Lesley Brown, Chief Operating Officer for Education, is writing to parents and carers to provide an update on the reopening of schools in August.
I hope that you and your family are well and that you have managed to enjoy the summer break. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with a further update on the reopening of schools for session 2020/21.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 30 July, the First Minister confirmed that schools will be reopening to our children and young people on a full-time basis at the start of the new session. As you know, the 10th and 11th August are in-service days and our staff will be spending time in school on those days ensuring everything is in place, ready to welcome children and young people back from Wednesday 12th August. Whilst the First Minister has indicated that there will be some flexibility in place in order to phase children back, the Scottish Government expectation is that all children and young people must be back in school by 18th August. Head Teachers will provide further information to you about the specifics of the return for your child’s school. As previously indicated, the nursery session will resume from 17th August.
Following this announcement, the Scottish Government has published detailed guidance on what this means for our schools. Our planning for a full-time return is well underway although we will now need to ensure that our arrangements meet the requirements under this new guidance. We are also committed to communicating fully with our school communities and our Head Teachers will confirm further details in due course.
The Scottish Government has also relaxed the restrictions for children and staff who are shielding and for those with other health conditions. This is on the basis that there is agreement with the appropriate health professionals and that appropriate risk assessments are in place. We recognise that this will be an anxious time for families and our schools will be contacting those affected but if you are unsure about your own situation, please get in touch with your school.
We will continue to provide important updates relating to matters such as transport and travel to school, arrangements for break and lunchtimes and hand-hygiene measures. We ask that you read this information carefully, share it with your children as appropriate so that they understand what will be required of them, and please don’t hesitate to contact your school if you have any questions.
I am very grateful for your patience and support throughout this process. Returning to school full-time is an important step in our route-map out of lockdown and reflects the measures that have been taken to continue to suppress the transmission of Covid-19 in Scotland. We are all looking forward to welcoming children and young people back to school after summer and our schools will confirm the arrangements with you prior to the 12th August.
Chief Operating Officer (Education)