The phased and gradual return of schools will go ahead as planned from Monday, February 22, the First Minister has announced. 

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the return of P1-3 pupils and secondary pupils who need to carry out practical assessments next week.

The Scottish Government assured that they will be monitoring the impact of the limited return of pupils on Monday before taking any further decisions on education - but hope to set out plans for the second phase of schools reopening in TWO WEEKS.

Sturgeon stressed, however, that it was unlikely that a further return to school would be seen before March 15.

In a bid to ensure schools are as safe as possible for pupils and the wider education workforce, senior pupils will be provided with at-home lateral flow tests, part of a wider package of in-school mitigation. 

Secondary pupils will also be required to observe a 2m physical distance.



The Scottish Government will provide local authorities and schools with an additional £40million in funding to accommodate the safety measures and assessment support days will be implemented, as well as a new one-off payment to teachers.

Sturgeon emphasised, though, that the gradual return of schools depends on "everyone continuing to abide by wider restrictions."

She warned that the key risk that comes with reopening schools isn't transmission of the virus in schools, but increased contact among the wider adult population.

The FM advised parents and employers to continue to follow the rules and expressed her hope that this return of schools would be consistent with greater progress made in suppressing the virus.