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Schools set for full return in August — if progress against COVID continues

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney.

Scotland’s children are set to return to school full time, in August, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced, this afternoon, Tuesday.

Previous plans set out by the Scottish Government were for pupils to return to school on a part-time basis, on August 11, with the rest of their learning being done from home.

However, Mr Swinney and his colleagues believe that the latest scientific evidence and guidance indicates that children should be able return to school full time — as long as Scotland continues on its current trajectory. The Deputy First Minister said that, when the part-time “blended” plan for schooling had been developed, he and his colleagues could not have anticipated such an improvement in infection levels. The “blended” model will remain a contingency plan, should infection rates dramatically increase or progress against the virus slow.

“I must stress that this is the aim the government is working towards, but it remains conditional on scientific and health advice,” Mr Swinney explained.

“If we continue to make progress on the route we envisage, we may have successfully achieved — or be well on the way to achieving — Phase Four.

“It is this more positive outlook that means the Scottish Government can make this updated planning assumption for schools.”