The Scottish Government has confirmed a partial return to school and childcare from 22nd February while Northern Ireland has also announced a partial return to school in early March.
Primary school children and those in childcare in Scotland will return to school full time from 22nd February, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
In Scotland, childcare has been closed to all children except vulnerable children and those of key workers in addition to schools. In other parts of the UK, childcare has remained open during the current lockdown.
The Scottish Government also announced that limited numbers of pupils in secondary school year groups [S4-6] will also be able to complete in-school practical work that is essential for completing national qualifications on a part-time basis, but added that there would be no more than 5 – 8% of a secondary school roll physically present at any one time.
The Government said some children and young people with significant additional support needs would also be prioritised for a return to in-person provision.
All other pupils, with the exception of vulnerable children and those of key workers, will continue with remote learning.
Children who return will be subject to increased testing and they and school staff will be offered at-home testing two times a week.
The Government said other Covid secure measures would be taken and the situation would be kept under review.
Children up to the age of seven in Wales will begin to return to school from the week of 22nd February while other primary schoolchildren will return to face-to-face teaching from 15th March if the coronavirus situation in the country improves. The Northern Ireland government said children in primary 1 to primary 3 will go back to school on Monday 8th March. Children in pre-school settings are also likely to return on 8th March, while pupils in years 12-14 in post-primary schools will return to class on 22 March. However, pupils in years 4-7 in primaries and years 8-11 in post-primaries will not return to school before the Easter holidays. In England the Government has said that schools may reopen from 8th March, but has not yet confirmed this and what year groups, etc, will be affected.