Coronavirus: Schools and nurseries to close at end of day

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move earlier this week as a result of the outbreak.

School's out: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move earlier this week. Pixabay
School's out: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move earlier this week.

All Scottish schools and state-run nurseries will close from the end of Friday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move earlier this week as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, education secretary John Swinney stated that all exams for secondary school pupils had been cancelled due to the closures.

Instead coursework, existing grades and prior attainment will be used to assess the grades of pupils.

Mr Swinney said the “unprecedented” move was a sign of the “gravity” of the situation the country was facing.

Despite the closures, the education secretary said for most pupils teaching would continue, in many cases through online learning, but there would be a focus on pupils in S4 to S6 who need to submit coursework.

Mr Swinney announced private and third-sector childcare providers will be allowed to remain open on the condition they “support solely the children of critical workers and those families most in need of support”.

Parkview Nursery in Dundee is one of several in the city which has offered special access to key workers as and when it’s needed.

Managing director Cheryl Stewart said: “Being a mum myself, and a single parent, I know how I’m feeling right now with the schools being closed. I’m in a position where I have the capacity to help.

“In this crisis everyone has got to do what they can, where they can, to assist everybody else. 

“These frontline workers at the moment are what’s saving the country and if they don’t have childcare then we’re all in trouble.”

Ministers are also working with councils on solutions for pupils who receive free school meals.

Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government “will not cut adrift vulnerable young people, who often rely on school life for hot meals or for a safe, nurturing and supportive environment.”

Local authorities are refining contingency plans, which they intend on sharing with parents and children in the coming days.

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