All Scottish pupils to go back to school after Easter, Sturgeon says

First minister says it might be possible to speed up Scotland’s exit from coronavirus lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon has stated it might be possible to accelerate Scotland’s exit from the coronavirus lockdown, as she confirmed that all school students would return to the class after the Easter break.

Scotland’s first minister told the Holyrood chamber the next stage of school reopening would start from 15 March, when all children in main 4 to 7 will return full time in addition to secondary students preparing for examinations, while all secondary school students ought to be back in class after Easter.

She included that, while older pupils stayed the concern, she anticipated all secondary pupils to get some in-school education every week prior to the Easter break at the beginning of April.

Recently, Sturgeon stated that the stay-at-home rule would remain in force up until 5 April at the earliest which she did not anticipate non-essential stores, or outside bars and dining establishments, to resume up until late April, the date when the Scottish government expects to transfer to regional lockdown levels.

However on Tuesday afternoon Sturgeon stated she hoped to be able to confirm changes to the framework for leaving lockdown next week, telling MSPs: “We will be thinking about if it might be possible to accelerate the exit from lockdown in any method.”

She said that current information highly suggested case numbers were decreasing to the lowest level because the first week of October in 2015, adding that the average test positivity rate had fallen below 5% and that health center admissions were likewise falling.

Education Scotland will publish assistance for regional authorities on the phased return of secondary schools in the coming week, and Sturgeon said that local authorities would have flexibility in how they implement the phased return.

Opposition leaders raised issues about schools’ ability to invite all pupils back while staying with social distancing– which is needed in secondary schools a minimum of until Easter– as well as how instructors would manage both remote and in-person learning at the exact same time.

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood, stated the statement was “usually vague and just lengthens unpredictability”.

Sturgeon likewise said face coverings would need to be worn at all times when secondary schools returned, while ventilation remained crucial. She said lots of regional authorities were utilizing a few of the ₤ 375m education recovery funding to keep track of and enhance ventilation in schools.

She stressed that twice-weekly lateral circulation testing would stay available for all school personnel in main, secondary and unique schools, and all secondary school students in years 4, 5 and 6, including: “It is a further essential way in which we can ensure schools stay as safe as possible.”

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