This Scottish Government paper provides an overview of evidence relating to the state of the epidemic in Scotland; children, schools, early learning and chilcdcare settings and transmission; and wider impacts of the current restrictions on children and families.
On the basis of this evidence it offers advice on the phased return to in-person learning in schools and ELC settings.
It has been produced by the Coronavirus (COVID19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues, of which Policy Scotland Director Chris Chapman is a member.
The First Minister announced on 4 January 2021 a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes. Schools and ELC settings would remain closed for the majority of pupils, except vulnerable children and children of key workers. This was a precautionary measure, based on the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Scotland, the growing proportion of these being of the new variant of COVID-19, and the high level of community transmission taking place.
At the time, the First Minister made it clear that the priority was to reopen school buildings again for all children and young people, as quickly as possible, and to keep them open. The Scottish Government then commissioned the advisory sub-group on education and children’s issues to advise on the best and safest way to return to inperson learning in schools and ELC settings.
The sub-group’s deliberations have been supported by evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), evidence from Public Health Scotland and Public Health England, wider published evidence and international experience.
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