Politics

Coronavirus: Scottish schools could re-open full-time in August


Scottish schools could re-open full-time with no physical distancing on 11 August if coronavirus continues to be suppressed, BBC Scotland has learned.

Schools have been preparing to return with a “blended” model of face-to-face teaching and at-home learning.

However there have been concerns after some councils said pupils may only be in class one or two days a week.

John Swinney had previously targeted having pupils spend at least half their time physically in the classroom.

However, BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor said he believed the education secretary could now set a target of having all pupils back in class full time come August, without social distancing restrictions.

This would be contingent on the continued suppression of the virus through the summer, and other safeguards being put in place.

Mr Swinney is due to address MSPs on Tuesday afternoon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said he would be making a “significant” announcement.

Schools have faced difficulty in working out how to bring pupils back in August while maintaining the current 2m (6ft 6in) physical distancing rule, leading to the blended learning plans.

Ms Sturgeon has ordered officials to review whether the distancing rule could be relaxed in some circumstances.

Northern Ireland set to use a 1m rule for school pupils, while England will move to a “one metre plus” rule from 4 July.

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