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School Pupils are to Return to Full Time Classes on the 12th of August

Updated: 2 days ago

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced to the Parliament today that schools are set to reopen to full time teaching on Tuesday the 11th of August.

This comes after local MSP John Swinney said that the decision would become clear on the 30th of July.

In her statement to parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is a moral and educational imperative that we get children back to school as soon as is safely possible.”

Local authorities will be given the option to phase the reintroduction of full-time teaching.

However, Ms Sturgeon said: “We expect all pupils to be at school, full time, on the eighteen of August at the latest.”

The announcement of this decision comes after what she described as: “A key reason for our cautious approach to lockdown easing, over the past few months, and indeed the past two weeks, is that determination to drive the virus down as low as possible.

“And keep prevalence low so that schools can return safely in August.”

School children will not need to distance while on the school estate, but that ‘distance should be maintained between pupils in secondary school where possible.’

She stressed in parliament that safety was the key deciding factor behind the announcement, citing scientific advice as the basis for distance guidance.

Alongside the reintroduction of full-time teaching, Ms Sturgeon confirmed an additional £30 million towards the recruitment of teachers.

This aims to add an extra 1400 teachers in schools as part of the now £75 million investment into schools.

Ms Sturgeon addressed criticism that this message could have been made sooner to help parents plan their return to work and after school care.

She said to parliament: “Now I realise that earlier confirmation of this would have provided more certainty for parents and schools to get ready for the new term.

“But we had to be sure, very sure, that the latest evidence supported this decision.”

To ensure the safety of staff and pupils returning to schools, the education mitigation measures sets new rules on ventilation, hygiene practises and cleaning regimes.

Ms Sturgeon added: “It is absolutely vital for the safe reopening of schools, that these measures are applied rigorously in all settings.”

There will also be further public health measures put in place to protect against the spread of the virus with test and protect surveillance and a fast track testing for any symptomatic staff or pupils.

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