School reopening arrangements for January 2021: impact assessment

Considers the impact of the extended school holiday period by a week, and the introduction of remote learning from January 2021 in light of COVID-19 on children and young people, parents and carers, and the education workforce.


From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was evident that decision makers would be faced with unforeseen challenges, and that it would continue to be necessary to take a broad approach to involving key groups in policy development throughout. 

For this reason, the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) was formed. It is co-chaired by the Deputy First Minister and Councillor Stephen McCabe, CoSLA's Children's and Young People's Spokesperson. It brings together ministers, Education Scotland, senior officials and expert representatives from unions, local authorities, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Early Years Scotland (EYS), the Scottish Youth Parliament, and National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS). The group has met regularly since April 2020 and has contributed to policy development at every stage.  

It is recognised that the balancing of Covid-related risks and harms in schools has, from the outset, been dependent on decision makers having access to the most up-to-date scientific and medical advice available, in order to protect the health and safety of children, staff and families. Therefore the CERG has sought the views of the Covid-19 Advisory Group and associated sub-group specialising on children's and education issues. These groups have provided data relevant to the school population, drawn on international comparisons and made recommendations to support education experts in their planning.

Whilst it has been necessary to take decisions at pace in response to the new variant of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has sought the views of equality stakeholders in the development of this document.



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