Scotland school closures: Scottish pupils may return to school in 'week at a time' blocks

Scots pupils may face a "blend of in-school and in-home learning" when schools return, under options being considered by the Scottish Government.

A new report today on the decision-making which will inform Scotland's exit from the current lockdown says minsters are looking at youngsters attending school "part-time in blocks" for a few days or even a week at a time as part of phased return to normality.

This will allow for the "deep cleaning” of schools between groups to suppress any future spread of the virus.

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The document entitled "COVID-19: A Framework for Decision-Making" was unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon today . It also says that businesses such as retail, manufacturing and construction will be prioritised in the economy's exit from lockdown, but only when it is safe to do so.

Children make their way to school. stock photo

And the public could also see the restrictions on leaving the house slowly lifted which would allow them to go out more often and for longer.

Meetings could be allowed with other households as part of limited group "bubbles" which could see families getting under the options being looked at by ministers.

On schools, it is unlikley that they will reopen fully in the “foreseeable future” the document warns.

There could be a "chronological list" of priority groups who would return to school in an agreed order.

This may include vulnerable pupils and pupils who are in transition e.g. from P7 to S1 or those about to commence national qualification courses in S3-6.

Ms Sturgeon said: "To share our thinking about how we will carefully and gradually move towards this ‘new normal’, this document provides illustrative examples of the steps that might form part of the initial changes to the current lockdown restrictions.

"To be clear, we are not recommending these options at the moment but offer them as examples of what may come next and the kind of preparations that are underway.

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"We will only make changes to lockdown rules when we believe it is safe to do so, whether that is in reopening schools or businesses or increasing social interaction.

"This is not just because that is the right thing to do but because we also need to give you confidence that, in following our advice, you and your family will be safe and our public services will be protected."

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