Many pupils return to schools in Scotland as phased reopening begins

Credit: PA

Some of Scotland’s primary school pupils are returning to classroom on Monday as part of a phased reopening of schools.

Children in primaries one to three are due back in Scottish schools, along with some senior secondary pupils who need to do practical work for qualifications.

All children under school age in early learning and childcare are also returning. Schools have been closed to all but a minority of pupils since the beginning of January in Scotland.

This morning, ITV Border spoke to a number of parents on their first school run in two months in the Scottish Borders. Most were happy to see their little ones back.

Education secretary John Swinney said ahead of the reopening of schools that it is “critical” that parents follow mask-wearing and physical distancing rules at the school gates.

He said: “I know this can be quite controversial at times but adults making sure they follow all of the physical distancing requirements at the school gate, or the mask-wearing requirements, is critical to make sure that the return of young children – who are much less susceptible to transmitting the virus – is not in some way under minded by the fact that there is essentially parental transmission.”

He continued: “We’ve all got to play a part, not just the school environment but the whole surrounding environment of society, to make sure that we do all that we can to suppress the virus.

“Because we don’t actually have an awful lot of headroom between where the R level is just now – somewhere between 0.7 and 0.9 – and 1, where obviously the virus begins to spread exponentially.”