SCMA Statement on Re-Opening of Schools and Childcare

SCMA Statement on Re-Opening of Schools and Childcare

Earlier this afternoon, the First Minister announced the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework (or ‘route map’) for recovery and emerging from lockdown, including details about re-opening schools and childcare settings in Scotland.

It was confirmed that –

  • as we move beyond lockdown there will be four phases;
  • childminding settings and fully outdoor nurseries will be allowed to re-open in Phase  one. However, the precise date for re-opening has not yet been confirmed;
  • larger early learning and childcare settings will then re-open during the summer;
  • critical childcare will continue during May, June and the summer break to maintain provision for key workers and vulnerable children;
  • teachers will return in June to prepare for the next school year;
  • schools will return on 11 August on a blended basis (part in-school, part in-home).

For absolute clarity there are no changes with immediate effect. The route map decision is based on the latest scientific evidence, will be subject to review, will take into account continuing progress in suppressing the virus, the latest public health advice and wider progress in implementing test and trace measures.

The next formal review of progress with COVID-19 in Scotland will take place on Thursday 28 May, at which time it will be decided if progress can be made into Phase one or if this is to be delayed. If Phase one can commence, not all changes will be implemented immediately; instead, it is expected that different changes will be phased in during Phase one.

It is recognised within the documents published today that age-appropriate public health measures will need to be developed. In particular, it is not desirable or possible to implement strict physical distancing between young children or between a young child and their key worker. 

The Care Inspectorate and Health Protection Scotland have been asked to develop public health guidance to support childminding settings to re-open and SCMA will be involved in contributing to the planning in advance of when settings will be able to re-open. It should also be stressed that when settings are allowed to re-open, this will be voluntary and there will be no requirement to do so.

We will update you as soon as there is more information to share.