Sturgeon: 1 June return does not apply in Scotland

PM's announcement that many pupils could return to school on 1 June does not apply in Scotland, underline first minister and deputy

Henry Hepburn

Sturgeon: 1 June return does not apply in Scotland

Scotland's first minister and her deputy have both underlined that Boris Johnson's announcement last night about many pupils returning to school at the start of June does not apply to Scotland.

The prime minister indicated that, in England, pupils near the start of primary school and also those in their final year of primary could return on 1 June in the face of fierce opposition from teaching unions.

However, John Swinney, who is both education secretary and deputy first minister in Scotland, tweeted late last night: "Just for absolute clarity, nothing the Prime Minister said tonight affects when schools return in Scotland."

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Earlier in the day, during her daily briefing, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said the only change to lockdown that the Scottish government judged it safe to make at the moment was, from today, to allow people out to exercise more often.

She said: "We are not yet changing who can or should be at school." Ms Sturgeon also said: "I do not expect that schools in Scotland will return as early as 1 June."

Schools in Scotland start their summer holidays several weeks earlier than in England, and traditionally begin each new school year in mid to late August, not September.

One idea the Scottish government has explored is whether the school holidays could start earlier this year, with the knock-on effect that the 2020-21 school year could start in early August.

Ms Sturgeon, addressing lockdown more generally during her briefing yesterday, said that "the lockdown in Scotland remains in place", and that "we must be very cautious and very careful about where we proceed to from here".

She added: "We mustn't squander our progress by easing up too soon, or by sending mixed messages that result in people thinking that it's OK to ease up now.

"Let me be very blunt about the consequences if we were to do that: people will die unnecessarily."

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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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