Secondary schools

In line with national guidance, many of the mitigations that were in place before the summer holidays will remain for the first six weeks of the new term. 

Your school will share information with you before the start of term on 18 August. Please refer to this for the specific arrangements at your secondary school. 

Key points you should be aware of which apply to all our secondary schools:

  • all pupils should resume twice-weekly lateral flow testing ahead of their return to school: this is a voluntary programme for young people with no symptoms to help reduce potential outbreaks in schools: find out more - including how to order a test
  • face coverings are still required for all staff and all S1-S6 pupils (unless exempt): these are to be worn in class, corridors and social areas but may be removed for eating and drinking - pupils should provide their own face coverings
  • physical distancing between young people and staff is still required: most schools will keep the same 2m distancing arrangements they had in place already - please refer to your own school information for details
  • although there is still no requirement for strict physical distancing between young people in school, distancing between secondary school pupils is encouraged where possible
  • enhanced ventilation will still be in place so pupils should dress appropriately to keep warm and in line with the school uniform code
  • face coverings remain essential on home to school transport - read more about our transport arrangements
  • hand sanitising will continue to be required when entering and leaving school building and individual classrooms
  • parents/carers are still unable to come into school during the COVID-19 recovery (unless by prior arrangement and risk assessed) - all communications must be via email or telephone
  • if your young person was previously shielding or has a health condition: please contact your school by email to ensure their return to learning can be supported

Changes to Test and Protect/ self-isolation

The national policy on self-isolation, contact tracing and testing for children and young people aged under 18 has been updated. Whole classes will no longer be asked to self-isolate if someone in the class tests positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Your child will only be identified as a contact if they have had prolonged close contact with the case, such as living in the same household, or overnight stays. There will be no requirement for you or your child to self-isolate unless you are contacted by Test and Protect.

All close contacts of the case who need to take specific actions will be identified, contacted and advised by NHS Test and Protect to follow the latest guidance on self-isolation and testing which was updated from Monday 9 August 2021 for:

  • adults who are fully vaccinated, who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive
  • children and young people aged under 18 who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive.

Find out more from Test and Protect

Vaccination for 16 and 17 year olds

From Tuesday 10 August, all drop-in clinics in Scotland that offer the Pfizer vaccine are open to 16 and 17 year olds.

Find out where your nearest East Lothian and Lothian drop-in clinics are by visiting Vaccination Clinics (

Further information will soon be shared with parents and carers regarding the vaccination programme for 12-15 year olds as outlined in a letter from National Clinical Director Jason Leitch.

Learn more about the coronavirus vaccine at NHS Inform.

What should I do if my child has Covid-19 symptoms?

If your child/young person is showing any symptoms of Covid-19 please do not send them to school. You should inform the school office of their absence in the usual way then self-isolate following guidance from NHS Inform and Test and Protect.

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a fever/high temperature
  • a change or loss in taste and or/ smell

Further information is available at

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