Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon’s schools announcement tomorrow

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Nicola Sturgeon is set to make an announcement tomorrow on when children across Scotland could return to school.

The First Minister is expected to meet with her Cabinet at the beginning of the week to discuss when schools can reopen.

At the beginning of the year, Scottish schools were closed to all pupils other than those of key workers or those who are vulnerable as the country went into its second full lockdown.

How schools were rocked by the pandemic in 2020

When will Nicola Sturgeon make the announcement?

The First Minister is expected to make the announcement tomorrow at 2.20pm in front of Parliament at Holyrood.

The update will be shown live on BBC Scotland, and also screened on Scottish Parliament TV and the Scottish Government’s social media pages.

We will also have live coverage from the update.

What can we expect?

Education Minister John Swinney suggested recently that, when safe, classrooms are likely to reopen first to younger pupils, as part of a phased return programme being considered.

This could mean that primary school pupils could go back first and senior pupils could return early to enable them to complete qualifications.

However, Mr Swinney said “sustained and emphatic” fall in community transmission of coronavirus before schools can reopen.

 Teachers to be given support to deal with effects of the pandemic on pupils

The Education Minister had previously said: “The government will look at these questions at the Cabinet on Tuesday and the first minister will give an update to parliament, but the virus is still at a very high level in general within society and we took the view that we had to have the level of community transmission suppressed to enable us to protect the NHS.”

However, with case levels decreasing across the country, the Scottish Government could announce a return to blended learning if deemed safe to do so. 

What are the recent Covid rates?

Covid rates have decreased across Scotland since the start of the year.

In the seven days prior to the announcement on January 4 that schools were to stay closed until mid-February, Scotland had 16,495 cases of Covid-19 with 301.9 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 11.9%.

In the recent seven days now, it has been 7,735 cases with 141.6 cases per 100,000 and a test positive rate of 6.8%.

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