Scottish school holidays to stay same despite England likely delaying return to classrooms

Scottish pupils will be returning to schools at the same times as previously announced by the Scottish Government despite moves in England to stagger the return to classrooms.

Reports have suggested the UK Government’s education secretary Gavin Williamson plans to stagger the return of pupils to schools in England following the Christmas holidays.

This is partly due to concerns of spreading Covid-19 more widely following the relaxation of the rules over Christmas Day itself.

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Schools are set to open as planned after Christmas despite reports of a plan to delay the return of pupils in England

The BBC is reporting secondary school pupils will see their return staggered to allow the creation of a Covid-19 testing scheme, with the extension applying to non-exam year pupils.

In Scotland, the deputy first minister and education secretary John Swinney said schools would not have an extended Christmas holiday.

Making the announcement on December 3, he said that “being in school is in the best interests of children” and added that public health advice was to not change Christmas and New Year holiday dates.

He said: “We also know vulnerable children may be at greater risk if they are out of school for an extended period, and I am mindful of the impact an extension to school holidays would have for working parents.

"For these reasons I do not see a clear rationale for changing term dates and disrupting children’s education."

When asked by this newspaper whether the Scottish Government’s stance on extending the school holidays had changed, a spokesperson said nothing has changed in regards to the dates pupils will be expected to return to school.

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