When are the Easter school holidays 2021? Start and end dates for break in Scotland - and when schools reopen

These are the dates of the Easter holiday in Scotland this year

Scotland’s schools were closed as part of the fresh national lockdown, with pupils remote learning instead.

But pupils have been gradually returning to classrooms since 22 February, with the youngest pupils heading back first.

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From 15 March, the remaining primary schoolchildren, as well as some secondary school pupils, returned for face-to-face learning.

Scotland's pupils started to go back to school from 22 February (Getty Images)

Ms Sturgeon has said all secondary pupils will return to school full-time following the Easter holidays.

So, when is the school Easter holiday this year - and will all pupils be back in classrooms afterwards?

Here is everything you need to know.

Why did schools close?

The Scottish Government announced before Christmas that most school pupils would learn remotely, instead of face-to-face, until Monday 18 January.

This was due to coronavirus infections increasing at a far faster rate than was anticipated.

And due to a further surge in positive cases thought to be caused by the new, more transmissible strain of the virus, the school return date was extended again until 22 February.

Nicola Sturgeon said at the time that community transmission of the virus was still too high to guarantee safety in schools.

As lockdown has worked to curb the spread of Covid-19, pupils have been gradually returning to classrooms since 22 February, with only secondary school pupils still waiting to go back full time.

The government has repeatedly said that reopening schools is a “top priority”, and one of the reasons for bringing in tighter lockdown restrictions was to ensure pupils could return sooner.

When will schools reopen?

On that date all children in primary one to three, and those in pre-school, went back to classrooms.

Then, from 15 March, primary schoolchildren in years four to seven returned as well as secondary school pupils in S4 to S6 who are studying for national qualifications.

Initially, it was planned that secondary school pupils would not return to school until April, but Ms Sturgeon has since said that all secondary pupils would receive face-to-face learning from 15 March.

All secondary school pupils are then expected to be back in school full time following the Easter holidays.

When they return, pupils will need to wear face coverings at all times and following physical distancing guidelines.

Lateral flow tests will also be made available for staff and senior phase pupils.

Ms Sturgeon said children’s education and wellbeing was a “priority”, explaining there would be “trade offs” when it comes to easing lockdown restrictions.

She said: “Being able to get children back to education may mean the rest of us living with some other restrictions for longer”.

When is the school Easter holiday in Scotland?

The Easter holiday in Scotland usually lasts for two weeks but its start date can vary across the country.

The spring break for most schools in the 2020/21 academic year will run from Friday 2 April to Friday 16 April.

This means most students are expected to return to classrooms on Monday 19 April.

However, parents should double check dates with their local council which should have all the term dates published online.

This government postcode checker will help you to find your local authority’s website.

You can also check when the holiday is with your local school as term dates can vary between institutions.