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Decision on full time return for schools in Scotland to be announced

Decision on full-time return for schools in Scotland to be announced

Scotland’s First Minister will announce if children can expect to be back in the classroom full-time from August 11.

Nicola Sturgeon will address MSPs at 12.20pm on Thursday, following the three-week review of lockdown easing measures.

At the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the First Minister gave her clearest signal yet that pupils will not be undertaking the “blended model” upon their return in under two weeks, as had initially been planned.

She said: “I think you know where we’re trying to get to on schools and you’ve probably not heard anything from me today that suggests we’re going in the opposite direction but I’ll announce the detail of those decisions tomorrow.”

At the height of the pandemic, the Scottish Government proposed schools would return part time in autumn, with around 50% of learning done in school and the remainder at home.

But continued suppression of the virus means a full-time return could now be possible.

Along with the announcement on schooling, the First Minister is also expected to allow a pause on shielding.

People with compromised immune systems or certain health conditions were instructed to self-isolate at the beginning of the pandemic for 12 weeks, a period that was extended until at least July 31.

The reduction in cases in Scotland means they are now expected to be allowed to follow the advice given to older people, which enables more personal freedom but stresses vigilance and care.

With the announcements on shielding and schools, the First Minister said there “is not going to leave us very much room for immediate changes” elsewhere.

Some of the easing expected in phase four includes the restarting of some live events, mass gatherings, work in non-essential offices and the return of gyms.

While these are not expected to see an immediate restart, the First Minister said some will be given indicative dates for reopening.

Published: 30/07/2020 by Radio NewsHub

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