Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools

Guidance to help schools ensure a low-risk environment for learning and teaching.

79 page PDF

1.3 MB

79 page PDF

1.3 MB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools
Changes from 26 April

79 page PDF

1.3 MB

Changes from 26 April

As indicated in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): timetable for easing restrictions (April 4 2021)  it is anticipated that local authorities across Scotland will move to Level 3 from 26 April 2021. 

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework, last updated on 23 March, states that:

“In essence, the levels work by limiting members of different households from interacting in different settings and activities, where those settings and activities pose different risk factors for transmission of the virus. Decisions must be made about which activities and settings to restrict in order to achieve the required suppression of the virus. When different restrictions would have similar effects on transmission, difficult decisions must be made about which restrictions to apply. To help to make those difficult decisions, we consider the impacts on the four harms of the different options as well as impacts on particular groups in society, including those with protected characteristics. This is consistent with the principles and approach set out in our Framework for Decision Making in April 2020

In that context, and to help ensure that schools continue to play their part in suppressing transmission of the virus, the protective measures and mitigations set out in the main guidance will remain in place when schools move into Level 3 or Level 2.  We will continue to follow clinician advice on when mitigations might be lifted.  At this point, it is anticipated that there will be very little change during the rest of this school year.

In considering what changes to school arrangements can be made we have adopted a cautious approach and one which is designed to maintain consistency with other equivalent mitigations across society. 

Shielding

At protection levels 0-3, children and young people on the shielding list are asked to follow the guidance for the general population, including attendance at school.

School visits

Guidance on school visits (available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for school visits and trips - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)) states that school residential visits to outdoor education centres can recommence from 31 May 2021 at the earliest. This is subject to a further review of Covid data on the week commencing 3 May 2021 and a number of other mitigating actions being put in place. One such mitigating action is that schools should only consider these visits if both their establishment and the outdoor education centres are located in level 0, 1 or 2 areas.

Consideration of local protection levels does not apply to any other types of school visit. However, the school visit guidance does set out other relevant considerations relating to day visits and outdoor expeditions.

Physical education and dance

The information below sets out the physical education and dance activity for children and young people in schools, which aligns with wider societal guidance on sport and activity. It is anticipated that local authorities across Scotland will move to Level 3 on 26 April and Level 2 on 17 May.

ELC and primary

From 5 April:

  • children can take part in contact and non-contact physical activities outside
  • indoor physicical education and dance activities are not allowed

From 26 April:

  • children can participate in individual non-contact activities indoors
  • children can participate in contact and non-contact physical activities outdoors

From 17 May:

  • children can participate in group non-contact activities indoors
  • children can participate in contact and non-contact physical activities outdoors

Secondary

From 5 April:

  • indoor physical activities and dance are not permitted, except for the purpose of assessment to ensure certification in the senior phase
  • young people can participate in contact and non-contact physical activities outdoors

From 26 April:

  • young people can participate in individual non-contact activities indoors
  • young people can participate in contact and non-contact physical activities outdoors

From 17 May:

  • young people can participate in group non-contact activities indoors
  • young people can participate in contact and non-contact physical activities oudoors

We will continue to review the impact and experience of the full return to school before any further decisions will be made about the safe resumption of indoor practical subjects such as singing, music, and drama.  The protection levels in the Strategic Framework anticipate that performing arts will be able to restart outdoors at Level 2 (expected 17 May) and indoors at Level 1.


Contact

Email: CERG@gov.scot  

First published: 24 Mar 2021 Last updated: 19 Apr 2021 -