Reopening schools, early learning and childcare provision in Scotland

Pupils will return to schools in August, subject to scientific advice that it is safe to do so. Coronavirus (COVID-19): strategic framework for reopening schools, early learning and childcare provision and Coronavirus (COVID-19): Framework for Decision Making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis

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.

Dougie Atkinson, Voice's Senior Professional Officer (Scotland), said:

"The First Minister has today set out the route map, following extensive discussion with stakeholders, and Voice will continue to work with the Scottish Government on the details of the proposed recovery of education.

"More detailed guidance will emerge over the next few weeks and we will keep Scottish members updated."

In summary

  • The First Minister has confirmed that teachers and other staff will be expected to return to schools during June to prepare classrooms for the new term.
  • Also in June, more children will have access to critical childcare, as has been provided for the children on key workers in recent weeks.
  • Transition support for children starting a new school will be provided.
  • All schools will reopen from 11 August – but this will be a “blended model of part-time in-school and part-time at-home learning,” the First Minister announced.
  • A further £30 million fund for laptops will be provided to ensure children from disadvantaged backgrounds can study online.
  • Early years childcare will reopen over the summer, and childminders can reopen in phase 1.

Further information (Scottish Government)

Schools to re-open in August
Safe return planned through mix of school and home learning.

"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. An agreement reached between councils, professional associations and parent representatives means:

  • schools will implement physical distancing measures, such as providing seating that is two metres apart and staggering arrival, departure and break times;
  • increased hand-washing or use of hand sanitisers, enhanced cleaning, robust protocols for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases and ongoing risk assessments will be implemented;
  • class sizes will be significantly reduced as a result of the new way of working, with most pupils spending around half their time in class and half learning at home. Time in school will increase further as soon as it is safe to do so;
  • teachers and other education staff will return in June - subject to appropriate safety assessments being completed - to prepare and plan for the new way of working and welcoming pupils back;
  • existing ‘hubs’ will continue to run to provide vulnerable children and those of key workers with childcare over the summer;
  • the school estate will be expanded where necessary and possible by using libraries, community halls, leisure centres, conference venues or taking short-term leases of vacant business accommodation to increase the time children can spend with their teachers; and
  • innovative use will be made of existing teachers and staff and, where necessary, consider the role former teachers can play either by returning to the classroom or teaching virtually to support in-home learning."

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

Education Recovery Group Strategic Framework

Added 28 May 2020:

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.

Added 29 May 2020:

Information for childcare providers (pdf)

Added 5 June 2020:

Wellbeing of pupils to be prioritised
Guidance for education authorities and teachers published for next academic year.

Added 8 June 2020:

SNCT 20/76: Arrangements for Re-opening Schools August 2020, CORONAVIRUS (COVID – 19) (pdf)
The Strategic Framework for the Reopening of Schools and ELC Provision confirms that the start date of the new term is standardised to 11 August 2020 on an exceptional basis for the purposes of managing COVID-19. This requires LNCTs to take decisions regarding the following issues....

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.

Added 9 June 2020:

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

Added 15 June 2020:

Guidance on reopening early learning and childcare services 

Added 9 July 2020:

Update: 14 July 2020:


Update: 16 July 2020

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

Further information (Voice)

Coronavirus information: Scotland

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

Professional Learning and Wellbeing Support for members in Scotland

Dougie Atkinson represents Voice Scotland on three of the Education Recovery Group’s workstreams:

  • Workforce support
  • Workforce planning
  • Early learning and childcare

The Education Recovery Group workstreams are:

  1. Term 4 learning
  2. Infrastructure and Organisation
  3. Curriculum & assessment
  4. Supporting learners from disadvantaged backgrounds
  5. Pastoral care for cyp
  6. Workforce support
  7. Workforce planning
  8. School improvement in a new context
  9. Critical childcare
  10. Early learning and childcare

Contacts

Voice Scotland

Tel:
0131 220 8241