Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

Schools and nurseries

*Updated 29 December 2020*

Christmas holiday period 

The school holidays for pupils have now been extended until Monday 11 January with the following exceptions.

School staff

School staff will return on Wednesday 6 January to allow planning to take place for the safe return of children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Key workers

Those children who have both parents (or, in the case of a single parent family, the main carer) as designated key workers and who are unable to source alternative childcare will be able to attend school from Thursday 7 January where they will be supervised by staff.

A keyworker is defined as:

  • health and care workers directly supporting the COVID response, and associated staff
  • health and care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision
  • energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already)
  • staff providing childcare/learning
  • all other health and care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services, for example fire, police, prisons, social workers, as well as those supporting our critical national infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused
  • all workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised)

To be eligible to access childcare:

  • both parents must be keyworkers. (or, in the case of a single parent, they should meet criteria)
  • children should attend only when there are no alternative childcare arrangements
  • keyworkers who are able to work from home are not eligible for critical childcare

Schools will be in touch about applying for these places.


Standalone nurseries will open 8am to 6pm from Tuesday 5 January
Current plans are for nursery classes in schools to reopen on Monday 18 January

School transport

All existing transport arrangements will still be in place for children of keyworkers from 7 January. 

Free school meals

We will continue with free school meal payments for families during the extended holiday period (6-8 January) and the week of remote learning (11-15 January).

Week beginning 11 January - online learning

All other children will have access to online learning during this week which they will access from home. Schools will be in touch with individual arrangements on how children can access learning. 

Children of key workers can continue to attend school where they will be helped to access online learning activities. 

In addition, schools will make contact with individual families whose children may require access to school for other reasons. 

Resources for parents/carers

We have added the following resources for families and children:

Psychological Services COVID-19 helpline
Advice and support for school staff, professional, parents, carers and young people. Available Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. (Leave a message)

Phone: 01698 455800