Throughout the pandemic, schools and the Scottish Government have done all they can to help keep children and young people in schools for face-to-face learning, while maintaining a safe and supportive school environment for staff and pupils.
There have been some important changes to the rules on self-isolation for under 18s at the start of term that should help achieve that. But to give public health experts time to monitor the impacts of those changes, and to ensure we can keep reducing the risks of COVID-19 in schools, many of the previous restrictions will stay in place in schools for up to 6 weeks at the start of term.
We know this can seem counter-intuitive when people look at things changing in wider society. But this approach reflects the unique features of the school environment, which at the start of term will involve large numbers of unvaccinated children and young people coming together with adult staff. This is very different from many other events and settings, where an increasing proportion of attendees will be vaccinated adults and can make risk-based decisions on attendance.
This restrictions are in line with what the expert Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s issues have recommended. The restrictions will be kept under close review and, when they can safely be eased, they will be.