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Education / Council releases first details on how schools will operate after Christmas break

Dunrossness Primary School. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

SHETLAND Islands Council has moved quickly to release some information on how schools will operate after the Christmas break following the announcement of Covid-19 emergency measures at the weekend.

The majority of schoolchildren across Scotland will only return on 11 January, and when they do teaching will be online for at least a week until 18 January.

There will be different rules for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

The council said that staff at children’s services were currently working on the implications of these changes and letters with more information would be sent tomorrow (Tuesday) to all parents and carers, pupils and staff.

All school staff will return to work as scheduled and as planned on Wednesday 6 January for an in-service day.

The new term was due to start on Thursday 7 January for pupils but for the majority of pupils the holiday period will be extended until Monday 11 January.

For children of key workers and vulnerable children, school will reopen as previously scheduled on Thursday 7 January.

Information on which children will be able to access this is being developed and the detail of this will be shared with parents and carers tomorrow (Tuesday), the council said.

Schools have had contingency plans in place since August 2020 in preparation for remote learning and these will be implemented across all ages and stages.

Chairperson of the education and families committee councillor George Smith said: “I appreciate this will be a worrying time for pupils, parents and carers, and staff.

“I have every confidence that appropriate arrangements will be put in place and I would like to thank staff for their continued commitment and professionalism in dealing with this.”