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No change to school holiday dates

There will be no change to Christmas school holiday dates. (Orkney Photographic).

Christmas and New Year school holiday dates will remain as planned for Orkney schools.

The timing of school holidays, which vary around Scotland, was raised with ministers in the education recovery group, given many schools break up very close to Christmas and the potential for increased social interaction in households following the limited relaxation of rules between December 23-27.

In Orkney, the Christmas holidays begin on Monday, December 21, and finish on Tuesday, January 5, with pupils back to school on Wednesday, January 6.

Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for education and skills, John Swinney, said: “Being in school is in the best interests of children and our priority remains to ensure schools are safe, and open.

“I want to thank school leaders, teachers and school staff for their outstanding commitment to education that has enabled children and young people to learn safely in school since August.

“The advice I have received from public health officials, and the COVID-19 sub-group on education and children’s Issues, is not to alter Christmas and New Year holiday dates.

“We also know vulnerable children may be at greater risk if they are out of school for an extended period, and I am mindful of the impact an extension to school holidays would have for working parents.

“For these reasons I do not see a clear rationale for changing term dates and disrupting children’s education.”

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