Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has thanked teachers, school staff, pupils and parents for their work during the first term of the year amid the difficulties and stress caused by Covid-19.
Ms Sturgeon said it was a "real achievement" that there had been a largely normal school experience" since pupils started returning on 11 August.
She made her comments at today's daily coronavirus briefing, on a day when schools in some parts of Scotland are breaking up for the October holidays. Schools in other areas broke up at the end of last week or the week before.
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Ms Sturgeon said: “We must not lose sight of what you have achieved during this first half-term.
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“It is down to your efforts and your ability to adapt in extremely difficult circumstances that schools have been able to return.
“As a result, the vast majority of pupils are now able to have the classroom and wider school experience that was lost back in the spring.
“I don’t think we should underestimate that – it is a real achievement that young people have been able to have that normal school experience for the last number of weeks that they lost out on for much of this year.”
She added: "Now, I know there will be further challenges ahead – I think that is almost inevitable.
"And I don't want to stand here today and give any sense that I am underestimating how difficult it will have been so far, not least for teachers.
"However, I just wanted to put on record my thanks to all of you for the really important work that you’ve done and, so that you know, that in spite of all of the difficulties it is hugely appreciated, and it is very important for, not just the wellbeing of our children and young people now, but I think, for their future prospects as well."