Plans emerge for extension of school Christmas holidays

Expanded school Christmas holidays in Scotland considered as a way to curb Covid-19

Tes Reporter

Plans emerge for extension of school Christmas holidays

Proposals have emerged for an expansion of the school Christmas holidays in Scotland. 

A document from local authorities body Cosla document shows plans that would involve all pupils being out of school from 18 December  the date on which some areas, but not all, are due to break up for Christmas in any case – and not return to school until at least 11 January, the Daily Record has reported.

Council leaders are understood to have debated the subject, proposed as a way of slowing transmission of Covid-19, at a Covid-19 Education Recovery Group meeting on Thursday, November 26.

Earlier this week, UK leaders jointly decided that coronavirus restrictions would be eased for five days around Christmas.

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The document read: “The Scottish government are exploring a national extension to Christmas holidays covering 18 December 2020 to 11 January 2021, either on the basis of schools remaining closed or the temporary introduction of remote learning.

“The Scottish government officials have indicated that the objectives of an extension would be to ensure that school staff are not involved in contact tracing into the Christmas period.

“An extension would act as a ‘break’ following the wider relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period.”

The document also highlighted concerns about the proposed changes, including issues such as emergency childcare for key workers and the time required to arrange remote learning.

It indicated that ministers are due to make a decision next week.

In England, a petition calling on the UK government to move school lessons online from 9 December “to save Christmas” was signed by more than 20,000 people.

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