Back to school: 30% of pupils in attendance last week

Almost half of primary pupils were in the classroom for the first week back in Scotland, according to official figures

Emma Seith

Schools reopening: Some 30 per cent of pupils were back in school in Scotland last week after the Covid lockdown

Last week almost a third of pupils were back in Scottish school buildings, according to figures published by the Scottish government.

On Monday of last week, P1-3 pupils were able to return to school full time and senior secondary students were able to return on a limited basis to complete practical work necessary for qualifications.

New figures show that overall last week 30 per cent of Scottish pupils were in school, with almost half of the primary population back in school buildings.


Background: Youngest pupils to return to school buildings

News: All Scottish pupils back in some way from Monday 15 March

Opinion: Back to school in Scotland – the view at the school gate


The figures for Monday 22 February – the first day back in school for many pupils – show that overall 30.5 per cent of pupils were back in school, with 46.8 per cent of primary pupils attending, 8.1 per cent of secondary students in school and 38.8 per cent of special school pupils in the classroom.

Across all three sectors, attendance during the first week back hit a high of 30.9 per cent of the pupil population on Tuesday 23 February and a low of 29.1 per cent on Friday 26 February.

In the days leading up to the return, when only the children of key workers and vulnerable children were able to attend, the proportion of pupils in school was 7 to 8 per cent of the pupil population.

Schools reopening: The plan for all pupils to return

The figures come after the Scottish government set out its plans for the next phase of the return to school yesterday.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for all pupils to be in school buildings for at least some of the week from the week beginning 15 March. She said that P4-7 pupils would return full time and all secondary students would have some time in school each week, but that S4-6 students should be prioritised.

She said “the clear expectation” was that all secondary school students would be back in school on a full-time basis following the Easter holidays.

Following the announcement, the EIS teaching union accused Ms Sturgeon of being “reckless” and of putting secondary students and their teachers “at significant additional risk of contracting Covid in the run-in to qualifications”.

It also hit out at the additional workload created by the decision, saying that schools would have to develop a timetable model for the two weeks before Easter, and then abandon it after Easter.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for TES Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

Latest stories

Will teachers fight a 'catch-up' extended school day?

Will teachers fight a 'catch-up' extended school day?

LONG READ: Longer school days are predicted to be key to a 4-year Covid recovery plan due to be unveiled by the PM next month. William Stewart examines whether this means a bust-up with teachers' leaders.
William Stewart 18 Apr 2021