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Return to School FAQs

Return to School FAQs

The aim of these FAQs is to answer any questions you may have regarding your child/ren’s return to school in August.

The information has been put together following the current Scottish Government guidance. This will be updated as and when the advice and guidance from the Government is updated. Please keep checking our website for the latest updates.

If you have any specific queries which are not answered below, please email  

When will my child/ren return to school?

Following the announcement by the Deputy First Minister on 23 June, the plan is for all children and young people to return to school on 12th August on a full time basis. This will be provisional on the Scottish Government’s advice at that time.

If there are further outbreaks of COVID-19 which prevent children returning to full time education, we have contingency plans in place.

Education staff will return on 10th and 11th August for staff in-service days to make sure that all staff are fully informed and ready to welcome children and young people back to school and nursery.

Is it safe for my child/ren to return to school?

Please be assured that we are following the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government and the Council’s Health and Safety Team have carried out risk assessments on all schools and learning spaces in Clackmannanshire. This will be updated in line with current Scottish Government guidance.

Will I be able to take my child/ren into the school playground during drop off and pick up times?

Generally only for our youngest learners and children with additional support needs.  Each establishment will provide specific arrangements.

Will there still be “blended learning”?

"Blended learning is a contingency that we may still need to enact", DFM statement 23.6.20

The contingency plans are in place should children or young people not be able to return to school on a full time basis if the virus increases and there is a further outbreak.

What size groups will my child/ren be in when they attend nursery?

In line with current Scottish Government ELC guidance,

  • children aged 0 to 2 will be in groups of up to 3
  • children aged 2 will be in groups of up to 5
  • children aged 3 to 5 will be groups of up to 8

The children will stay in the same groups and these groups will not mix with one another. Children will be supported by the same adults during their time in Nursery. This is to reduce the spread of infection. This is subject to any change to Scottish Government guidance for the reopening of Early Learning and Childcare.

How will my child/ren be supported to catch up with the loss of learning which has occurred over the last few months?

We are awaiting more information from Scottish Government about additional funding to tackle the impact of coronavirus in schools and ensure that children get the support they need.

Is it likely that next year’s SQA exams will be delayed or postponed if pupils have not caught up with coursework?

We will be guided by Scottish Government and SQA guidance.  You find all the latest updates and information about this year’s SQA examination process and appeals process on the SQA’s website.

What does the plan look like for eligible 2, 3 and 4-year-olds who will be attending school nursery in August?

Each establishment has provided families with an initial offer for August.  This will be reviewed in line with the current Scottish Government guidance. We are committed to phasing this up as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.  We are working towards providing 30 hours of early learning and childcare, known as 1140 hours in line with a Scottish Government revised timetable.

Will my child/ren wear normal school uniform when they return to school?

It is important that children have clean clothes each day to minimise the spread of any infection and this may not always be possible wearing full school uniform. In primary schools children should wear comfortable clothes that are suitable for indoors and outdoors.  Secondary schools will inform you of the expectations for their pupils.

My child/ren is/are entitled to Free School Meals. Will this continue? If so, will it be a packed lunch or a hot lunch?

All children entitled to a free school meal will continue to receive this.  Initially this will be a packed lunch. All other children should bring a packed lunch from home.

My circumstances have changed. How can I apply for the free school meal and footwear and clothing grant? 

The application form for free school meals and footwear and clothing grant is now online. Please follow the links for more information.

My child/ren normally get the bus to school. What will happen with school transport?

We are awaiting further guidance on whether there will be a requirement for physical distancing on buses.  We will inform you as soon as it is possible to do so. We hope that active travel options such as walking and cycling to school can be expanded.

Will Breakfast Club and Afterschool Club start again?

We may not be able to provide this immediately in August, however we will keep you updated with any changes.

Will there be emotional support for children following lockdown?

Our first priority is to support the health and wellbeing needs of all children and young people. We have a range of resources and support services in place to provide emotional support.

Will schools be allowed to close if there is an outbreak of the virus or staff need to self-isolate?

We will follow the Scottish Government guidance at all times to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children, young adults and staff.

How will physical distancing work with children who have additional support needs?

Individual schools will provide specific advice for parents/carers of children who have additional support needs.

My child is on the shielding list? Does this mean that he/she will not be able to return to school?

The Scottish Government will be reviewing its advice on 31 July. More information is available on the Scottish Government website.

My child/ren lives in a home with a family member who is shielding. Will they be able to return to school?

The Scottish Government will be reviewing its advice regarding shielding on 31 July.

My child is not on the Shielding list but suffers from Asthma and I am anxious about them returning to school. Will it be safe for them to return?

Families should discuss individual health concerns with their GP. As always, individuals can discuss concerns with your school or nursery (ELC).

What should I do if my child is due to attend school but displays symptoms of Covid-19?

Under no circumstances should any child displaying symptoms of Covid-19 attend school or nursery. This is crucial to keep the other children and staff safe.

The main symptoms are a high temperature, a persistent cough and the loss of smell or taste. If in any doubt children should not attend nursery or school.

What happens if we are contacted by the Test and Protect service?

If you are contacted through the Test and Protect scheme you will be required to self isolate.

If you go on to develop symptoms of coronavirus, other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days and you must book a test at or call 119 if you have no internet access.

At this point you must not send your children into school. Please inform the school as a matter of urgency.

You can find out more about the Test and Protect scheme on the NHS Inform website.

There has been a lot of discussion on how it is safer to be outside because the virus does not thrive in the fresh air. Is this something the council is looking at?

Being outdoors enables the children to thrive in a natural environment, to learn to seek out exercise, fresh air and activity  and this is something that we are looking at as part of our plans for the reopening of schools and nurseries. 

My child/ren is due to start P1 in August. How can I help him/her prepare for school?

All schools have issued transition information in a variety of ways. We recognise that children have not been in their nursery setting since March and P1 staff will take time to get to know your child and where they are in their learning.

Since pupils are returning to school a week early, will that extra week be made up elsewhere in the school year?

Following consultation, it has now been agreed that the October break will now be two weeks instead of one. The school term dates are available on our website.

More information

You will be able to find more information on the following websites: