopen, the scientific evidence suggested that it wouldn’t be safe for all children to return to school at the same time. However, things have changed, and we are making faster progress at supressing coronavirus than was first thought possible. Infections are down 90% and far fewer people are in intensive care. This suggests that the virus is sufficiently under control to allow schools to open full time. 

If things change again and the infection rate rises, so that returning full time will no longer be safe, a contingency plan will be put in place. If this happens, 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 – this is sometimes referred to as ‘blended learning’. Your school will let you know if they have to return to the ‘blended learning’ plan.

When will I know whether my child is going back full time or part time?

Because the scientific evidence is currently suggesting it will be safe for children to go back to school full time, this is what schools are now planning. However, if things change and they need to return to the part time ‘blended learning’ plan they will let you know as soon as possible.

When will registered childminders reopen?

When will registered childminders reopen?

Registered childminders were able to reopen from 3 June but we don’t expect that they will all reopen immediately. Some childminders may need to take time to prepare to reopen safely, and others may choose not to reopen, for example, if they have a vulnerable family member at home. Childminders have also been asked to limit the number of families that use their service, to 4 households at any one time. For some childminders, this might mean that they can’t accept all of the children that would normally attend.

Who can use a registered childminder?

Registered childminders are being asked to prioritise childcare for keyworker families and vulnerable children. They are able to allocate any additional space at their discretion. If you previously used a childminder, you can get in touch to find out if they will be reopening and if they will have space.

If you don't usually use a registered childminder for your child but you'd like to use one, you should contact them to find out if they have space.

Will my children be able to play with the others at the registered childminder’s?

Physical distancing simply isn’t desirable or appropriate when caring for younger children, either practically or in terms of child development. While physical distancing will be expected for certain activities (such as toothbrushing), this wouldn’t be expected or required for all activities.

What safety precautions will be in place to keep my child safe?

Your childminder will be able to explain the risk assessment that they’ve completed, and the actions that they’re taking to keep your child safe. This might include new arrangements for drop off or pick up to reduce the risk of passing the virus from adult to adult. It is also likely to include more frequent cleaning of toys or materials. Childminders have been asked to follow the guidelines available here.

Can I access my funded entitlement at my registered childminder?

If your child already received funded ELC hours with a registered childminder, speak to them to find out if that will be available. If you haven’t previously accessed funded ELC at a registered childminder, then unfortunately new funding arrangements won’t be possible right now. Local authorities have been asked to prioritise critical childcare for keyworkers and vulnerable children right now, and they will share information about funded ELC as soon as they can.

Now that registered childminders are open, can family members, babysitters or nannies look after my children?

The only changes to childcare arrangements so far were for registered childminders and fully outdoor settings. We expect registered ELC providers (for example, nurseries and playgroups) to be able to reopen from 15 July (subject to Scotland moving to Phase 3 by then). Unfortunately, for now, family members, babysitters and nannies won’t be able to offer childcare unless you meet specific criteria.

For single parents, you can now join an extended household with another household. They would be permitted to look after your children, at either your home or theirs.

From 3 July, you can supervise other people’s children when they’re playing together outside without an adult from their household being present. If you’re planning to look after someone else’s children outdoors, or if someone else is planning to look after yours, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the weather to make sure this is practical, as they shouldn’t be going into the house except to use the toilet. Our page on changes to physical distancing for children has more information.

Otherwise, you can only ask someone from another household to look after your children if:

  • you are a keyworker and cannot access other suitable childcare
  • you or your children have on-going regular health or social care needs
  • you have health issues that mean you can’t look after them
  • a one-off emergency comes up, for example, you need to attend a medical appointment, are ill or are having a baby

The person you ask can be a friend or family member, or a babysitter or nanny but they shouldn't be shielding or in an ‘at risk’ category for coronavirus (that is, pregnant, over 70 or with an underlying health condition). If you need someone to look after your children on more than one occasion in these situations, try to make sure it’s always the same person.

Will it be safe?

Is it safe for my child to go back to school?

The main priority for all schools will be to look after your children’s safety and wellbeing, and to ensure that they can continue to learn and make good progress. Schools will all be putting measures into place to make sure that staff and pupils are safe.

Some children and young people need additional support, which means that different considerations are required, for example, where staff need to help with intimate care, provision of some medications and healthcare supports. However, schools will be carrying out individual risk assessments to ensure everyone stays safe. For example, they will decide whether PPE should be worn. At all times the wellbeing, safety and best interests of your child and the staff will be carefully considered.

Schools are planning to reopen from August, subject to scientific advice and evidence that there are no peaks in the reproduction rate of the virus. By putting measures in place to keep children and staff safe and making sure everything is kept clean and hygienic, children can return safely.

Will staff and pupils have to physically distance when they go back to school?

From 3 July, the guidance around physical distancing for children is changing, so that it’s easier for them to spend time with their friends. Our page on physical distancing for children has more information.

The aim is to ensure as many children and young people can safely return to their classrooms as usual.

Will staff be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Staff in schools and ELC settings will not generally need to use PPE unless they would normally need to (for example, in a chemistry lesson), even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small set of circumstances. This might also include where the intimate care of children already involves the use of PPE. Schools will be carrying out individual risk assessments to ensure everyone stays safe, which will include looking at if or when PPE should be worn. At all times the wellbeing, safety and best interests of your child and staff will be carefully considered.

How can my child get to and from school safely?

Your school will be in touch to let you know the safest way for your child to get to school. If your children are over the age of 5 and using public transport to travel to school they must wear a face covering.

Will there be physical distancing in ELC settings?

Physical distancing simply isn’t desirable or appropriate when caring for younger children, either practically or in terms of child development. Instead, ELC settings will be introducing other measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and children, for example, caring for children in small, discrete groups and making more use of outdoor space. There is still a need for adults to physically distance, including staff and parents/carers. New arrangements may be put in place for drop off and pick up times to help parents and carers physically distance too.

These measures will be based on public health advice and the experiences of ELC settings that are currently open to provide critical childcare.

Someone in our household has coronavirus symptoms – should my child go into school?

No. If you or anyone else in your household develops symptoms of coronavirus such as a high temperature or a new and continuous cough or a loss of/change in smell or taste, that person must stay at home for 7 days and get tested. In addition, everyone else in the household must stay at home for 14 days. You can find all the information about what you need to do in the NHS Inform website here

Will teachers be tested for coronavirus?

If teachers develop coronavirus symptoms, they must self-isolate and get tested.

What happens if a child or teacher develops coronavirus symptoms? Does this mean that the teacher and whole class must isolate?

If a staff member or pupil becomes unwell due to suspected coronavirus, they must wait in a ventilated space until they can be collected or get home safely. They will then need to get tested for coronavirus and they and their household must self-isolate. If they test positive for coronavirus they’ll be asked to continue to self-isolate for 7 days and their close contacts, identified through contact tracing, will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

If other staff or pupils need to self-isolate as a result of coming to contact with them, they’ll be contacted by the NHS. You can find out more about the test and protect scheme here.

What about childcare needs between now and then?

My child normally attends summer holiday childcare – will this be available this year?

If your child is currently using critical childcare provision, this will continue over the summer holidays. Your local authority will share more information about arrangements in your area. We expect that summer holiday childcare providers regulated by the Care Inspectorate will be able to open from 15 July, if they choose to do so. (This will depend on Scotland moving into Phase 3 by then, so we’ll update this page when it’s confirmed).

Depending on availability, you may also be able to use a registered childminder – see the section on 'when will registered childminders reopen' above. We’ll be adding more information here for parents before settings reopen. 

What’s happening about childcare for key workers’ children?

Existing childcare provisions for key workers’ children will continue throughout May, June and July. If you think your child may be eligible, you can find out more at www.gov.scot/keyworkerchildcare.

I’ve been asked to return to work and I’m not a keyworker – what childcare will be available to me and when?

If your child is currently using critical childcare provision, this will continue over the summer holidays. Your local authority will share more information about arrangements in your area. We expect that summer holiday childcare providers regulated by the Care Inspectorate will be able to open from 15 July, if they choose to do so. (This will depend on Scotland moving into Phase 3 by then, so we’ll update this page when it’s confirmed).

Depending on availability, you may also be able to use a registered childminder – see the section on 'when will registered childminders reopen' above. For single parent households, you might be able to join an extended household – people from the household you join up with can then look after your children in either your home or theirs.

If childminders are now open, can my family, friends, babysitters or nannies look after my children?

The only changes to childcare arrangements so far are for registered childminders and fully outdoor settings. We expect registered ELC providers (such as nurseries and playgroups) to be able to reopen from 15 July (subject to Scotland moving to Phase 3 by then). Unfortunately, for now, family members, babysitters and nannies won’t be able to offer childcare unless you meet specific criteria.

For single parents, you can now join an extended household with another household. They would be permitted to look after your children, at either your home or theirs.

From 3 July, you can supervise other people’s children when they’re playing together outside without an adult from their household being present. If you’re planning to look after someone else’s children outdoors, or if someone else is planning to look after yours, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the weather to make sure this is practical, as they shouldn’t be going into the house except to use the toilet. Our page on changes to physical distancing for children has more information.

Otherwise, you can only ask family members, friends, babysitters and nannies to help with childcare in the following situations: 

  • you’re a keyworker who is unable access other suitable childcare
  • either you or your children have on-going regular health or social care needs 
  • you have health issues that mean you can’t look after them
  • a one-off emergency comes up, for example, you need to attend a medical appointment, are ill or are having a baby.

The person you ask can be a friend or family member, or a babysitter or nanny but they shouldn't be shielding or in an ‘at risk’ category for coronavirus (that is, pregnant, over 70 or with an underlying health condition). If you need someone to look after your children on more than one occasion in these situations, try to make sure it’s always the same person.

Who is able to access childcare in outdoor settings?

There are 26 fully outdoor childcare settings in Scotland. These were able to open in Phase 1. These settings will be asked to prioritise keyworker families and vulnerable children first. However, they may have extra places available. If your child normally attends one of these settings, you can get in touch with them to find out if they will be reopening and how they will be allocating any extra available places. 

If your child doesn’t normally attend a fully outdoor setting, but you would like to use one, you can contact them to find out if they have space. If you don’t live near one, or are unable to access a fully outdoor setting right now, you might be able to access childcare via a childminder, or, after 15 July (subject to us entering phase 3) another registered childcare provider.

Will my child get free school meals during the summer holidays?

While schools have been closed, local authorities have provided replacement services such as direct cash payments, vouchers or home delivery, to ensure that children who are eligible for free school meals don’t miss out. This service has now been extended, meaning that everyone eligible for free school meals will continue to receive them during the summer holidays.

You can find out if your children are eligible for free school meals here.

My child is in P1 - P3, will they receive free school meals during the summer holidays?

During the school year, all children in P1 – P3 receive free school meals, but this will not carry over into the summer holidays. Instead, only eligible pupils in P1 - P3 whose family are in receipt of qualifying benefits will receive free school meals. If you are receiving any of the qualifying benefits, are experiencing financial hardship or have recently applied for Universal Credit, you can contact your local authority to advise of your situation and submit an application to receive free school meals.

You can find contact details for your local authority here.

What will school be like?

What will schools be like when they reopen?

The aim is for pupils to return to school full time, as usual. However, there may be some changes, for example:

  • making changes to how or where pupils are dropped off and picked up
  • changing how people move around the school buildings
  • changing seating arrangements 
  • ensuring everyone washes their hands regularly
  • staggering lunch breaks
  • deep cleaning more frequently
  • holding more lessons outside where possible.

The current plan is for all children to return to school full time in August. If it’s not possible for pupils to return full time, then they 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. This is sometimes referred to as ‘blended learning’. In this case, pupils will start to spend more time in school as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Exactly how blended learning will work will differ from school to school. Even though schools are now planning to go back full time, your child’s school will still be planning for blended learning in case it becomes necessary.

When they’re deciding which changes to make, schools will be taking the following things into consideration:

  • how to best meet the needs of children and young people with additional support needs
  • how to best meet the needs of children who may be more likely to fall behind
  • how to best meet the needs of children who are starting ELC, P1 and S1
  • how to balance in school and home learning with the number of staff available
  • how to best meet the needs of pupils who are shielding and can’t attend school at all.

Teachers will be doing everything they can to help children get used to being back at school. Many pupils may be anxious about going back to school, and some may have experienced traumatic events during lockdown, so teachers will be extra sensitive to the mental health and wellbeing needs of all pupils. The first few days after schools reopen are likely to be focused on welcoming pupils back rather than lots of learning.

How will schools make up for the lost learning time and ensure all pupils get to the same level?

Schools realise that children will have been learning at different rates during lockdown, and some may have done more schoolwork than others. Your child’s school should offer extra support to any children who may have fallen behind over the past few months. If you have any concerns or questions about your children’s learning and progress you should discuss this with their teacher and school.

Can I go into school with my child, to help them settle in?

Ahead of the start of the next school term your child’s school will be in contact about all measures that will be in place to keep all children and staff safe, including when parents can enter school buildings.

Will my child be attending their usual school building?

It's possible that as well as using existing school buildings, schools may also use other spaces such as community halls and libraries. In addition, lessons may take place outdoors in the school grounds, in the local area or if necessary, further away. There are lots of things to consider, so schools will let families know what to expect before they return to school.

What about other school activities, like sports and music clubs?

This will depend on your school. However, it’s likely that at first schools will focus on the core school day, and extra activities will be reintroduced later, when it’s safe and possible to do so. It will be up to individual schools to decide whether children will do PE as part of the regular school day.

What about out of school care services?

Out of school care services will only be able to reopen when it’s safe to do so. We’ll be adding more information here for parents before settings reopen.

Will parents’ evenings still take place?

Your child’s teachers will continue to update you on their progress, but it’s possible that face to face meetings such as parents’ evenings will happen in different ways. Your child’s school will contact you to let you know what these new arrangements are.

What happens if schools can’t go back full time?

When will we know if schools aren’t going back full time? Will my child get enough time to adapt to the changes?

If schools are no longer able to go back full time and must return to the part time ‘blended learning’ plan, they’ll let you know as soon as possible. As this decision will be based on how well the virus is under control in Scotland, it may not be possible to give much notice. However, whatever happens, teachers will be doing everything they can to welcome pupils and help them adjust to being back at school, whether they are part time or full time. 

Who will decide which children go to school when? Can my children all go to school on the same day?

Schools are aiming to go back full time in August. However, if this is not possible, schools will do their best to accommodate your circumstances wherever possible when deciding which pupils will go into school when. 

How will a mix of home and school learning work?

Schools are aiming to go back full time in August. However, if this is not possible, pupils may spend some time learning in school and some time learning at home – this is sometimes referred to as ‘blended learning’. Schools are expected to provide good quality activities for children and young people, both for the time they spend in school and at home. There will also be support for children and young people to develop their skills at learning online and from home, and to help them develop skills to cope with the uncertainty and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. You can find out more about how this may work at the National Parent Forum of Scotland website.

While schools have been closed, my child's teacher has provided work online and they have been in touch regularly. How can teachers do this from August if they’re teaching in school as well?

Local authorities and schools are currently reviewing the availability of teaching staff and making plans to ensure that all pupils are able to learn effectively and make good progress, whether in school or at home. 

Will my child still get free school meals on days they don’t go into school?

While schools have been closed, local authorities have provided replacement services such as direct cash payments, vouchers or home delivery, to ensure that children who usually get free school meals don’t miss out. If schools are not able to return full time, they should continue to provide a similar service once term starts so that eligible pupils continue to get free meals every school day.

How can I balance work if my child can’t go back full time? Will childcare be available?

At the moment, only registered childminders and fully outdoor settings are allowed to open. However, registered ELC providers can open from 15 July, subject to individual provider arrangements.

At present the Scottish Government is asking employers to be flexible with employees who need to stay at home with their children. Our page on working from home has tips and advice to help you, and our page on returning to work has more information on childcare and your rights.

What support will I get to help my child learn at home?

If any learning at home is required it will be arranged and supported by your child’s teachers. You won’t be expected to ‘home school’ your child in the formal sense and teachers will be available to help and support your child with their learning at home. We have lots of useful advice and tips about learning at home here.

We don’t have the right devices at home for digital learning, can we get help with this?

Schools are aware that not everybody is set up at home for digital learning and will be taking this into account when planning any home learning. For example, they may provide support to families who don’t have computers or tablets or don’t know how to set them up, or may produce physical home learning packs instead if home learning is required.

What will ELC be like?

Will there be a transition for children returning to ELC?

ELC settings are thinking about the best way to support children who are starting at a new setting or returning to a familiar setting that looks and feels a bit different. Your local authority or ELC setting will be in touch to let you know what’s changing and how they’ll be supporting your child.

If nurseries go back part time, can my children attend on the same days?

This will be up to individual local authorities and ELC settings, so you’ll need to discuss this with them when your child’s ELC setting is preparing to reopen. However, if this is required, then they will be asked to consider the needs of their families.

When will I find out what will be changing at my child's nursery?

Nursery staff are working just now to prepare to make nurseries safe for reopening. The Scottish Government has published guidance to help them do this. This will be updated if the scientific advice changes. Your child's nursery will update you before they reopen to let you know what changes have been made.

Will my child get to play with their friends?

Yes, they will be able to play freely with others in small groups of up to 8 children and won’t have to stay 2 metres apart. For now, nurseries have been asked to make sure that children only play with the children in their group.

Will they get to play outdoors?

Yes, there should still be plenty of opportunities for children to play outdoors, although some settings might have to change the way children access their outdoor space.

How will physical distancing work? Will my child still get cuddles if they’re upset?

Physical distancing simply isn’t desirable or appropriate when caring for younger children, either practically or in terms of child development. Children will be in small groups (of up to 8) and will be able to play together in those groups. Keyworkers can also play with children, help them with activities (including handwashing) or give them a cuddle if they need one.

Will my child be able to return to their usual hours at nursery?

In order to meet the small group requirements, some nurseries may have to reduce the number of children that attend each day. This means some children might not be able to attend all of their normal sessions. Your nursery will let you know once they’ve been able to plan how they’ll operate.

Will they get snacks and lunch?

Nurseries can still give snacks and lunch, but they might make changes to the way they do this. They’ll be in touch about the arrangements.

What if I don’t want to send my child to ELC? Will I still have to pay?

No one will have to send their child to ELC if they don’t want to. Learning at home will still be an option. No family of an eligible child will have to pay for their 600 hours of funded ELC. If you pay for private childcare, this will depend on the arrangement you have with your setting.

Will I be able to go into the nursery with my child?

At the moment nurseries are limiting parents entering the setting where possible. Staff at your child’s nursery can tell you more about the new arrangements to manage drop-off and pick-up times, including any arrangements for where children need support to settle in.

What’s happening about transitioning to new schools?

My child is due to start primary or secondary school in August – how will they be supported?

Before schools return in August, children due to start P1 or S1 will be supported to start their new school. Local authorities and schools are working to provide virtual tours of schools, introductory videos and information to help you and your child with this transition. Your child’s school will be in touch with you once these arrangements are in place.

There are also some simple things you can do to help your child prepare for the move – read our pages on starting primary and secondary school for some tips.

My child should be starting school in August but I’d prefer they didn’t – can I defer and keep them in ELC?

Schools will be doing everything they can to support children when they come back to school, no matter what year they’re in. Local authorities and schools are working hard to make sure that children have a positive transition, so that they’re ready to start school. However, if you’re considering keeping your child in ELC for an extra year, you should speak to your local authority, who can explain the deferral process in your area.

My child is in P7 or S6, will they miss out on the leaving prom/ceremony altogether?

Children who have missed out on opportunities to celebrate leaving school will have the opportunity to do so at a later date. Your child’s school will be thinking about appropriate ways for children to mark these important changes, and will contact you to let you know how these arrangements will be made. Make sure you keep in touch with updates from the school to see what they’re planning to do.

What support will there be for pupils with additional support needs?

Schools will be doing everything they can to support children when they come back to school. Pupils with additional support needs who are starting ELC, P1 or S1 should get extra help with this transition. For example, the school may create a storyboard or resources using Makaton or other sign or symbol languages, or may arrange for the pupils to make a visit (maintaining physical distancing rules).

What support will there be for pupils who are shielding?

Before schools return in August, all children due to start P1 or S1 will be supported to start their new school. This includes pupils who are shielding. Your child’s school will be in touch with you once these arrangements are in place.  

My child is not returning to school and is now preparing for post-school transition, what help is available to them?

Skills Development Scotland has a range of supports in place to support young people who are leaving school to move onto the next stage of their learning, or into work. Information about Skills Development Scotland's services is available here.

What if I or my child has concerns about going back to school or ELC?

My child is worried about going back to school – how can I help them?

Talking to your child about how they’re feeling about going back to school or their ELC setting is really important. Many children will be excited about seeing their friends and teachers, so when you’re talking to them about going back, make sure you emphasise these positive aspects so that they start to look forward to it.

However, it’s understandable that your child may be worried about going back to school or ELC after spending so much time with you at home. This is normal, and the school or ELC setting will be expecting it, so teachers will be extra sensitive to the mental health and wellbeing needs of all pupils. If your child is feeling worried or if you have any concerns about how they will feel going back, you should discuss this with their teachers or ELC practitioners, who will be able to provide further advice and support. 

Our page on supporting your child’s mental health has more tips on how you can help your child manage any worries.

My child has additional support needs – what does this mean for them?

Schools will be doing everything they can to support children when they come back to school. Some children, including children with additional support needs, may require more support to return to school or ELC settings, or may require additional arrangements to ensure they’re kept safe. Schools and councils are putting plans in place to support all children and young people’s learning. These will include plans to continue to offer extra help to pupils with additional support needs. Depending on the school which your child attends, and the additional support needs your child has, there may be different things taken into account, including the need to use specialised equipment, such as hoists, the need for staff to have protective equipment, and how children and young people will move around the school, and when.  

In these circumstances your child’s school will be in touch to discuss how best to support their return to school.

Enquire has a useful web page on what all the changes caused by coronavirus mean for children with additional support needs.

My child or someone else in our household is shielding – should my child go back to school?

If by August your child is still being advised to shield, they should continue to learn from home, and will be fully supported by their teachers to do so. Even though schools are now expecting to go back full time, this still applies. If you have any concerns about your child returning to school, you should contact their teacher or headteacher to discuss this. 

If a child lives in a household where someone else is shielding, they can return to school. However, you should continue to follow the latest government guidance on shielding and contact your child’s teacher or head teacher if you have any concerns.

I am a kinship carer and we are shielding, should my child return to school as soon as they open again?

The Scottish Government’s guidance about the plans for returning to school explains that there are different arrangements for children and young people depending on their circumstances, whether they are shielding, or where a member of their family or carers are shielding. It will be for you to consider how these arrangements apply to you and your family, however, the guidance asks that education authorities and schools make arrangements to support the learning of pupils who cannot attend school in these circumstances.

My child has underlying health conditions, is it safe for them to go back to school?

If your child is clinically vulnerable, parents and carers are advised to talk to their doctor about returning to school.

I don’t want my child to go back to school – what can I do?

It’s important that children return to school if they can do so safely. If you have any concerns about your child going back, you should contact their teacher or headteacher to discuss this. If they need to stay at home, they should continue with learning at home based on the advice from their teachers.

The media is reporting that coronavirus may have a disproportionate impact on people from minority ethnic communities. Is this true, and what do I need to do?

There is some emerging evidence, largely from England and the US, that coronavirus may have an increased impact on these communities. If your child becomes unwell, you should seek medical advice by phoning NHS 111.

Where schools and local authorities believe that a young person who is attending school has become unwell they should follow the procedures outlined in the re-opening schools guide.

What is likely to happen in the future?

What are the plans for qualifications and exams in 2020/21?

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is planning for examinations to go ahead in 2020/21. The SQA will update learners, parents and schools with further details regarding exams in 2020/21 as these are finalised.

Will schools shut again if the virus gets worse?

If the virus gets worse after restrictions have been lifted, schools may need to move to blended learning or even close again, possibly at short notice. These decisions will be taken based on the advice from experts and your child’s school will make you aware of the specific arrangements.

When will schools return to normal?

Schools will not return to normal until it’s safe to do so. At the moment a date cannot be set.