First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she does not want to raise parents’ expectations that schools will reopen next month.
Following the imposition of Scotland’s second lockdown caused by a spike in Covid-19 prevalence, the schools were moved to online learning for most pupils, with only those deemed vulnerable and the children of key workers attending in-person classes.
Initially, the lockdown was due to last until February 1, with the Cabinet making a decision on that date on Wednesday.
But Ms Sturgeon said at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Tuesday she did not want to speculate on what the decision may be.
“Schools are closed to the majority of pupils right now to February 1, we said we would review that mid-January, which is now, and I will set out the conclusion on that”, the First Minister said.
“I’m not going to raise parents’ expectations.”
Despite positive movement in the number of cases of coronavirus reported in Scotland, the First Minister said it was not yet clear if lockdown, including the return of schools, could be lifted in Scotland.
She said: “We are seeing some positive signs from the numbers that lockdown is starting to stabilise things and hopefully starting to tip them into decline but transmission is still higher than we would want it to be.
“I’m not going to raise expectations about schools being back on February 1 but nor am I going to stand here and make assumptions about a decision we’re not going to take until tomorrow.”
She added that, “as soon as” a decision is made, she will announce it to Parliament in the afternoon.
The First Minister underlined her commitment to ensuring that youngsters are able to return to school as soon as the virus is under control.
She said: “We want to get schools back as quickly as we possibly can, it is not in the interests of kids to be out of school for any longer than is absolutely necessary but community transmission has always been a key factor in these types of decisions.”