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Staff and pupils to return to classrooms in August.

Schools will re-open full-time from 11 August, following scientific evidence and advice that it is safe to do so.

New guidance, developed with the Education Recovery Group, has been published to support local authorities, teachers and parents to prepare for the new term and minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission through the application of a number of infection mitigation measures.

Every school will carry out a risk assessment and put in place enhanced hygiene and cleaning arrangements.

In line with scientific advice received from the COVID-19 Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues, primary pupils will not need to physically distance from each other.

The scientific advice also makes clear that distancing is not required for a safe return to secondary schools. However, as an additional precautionary measure, the guidance says that where possible secondary schools should take practical, proportionate steps to encourage distancing between young people, particularly in the senior phase, provided it does not introduce capacity constraints. This goes beyond the requirements of the scientific advice, and represents an additional measure to minimise risk.

School staff will need to physically distance from each other and, where possible, from children and young people who are not part of the same household. For the majority of staff in schools, personal protective equipment will not be necessary, but guidelines make clear the exceptions to this position.

In addition to Test and Protect – Scotland’s test, trace, isolate, support strategy – a surveillance programme is being developed for schools, where regular testing and survey data will identify symptoms and infections in the school population. This will allow regular reporting on incidences of infection and inform the ongoing development of guidance for schools.


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