Nicola Sturgeon to announce re-opening of Scottish schools, not the UK Government

Wales are set to re-open schools next month.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she will announce the re-opening of Scottish schools when the time is right, not the UK Government.

The First Minister posted a tweet saying the Scottish Government is in discussion with local authorities about the decision and will keep parents, pupils and schools updated.

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Her message came after the Welsh Government said its Education Minister will announce the official re-opening dates rather than the UK Government, which could be next month.

In her tweet Ms Sturgeon agreed it was not the UK Government’s announcement to make and said the same will apply to Scotland.

She said: “The Scottish Government is in discussion with local authorities - we will decide safe timetable for re-opening schools. And we will keep pupils, parents and the public properly informed along the way.”

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In her press briefing today health secretary Jeane Freeman said the decision has still not been made on when schools will resume.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she will announce the re-opening of Scottish schools when the time is right, not the UK Government.

She said: “We will decide as a Scottish Government when it is right," to open schools.

Ms Freeman said officials are working through all the available evidence on where the country is with the R number (the average number of people who will contract COVID-19 from one person with the virus).She added there are “encouraging signs”, but warned the government will have to look closely at "what any lifting of restrictions is likely to do to that R number."

Her comments come after an announcement that schools in Wales could be allowed to re-open their doors next month in a phased approach, according to the country’s first minister has said.

Mark Drakeford said the earliest point schools could resume would be the beginning of June, with a minimum of three weeks needed to prepare from the time it was decided it is safe for pupils and teachers.

On Sunday, Mr Drakeford told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "Our advice from the trade unions and from the local education authorities is that you will need three weeks as a minimum from the point that we decide to do that, to when schools can reopen, so we are talking about the beginning of June."

Some groups could return earlier than others, he said, using examples of year-six children who are due to move up to secondary school, and Welsh medium pupils who may not have had opportunities to use the language at home during lockdown.