Schools and nurseries are expected to close to pupils from the end of this week, the First Minister has announced.
The Scottish Government is working closely with local authorities to mitigate the impact on three groups as a priority:
- Vulnerable pupils and those receiving free school meals
- Pupils undertaking coursework and preparing for exams
- Key workers including doctors, nurses and emergency service workers who have children
The Education Secretary will detail to Parliament on Thursday the measures being put in place to address key questions that parents and pupils have.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This has been one of the hardest decisions we have faced so far as we tackle the coronavirus. SAGE – our expert scientific advisers – are examining new advice that is very likely to tell us to close schools. We also know more and more schools are approaching a point where they have lost too many staff to continue as normal. At this stage I cannot promise schools and nurseries will reopen after the Easter break.
“There will require to be a lot of local flexibility and we are working closely with local authorities to put those arrangements in place.
“Teachers, school staff and those in the nursery sector will have a vital role in the weeks ahead and we will work with you to minimise the impact on all our young peoples’ education, and in particular the most vulnerable groups.”
The First Minister outlined that it is not possible at this stage to know how long the closure will remain in place.