Archive of Scottish Government COVID-19 guidance

Coronavirus guidance and news from Scottish Government

Back to Coronavirus information (updated) for updates since date below

Scottish Government

Public Health Scotland:  Surveillance of COVID-19 in education: key findings for schools, pupils and staff 16 December 2020

Childcare expansion from August 2021 14 December 2020
New date for flagship policy announced.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): student home visits 9 December 2020
Guidance for students living away from home explaining how restrictions on social gatherings apply, as well as plans for the end of term 2020.

SQA Awards update 8 December 2020
Higher and Advanced Higher exams replaced.

Staggered return to campus for university students 8 December 2020
Further COVID testing before restart of new term.

Nursery rate relief extended until 2023 4 December 2020

No change to school holiday dates  3 December 2020
Public health advice is not to alter Christmas term dates.

Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Update No. 9 – November 2020 26 November 2020

Testing expansion update 25 November 2020
From the return of the school term in January, a number of school pilots will also get underway with the aim of establishing a sustainable programme of asymptomatic testing amongst school staff.

Guidance for students returning home:  Plans for mass testing of asymptomatic students. 25 November 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools 18 November 2020
Evidence paper on transmission, risks and absences:

Updates to COVID-19 protection levels 17 November 2020:
A further evidence paper on school safety will be published by the Deputy First Minister tomorrow.

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Update No. 8 – November 2020 (pdf)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children, 12 November 2020
Guidance for the safe running of organised activities for children and young people.

Helping students home at the end of termPlans to support students to return safely, 11 November 2020

More mental health support for students 06 November 2020

Children and young people’s mental health (02 November 2020)
£15 million to help with impact of pandemic.

Updated schools guidance (30 October 2020)

Local authority levels confirmed (29 October 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare (ELC) services (29 October 2020)
Non-statutory guidance to support the continued safe operation of ELC settings.

Education Scotland: Strengthening support for school staff
The Scottish Government has announced new support to be offered to school staff as part of a £1.5 million funding package to help manage additional pressures as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Help for residential outdoor education centres (22 October 2020)

Education Scotland has launched a COVID-19 Education Recovery page on its website to provide a single point of access to documents related to education recovery and guidelines on practical activities. (October 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's Strategic Framework (23 October 2020)
This document sets out the Scottish Government’s strategic approach to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while we strive to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible. 

Revised Ventilation and Heating Guidance for schools (12 October 2020):

SQA awards 2021
Plans for Highers to go ahead; National 5 exams replaced. 
(7 October 2020) Further updates

Early learning and childcare: induction resource (6 October 2020)
The ELC National Induction Resource has been refreshed. Developed to support you through your induction period in delivering ELC, it now reflects the most recent updates in policy and best practice, including changes relating to COVID-19.

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Update No. 7 – 30 September 2020 (pdf)

Support for self-isolating students:
Minister says physical and mental wellbeing the priority.  News, 30 September 2020

Student accommodation guidance on visits home  27 September 2020

Updated: 17 September 2020:

Updated school reopening guidance
All changes from v2.0 are marked in red text in the document. The key changes are:

  • Paras 79 and 106 – updated guidance on PPE when individuals are symptomatic
  • Paras 100-104 – Test and Protect
  • Paras 113-116 – self-isolation arrangements following international travel
  • Paras 128-131 – outbreak and case management
  • Para 141 – young people in the senior phase attending college
  • Para 151 – PE guidelines
  • Para 152 – home economics guidelines
  • Para 156 – guidance on school visits
  • Para 179 – access to drinking water
  • Paras 180-181 – breakfast clubs

Related guidelines and guidance:

COVID-19 Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s advice notes and minutes of discussions

Strengthening support for school staff (News, 13 September 2020)
School staff will be offered new support as part of a £1.5 million funding package to help manage additional pressures as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Barnardo’s Scotland and mental health charity Place2Be will offer new mental health support for staff with the intention this will be available after the October break.

Health guidance for students: Clinicians outline when to seek a COVID-19 test.
Scotland’s most senior clinicians have written a joint open letter to college and university students with advice on what to do if they develop cold or flu-like symptoms during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic   (News, 10 September 2020)

Education Scotland: COVID-19 Return to educational establishments: Practical subject guidelines - 7 September 2020

Update: 2 September: Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Update - 2 September 2020 (pdf)

Update: 1 September 2020: Safe return to campuses Updated guidance for colleges, universities and student accommodation.

Updates: 31 August 2020:

Guidance on children with non-COVID ailments News release: Reassurance for parents and teachers.

Common cold and COVID-19 symptoms: advice for parents and carers: Guidance on how COVID-19 symptoms differ from those of other infections circulating at this time of year, from Scotland's National Clinical Director.

Updates: 25 August 2020

 Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020

Face coverings in schools Guidance updated.

Update: 21 August 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reopening early learning and childcare services

Update: 17 August 2020: 

COVID-19 SECTOR ADVICE CARD (pdf)

This card applies to all primary schools, secondary schools, special schools and alternative provisions settings including those which are independent, residential or grant aided.  For nursery classes co-located with primary school, the separate guidance for ELC applies.

ADVICE FOR SCHOOLS: VISITS AND TRIPS AUTUMN TERM 2020 (issued 14 August 2020) (pdf)

Updates 11 August 2020:

Testing available for education workers Priority access to those who feel they have been at risk.


 


SQA results Downgraded results scrapped; qualifications to be based on teacher judgement.

Updates 10 August 2020

A note from the Chief Medical Officer on the latest scientific evidence on COVID-19 and reopening Scotland’s schools (pdf)

Updates: 30 July 2020

Letter from John Swinney: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020 (pdf)

Phase 3 continues with further indicative re-opening dates
Full-time school reopening confirmed with further £60m support.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector
Guidance on the daycare services for children in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reopening early learning and childcare services
Non-statutory guidance for early learning and childcare (ELC) providers in the local authority, private and third sectors to support a safe reopening of these settings during Phase 3

Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues – advisory note on physical distancing in early learning and childcare settings (ELC)
Advisory note from the Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues about physical distancing in early learning and childcare settings (ELC).

COVID-19 – Framework for Decision Making: Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis Phase 3 Update – 30th July 2020
This publication provides an update to Scotland's Route Map, setting out further phase 3 changes, including the full and safe re-opening of schools.

Children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment: The closure and reopening of schools as part of the COVID-19 recovery process in Scotland
This impact assessment considers the impacts to children’s rights and wellbeing as a result of the closure of schools due to COVID-19, the plan to reopen schools full-time from August 2020, and the associated contingency of a blended learning model.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020
This guidance has been developed to support a safe return to school for all children, young people and staff taking full account of progress made in suppressing COVID-19 in Scotland, the scientific advice received and the advice of the Education Recovery Group and other key stakeholders.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for continuity in learning
Guidance to help local authorities, early learning centres and schools continue to support children and young people's learning during the coronavirus outbreak.

Children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment: The closure and reopening of schools as part of the COVID-19 recovery process in Scotland
This impact assessment considers the impacts to children’s rights and wellbeing as a result of the closure of schools due to COVID-19, the plan to reopen schools full-time from August 2020, and the associated contingency of a blended learning model.

Funding follows the child and the national standard for early learning and childcare providers: interim guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): fully outdoor childcare providers guidance

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Read more: www.gov.scot/news/covid-19-testing-for-under-fives

Updates: 16 July 2020:

Support for childcare sector
Transitional Support Fund announced by Scottish Government.

Planning for re-opening schools safely
Advice on physical distancing and school transport published.

Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues – advisory note on physical distancing in schools
Advisory note from the Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues about physical distancing in schools.


Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues – advisory note on school transport
Advisory note from the Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues about school transport.



Early learning and childcare: letter to Directors of Education ELC LA leads (8 July 2020)
Joint letter from COSLA and Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd MSP to Directors of Education, early learning and childcare (ELC) local authority leads. The statutory entitlement to ELC from 11 August will remain 600 hours. The legal obligation to increase provision to 1140 hours from August 2020 has been suspended.

2 July 2020:

COVID-19 Advisory Group: physical distancing advice: Advice commissioned by the First Minister and Chief Medical Officer on 2 metre distancing.
6. Are there any particular issues to consider in relation to schools and physical distancing? And is there evidence from other countries that could support alternative approaches?
With regards to distancing among children in schools, the evidence suggests that there is little difference in the risk of virus transmission between 1m and 2m distancing, however 2m distancing carries with it an emotional and logistical cost. Maintaining a 2m distancing in schools severely restricts the number of children who can be taught at any one time. The adverse effects of lack of schooling on children has been highlighted by many education experts. Similar arguments apply to further and higher education. It should be noted that there is broad consensus in the group that 2m distancing in schools will not be necessary should the situation remain as it is currently. The group supports the work and approach to developing advice being taken in the Subgroup on Education and Children’s Issues. Mitigation measures should remain in place for adults present in school, and the importance of hand hygiene and surface cleaning should be reinforced to both children and adults.

Safe return to college and university Guidance, 25 June 2020

Updates: 25 June 2020:

Education Recovery Group
Group continues work to develop plans for full reopening of schools.

Return to full-time schooling

Skills Academy

Re-opening of schools
Deputy First Minister John Swinney updates Parliament on plans to reopen schools, 23 June 2020

Review of additional support for learning implementation: report Published: 19 Jun 2020
Report from an independent review of the implementation of the additional support for learning legislation which began in September 2019 and concluded with the submission of this report and recommendations to Scottish Ministers and COSLA.

Education Scotland:

Free school meals extended  16 June 2020

Reopening childcare safely  15 June 2020
Guidance published for nurseries and other settings:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter from Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science to the Community Learning and Development Sector 12 June 2020

Summer support for students 11 June 2020

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update, No. 3 – 9 June 2020 (pdf)

8 June 2020:
5 June 2020:
 
Education Recovery Group letter from Scottish Government and COSLA: Advice on priorities for teachers and other school staff: June 2020 (pdf)
Brief update on the work of the Education Recovery Group, links to key guidance and four key priorities for June
 

28/29 May 2020

Information for childcare providers (pdf)

Outdoor learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus (COVID-19): re-opening schools guide
Non-statutory guidance for local authorities and schools in their planning for a safe, phased opening in August 2020.

27 May 2020:

26 May 2020:

Safe return to schools and nurseries

21 May 2020:

Schools to re-open in August
Safe return planned through mix of school and home learning.
Pupils will return to schools in August subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has confirmed.
Schools will return on 11 August, one week earlier than planned for most pupils, while Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): strategic framework for reopening schools, early learning and childcare provision

Initial Impact Assessment on the Strategic Framework for Reopening Schools and Early Learning and Childcare Settings in Scotland

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Framework for Decision Making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis

Health Protection Scotland: COVID-19 Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): physical distancing in education and childcare settings (15 May 2020)

Supporting Pupils, Parents And Teachers – Learning During Term 4 (pdf) (14 May 2020)

Early years and PPE video (May 2020)


 

 

Update: 27 April 2020 (pdfs):

 


 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): childcare closures and emergency provision (24 April 2020)

COVID-19: A Framework for Decision-Making (23 April 2020)
"
We will engage with experts in each sector to understand the practical consequences, for example, of what physical distancing would mean for schools and education."

Updates 20 April 2020:

Education Secretary welcomes SQA guidance
Advice will support the awarding of qualifications this summer:

Guidance: Supporting Pupils, Parents and Teachers – Learning During Term 4 is aimed at those working in Scotland’s education system.

Reassurance for students during coronavirus outbreak  (14 April 2020)

SAAS FAQs

Supporting universities (9 April 2020)

Extra hardship payments for students (8 April 2020)

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update No. 1 – 7 April 2020 (pdf)

Food fund guidance for local authorities (5 April 2020)

Easter childcare for key workers (3 April 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social distancing in education and childcare settings (30 March 2020)

Early Learning and Childcare expansion   (30 March 2020)
Local authorities’ August 2020 deadline to deliver 1140 funded hours will be removed.

Covid-19: Information for private and third sector childcare providers about business support (pdf) (25 March 2020)

Childcare provision for key workers  (20 March 2020)

Update on school closures and exams
Exams will not go ahead, teaching, learning and support can continue with local flexibility.  (19 March 2020)

Letter from the Deputy First Minister on school closures, exams and other arrangements (pdf) (19 March 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID19) – impact on education: Deputy First Minister speech (19 March 2020)

School and nursery closures: (18 March 2020)
Education Secretary to make statement to Parliament tomorrow. The three priorities will be:

  • supporting vulnerable pupils who rely on free school meals
  • how to address the issue of exams this year
  • how to put in place arrangements to support the children of key workers

There will not be a one size fits all approach across Scotland.

Coronavirus guidance issued for education providers
Specific advice for students and staff.

See here:  Health Protection Scotland: COVID-19 - guidance for non-healthcare settings (16 March 2020)

Deputy First MinisterJohn Swinney has updated Parliament on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on Scotland’s schools (17 March 2020):