What will happen when pupils in Scotland return to school next week?

4 mins read

Monday 9 August 2021

Tags: Covid-19, scotland, back to school

We know that some families we support in Scotland may be worried about their child’s return to school or college next week and in particular, what the latest Covid-19 rules are for children when they are back in class. With most restrictions being lifted in Scotland from today, 9 August, here’s what we know about the covid rules for children and young people returning to schools and colleges:

  • Like all four UK nations, attendance is mandatory for pupils of compulsory school age in Scotland. This includes children who were previously shielding due to being clinically extremely vulnerable. Pupils who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) should continue to attend school as normal. The only exception to this is a small number of children whose clinician or GP has advised them not to attend. If you are worried about your child being in school, talk to your child’s school about the measures they’re taking to keep children safe.
  • Blanket isolation of whole classes in Scotland will no longer be routine. In the case of an individual’s close contact testing positive, if that individual has been double vaccinated for over 14 days and has no symptoms, a negative PCR test means they won’t have to self-isolate for 10 days. 15-17 year olds can take a PCR test and if they test negatively, they don’t need to self-isolate.
  • The use of face coverings in Scottish secondary schools will continue for at least six weeks of the autumn term.
  • All secondary pupils and staff will also be asked to take a lateral flow test before returning after the holidays and twice a week after that.

Read the Scottish government’s guidance for schools which takes effect from today.

Access to vaccinations for children and young people in Scotland

All young people 16 to 17 years of age will now be offered the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination in Scotland in line with the latest advice from the JCVI. They will be invited to register their interest through the online portal at NHS Inform, and will then be sent an appointment via SMS or email. Eligible young people in Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles will be contacted by their health board and invited to attend clinics. Alternatively, drop-in clinics will be available for 16 to 17-years-olds starting from Tuesday 10 August. You can find your local drop-in centre via the NHS inform vaccine drop-in clinic page.

In addition, last week, the Scottish government confirmed that around 4000 children and young people with certain conditions will be offered the Pfizer vaccine before schools return on 16 August. Families should be contacted by their local Health Board or by their regular healthcare professional.

Worried about the return to school? We’re here for you.

Take a look in our online Fledglings shop for lots of resources to help ease any anxiety your child might have about the return to school.

And don’t forget, our free Listening Ear service is here for you if you need talk to someone about your concerns about the return to school or anything else worrying you. Please book your free Listening Ear appointment to talk to one of our friendly family support advisers about anything and everything.

If you have a query or would like to talk through any concerns you have about your child going back to school or need other information and support just now, then please don’t hesitate to email our Contact in Scotland enquiry line Scotland.office@contact.org.uk or call 07458 046071 (Monday to Wednesdays).

Coffee and Chat with Contact Scotland

Join us via Zoom on Thursday 19th August 10.30am-11.30am for an informal coffee and chat.  Just a chance for you to drop by, say hello, talk to other parents and carers and raise any queries you may have with the Scotland team.  We would love to hear from you so do join us by clicking the Zoom link below on the day. We look forward to seeing you then!

Related information

Take a look at our comprehensive information about education and learning for disabled children and young people.

If your child if feeling anxious about the return to school after the summer break listen back to our webinar on managing behaviour and anxiety with Dionne Hollis (Occupational Therapist) and Stephanie Carr (Speech and Language Therapist) on support strategies for managing behaviour and anxiety.  

Salveson Mindroom have created resources for a Back to school (mindroom.org) toolkit for families to help with concerns around returning to school.