Sturgeon says teachers can return from next week

Scotland is taking a more cautious approach than England, where many pupils are due to return in June

Henry Hepburn

Sturgeon paves way for schools return in August

Teachers and other staff could return to school from Monday, after first minister Nicola Sturgeon gave the go-ahead to plans for easing the Covid-19 lockdown.

At her daily briefing this afternoon, Ms Sturgeon said that from 1 June, teachers and other staff "will be able to enter schools" to prepare for reopening on 11 August.

She also said that from next Wednesday, 3 June, childcare will be available to a larger number of children, as will "fully outdoor nursery provision".

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Ms Sturgeon's announcement came on a day of controversy in England over plans for many pupils to return to school on Monday.

She said that, in easing lockdown cautiously from tomorrow, "love, kindness and solidarity" should be "guiding principles" for everyone in Scotland, as they are given more freedom in what they can do during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the section of Ms Sturgeon's briefing which dealt with schools and children's services, she said: "From Monday onwards, 1 June, teachers and other staff will be able to enter schools for the purpose of preparing for a reopening of all schools on 11 August, for a blended in-school/at-home model of learning.

"And from next Wednesday onwards – that’s 3 June – childcare will be available to a larger number of children who most need it, for example vulnerable children and children of essential workers.

"Childminding services and fully outdoor nursery provision will start to reopen from next Wednesday too. However, there will continue to be limits on the number of children that can be cared for, and guidance for childminders will issue on Monday.

During Phase 1 [of easing lockdown], some key public services – for example some respite care, children’s hearings and some key health programmes – will also begin to restart their work, and further announcements on timing will be made in due course."

Following the first minister's briefing, education secretary and deputy first minister John Swinney was due to face questions in a virtual parliamentary session this afternoon.

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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