Coronavirus in Scotland: When will Nicola Sturgeon announce if schools are reopening, does the public back the move and how can I watch?

Pupils and parents will find out later today if they will return to school in February, with Nicola Sturgeon set to announce the results of a review of the closure decision this afternoon.

Nicola Sturgeon will make her announcement this afternoon on when schools will reopen in Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon will make her announcement this afternoon on when schools will reopen in Scotland

Schools had initially been closed to all but key worker children prior to the imposition of a fresh coronavirus lockdown on January 4, with online and blended learning confirmed to be the main mode of teaching until January 18.

However, on January 4, Ms Sturgeon announced schools would remain shut until at least January 29, leaving open the possibility they may reopen in the first week of February.

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A review of that decision was undertaken yesterday, with a final decision to be made by the Cabinet this morning ahead of a statement to parliament at Holyrood.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly said that its main priority is to keep schools open wherever possible due to the negative impact on children and young people from missing school.

The First Minister will make her announcement as part of her wider Covid-19 update to Holyrood on Tuesday.

The news follows figures yesterday which show that the NHS in Scotland has now vaccinated nearly 270,000 of the country’s most vulnerable people against coronavirus, which equates to five percent of the adult population.

What is the First Minister expected to announce?

Speaking when she announced the decision to postpone the return of schools, Ms Sturgeon said it was the government’s top priority in terms of measures that could be eased first.

She said: “Just as the last places we ever want to close are schools and nurseries, so it is the case that schools and nurseries will be the first places we want to reopen as we re-emerge from this latest lockdown.

"They remain our priority."

It is unlikely given high case numbers that schools will reopen fully from February 1, but the cabinet will not make its final decision until they meet ahead of the First Minister’s address later today.

When will Nicola Sturgeon be addressing Parliament?

While daily coronavirus briefings are held at 12.15pm from St Andrew’s House, Ms Sturgeon will be addressing Parliament this afternoon, at around 2pm.

How to keep up to date with everything that is announced

You can stay up to date with all of the latest announcements via our Live Blog throughout the day, or you can watch via Scottish Parliament TV here. You are also able to stream the First Minister’s address via the BBC.

Does the Scottish public support the move to close schools

Almost three quarters of Scots believe it was the right decision to close schools in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, according to a new poll.

The poll, undertaken by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman, interviewed 1,016 people online between January 8 and 13.

The figures show 72 per cent of Scots support somewhat or strongly support the decision to close schools, with just 7 per cent ‘somewhat’ opposing the move and 4 per cent – or one in 25 Scots – strongly opposing the move.

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