Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on schools reopening

Published: 16 Feb 2021

Guidance on arrangements for the phased reopening of schools in February/March 2021.

25 page PDF

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25 page PDF

347.0 kB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on schools reopening
Remote learning support

25 page PDF

347.0 kB

Remote learning support

Curriculum, learning and teaching

Practitioners across Scotland have been providing remote learning of high quality for senior phase and BGE learners. Positive feedback on remote learning from parents, carers and learners provides reassurance that for many learners good progress is being made covering the required course content. Schools should continue to encourage and monitor learners’ engagement in their remote learning provision.

The school and local authority should consider how best to organise staff to enable remote learning to continue for those learners who will not return to in-school learning during this phase. The guidance on reducing risks in schools includes guidance on contingency planning. The advice is based on the assumption that practitioners know their learners best, and can arrange learning which is appropriate to the needs and circumstances of their learners. It should also be assumed that learners and parents/carers will be involved appropriately and fully informed of the contingency plans in place. All schools and local authorities should have well-developed plans for remote learning. These should be regularly reviewed to ensure they are current and appropriate for fully remote learning, and updated as required.

The Education Scotland website includes a single landing page for all guidance and practical support on remote learning. This includes updated practice-focused guidance on remote learning prepared by Education Scotland, in partnership with the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group. The advice sets out a shared understanding and expectations of what remote learning means for schools and settings across Scotland. Practitioners should continue to apply this understanding to their own specific context and use it as a basis for professional engagement and development.

Resources to support remote learning in non-school settings have been developed within local authorities, through Education Scotland and Regional Improvement Collaboratives, including national initiatives and partnerships. This offer includes access to live, recorded and supported learning resources as part of the National e-Learning Offer.


e-Sgoil provides a range of live lesson programmes covering ages 3 to 18 augmenting the work of classroom.


Teachers from across Scotland have developed a series of over 800 recorded lessons for BGE and senior phase available through Glow by local authorities signing up to ClickView, free of charge.


Teachers in their subject networks have shared and developed resources for online access and use. Nearly 17,000 supported resources are available.

In addition, the National Improvement Hub provides learning resources, webinars and links to Glow Connect, a resource where teachers can get information, help and support for Glow. Regional Improvement Collaborative Partnerships of local authorities have further information and support on curriculum and blended learning for teachers which can be accessed through Glow. Live and recorded webinars and blogs for practitioners with advice on learning and teaching online and on making the best use of digital platforms continue to be made available through Further innovative work is underway via the regional improvement collaboratives. As a further aspect to its national offer, Education Scotland's Scotland Learns provides additional learning at home activities.

Further information on e-Sgoil

A Lockdown Live programme was put in place week beginning 11 January and will run until the end of this current period of restrictions:

  • the Early Years (including P1) learning space is available at any time. In addition, 10 of the existing senior phase study support webinars are now available during the day and a programme for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learners is in place.
  • E-Sgoil programmes are in place for Early Level and for First to Third/Fourth Levels BGE. The programmes are designed to complement the curriculum and remote learning being provided by schools and local authorities across Scotland. The programmes are developed iteratively, in collaboration with schools and partners, building on what works. They will adapt and change in response to need.
  • live lessons for secondary Broad General Education are delivered in a rolling series of four, two-week programmes. Details and timetables are available on the e-Sgoil website
  • the Senior Phase off is also live on the e-Sgoil website and will include Easter study support

Digital inclusion

Local authorities and schools should continue the work they have been undertaking in relation to tackling digital exclusion. This includes the provision of devices and connectivity solutions to support educational continuity when children and young people are learning outside of the school environment. This local activity is supplemented by the Scottish Government’s £25m investment in digital devices and connectivity solutions designed to combat digital exclusion in school-aged children and young people.

Wellbeing support

The extended period of remote learning and the phased return to school present challenges for teacher, learner and parental wellbeing. Local authorities and schools have significant support in place to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Education Scotland have provided complementary information on Mental health & wellbeing : supports for practitioners, parents, carers & young people to provide further sources of support whilst children and young people are learning from home. This is in addition to the earlier resources provided to support children and young people’s health and wellbeing.