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Education / More details released around return to school

Photo: Shetland News

PARENTS can now apply to check if they can be a classed as a key worker, which would allow their children to attend school or early learning at the earliest opportunity after Christmas.

Schools will open to children of key workers and vulnerable children on 7 January, with the majority instead returning on 18 January after a week of online learning.

An application form for key workers can be found online.

Shetland Islands Council also confirmed that school transport will be running as normal, but this will only be for pupils entitled to receive in-school childcare and wellbeing support, and in-school remote learning.

The changes come as Shetland gets set to be placed into level three of Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions from Boxing Day for at least three weeks.

Other island councils will also go into level three, while the rest of Scotland will have level four restrictions imposed. It has been described as a preventive measure against a new strain of coronavirus which is more easily spread.

The altered return to school after the Christmas break will apply to the whole of Scotland.

A letter detailing the changes was sent to parents and carers in Shetland on Tuesday.

Director of children’s services Helen Budge said: “Staff across the council have worked well together in a short space of time to enable this information to be sent out to everyone ahead of the schools closing for the Christmas break.

“I am pleased also to confirm the arrangements for the start of next term.

“The in-service day on Wednesday 6th January will continue as planned, with staff attending mainly virtually.

“Schools and early learning and childcare settings will open for childcare and wellbeing support for vulnerable children and children of key workers on Thursday 7 January.

“All other children and young people will have their Christmas holidays extended to include Thursday 7th  and Friday 8th January 2021.

“There will be remote learning for all children and young people from Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January 2021. This will be undertaken in school for vulnerable children and children of key workers.

“The aim is for schools and early learning and childcare settings to re-open to all children and young people from Monday 18th January but this is dependent on the virus being under control.”