Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scotland’s parents will today be told if schools can reopen. Here’s the announcement details

Nicola Sturgeon promised at yesterday's daily briefing to outline 'our most up-to-date thinking' on how and when pupils will return to school.
Nicola Sturgeon promised at yesterday's daily briefing to outline 'our most up-to-date thinking' on how and when pupils will return to school.

Nicola Sturgeon will today given an update on when and how pupils may return to school.

The First Minister’s Covid statement will include news about remote learning beyond mid-February, as well as details of plans for coronavirus testing in schools.

Since the Christmas holidays, most children have been learning online at home, with only children of key workers and vulnerable children permitted to attend in person.

When the period of remote learning was extended to the middle of this month on January 19 Ms Sturgeon promised a review on February 2.

There was an indication then that pupils may return to class in phases.

What will we learn?

Today’s Covid statement will be delivered to the Scottish Parliament shortly after 2pm.

You can watch it live on Scottish Parliament TV.

In her daily briefing on Monday Ms Sturgeon said: “Tomorrow’s review will also consider schools and early years provision and will set out our most up-to-date thinking on how and when we might be able to start to resume in-person learning and childcare.

“Obviously, all of us want to do that just as soon as possible.

“I will also tomorrow provide information on some expanded arrangements for testing in those settings as well.”

‘Children should be in school’

One of her Covid-19 advisers, Professor Devi Sridhar, has called for children to return to school.

The Edinburgh University public health expert Tweeted at the weekend: “I’m increasingly convinced by data from countries across the world that we are underestimating the harms of keeping young kids out of school and overplaying their role in transmission.

“Children should be in school.”

She pointed to a study in Norway which found minimal transmission among children and between children and adults in primary schools where infection prevention and control measures, such as distancing and enhanced hygiene, were in place.

Fellow Edinburgh University professor Evropi Theodoratou, who contributed to a Royal Society study of school closures last year, told us: “The implications of closed schools are many and important and I am sure the government is aware of these.

Professor Evropi Theodoratou, of Edinburgh University.

“Opening and keeping schools open in a safe way should be a priority.

“An important step towards the safe opening of schools is to lower community transmission, which is why the current lockdown measures were introduced.

What I would like to hear from the government are the details and indicators they have set for the road map towards schools’ opening.”

Professor Evropi Theodoratou

“In terms of measures of protection within schools, the ones that have already been introduced seem to be effective since we didn’t have high numbers of infections in Scottish schools during the first term.

“What I would like to hear from the government are the details and indicators they have set for the road map towards schools opening.”

Teachers’ union caution

The EIS teaching union urged the Scottish Government to err on the side of caution and follow England’s lead, where schools will remain closed until March 8 at least.

General secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, Larry Flanagan, said: “Everyone is keen to see schools reopen as soon as possible but this can only happen when it is safe to do, both in terms of suppressing community infection levels and also operating schools safely.

“Whilst community infection levels have dropped, they remain high and a premature opening of schools would simply push the R figure up again, leading potentially to a further period of lockdown.

We would urge the Scottish Government to exhibit an equally cautious approach and not to gamble with school safety.”

Larry Flanagan, EIS teaching union

“The EIS notes that the UK Government, not known for its caution, has indicated mid-March as its target for schools to reopen.

“We would urge the Scottish Government to exhibit an equally cautious approach and not to gamble with school safety.”

He also suggested blended learning – where pupils learn in school part-time and at home – may be needed to allow physical distancing.

‘Last chance to save school year’

Controversial parents group, UsForThem Scotland, claimed today is the “last chance to save the school year”.

Organiser Jo Bisset said: “If the school gates aren’t opened again immediately, parents suspect that’ll be it until the summer, and another year will be down the drain for those who can least afford it.

“More and more voices across the UK are now finally speaking up about the damage inflicted on children and families as a direct result of these prolonged closures.

“Even the First Minister’s own advisers are stating that blanket closures of schools has been a mistake that must be rectified.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]