Caution sounded on schools return

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Education chiefs and school heads in North Ayrshire had to go back to the drawing board this week after the surprise announcement by education secretary John Swinney that schools in Scotland should go back full-time from August 11

A North Ayrshire Council spokeswoman said: ‘This is a new planning assumption. Local authority contingency plans for the delivery of blended learning continue to be necessary.

‘Therefore, this week, our schools and centres will continue to issue information about the plans they have been developing over the last few weeks, based on 2m physical distancing and the blended learning model announced on Friday.

‘Our hope, like that of Mr Swinney, is that resumption of full-time education can commence for North Ayrshire’s children and young people in August. Of course, the safety of our children and staff remains our highest priority and any change to our contingency plans will be dependent on Scottish government guidance updated regularly over the summer.’

‘It is likely that the next update will be at the beginning of July.’