Phased return for school pupils confirmed

A phased return of pupils to schools and early years settings will start next week after the Scottish Government confirmed details today (Tuesday 16 February).

The announcement means that from Monday 22 February early years and nursery pupils, P1 to P3 pupils and a limited number of senior phase pupils who need to finish practical assignments will be able to return to their schools. Support for children of key workers and vulnerable children in other years will continue.

All schools and nurseries will be following the latest advice from the Scottish Government on health guidance so they are safe for pupils and teaching staff. Individual schools will contact parents in the coming days to update them on their own specific arrangements.

Cllr Ian Perry, Education, Children and Families Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

This is the news many families across the city were waiting for and it’s great that they now have confirmation their children will be back in school next week. There’s very good home learning involving our young people, teaching staff and parents taking place but everyone knows there’s no better place for children than being back in school with their peers and learning face to face.

For all other pupils home learning will continue and we hope we can welcome more pupils back in school soon as long as the virus continues to be suppressed. It’s really important we all continue to follow the guidance especially now pupils are back at school so parents are advised not to gather at school gates at drop off and pick up times. We all have to work together to help protect the NHS and save lives.

Cllr Alison Dickie, Education, Children and Families Vice Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

I’m delighted that our youngest pupils will be able to return to their schools and nurseries next week as these are really challenging times for many families. It’s so important for their learning and development that children are back in school where they belong. And very much for their mental health too. Our schools have been working hard preparing for their return and teaching staff are really looking forward to welcoming them back. 

We will make sure our schools continue to be safe learning and teaching environments for all our young people and staff by following the latest health advice. We very much want to see more pupils back in our schools as soon as it is safe to do so and the Scottish Government will make a further announcement on the phased return of pupils in two weeks time.

Published: February 16th 2021