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Return to School FAQs

Return to School FAQs

Return to School Monday 15 March

Created: 12/3/21

As per the Scottish Government guidance on schools reopening on Monday 15 March, the expectation is that from 15 March all children in primary 4 to 7 will go back to school on a full-time basis.  All primary school children will also be able to return to regulated childcare, including after school and breakfast clubs.

There is also expected to be a phased return to secondary school from 15 March.  It is the intention that all secondary school pupils will return to spend some time in school from 15 March until the Easter break.  All pupils are expected to return to full-time schooling after Easter, subject to continued suppression of the virus and the requirement for 2m physical distancing between young people being removed.

For more information please refer to the link given above.

Updated 19/2/21

The aim of these FAQs is to answer questions you may have regarding your child/ren’s attendance at school and Early Learning & Childcare (ELC) settings since schools re-opened in August.

These FAQs are updated regularly as new questions come in to the service.

If you have any specific queries relevant to individual schools or ELC settings, please contact them.

For all other Clackmannanshire wide queries please email

Who is allowed to return to school buildings from 15 March 2021?

The First Minister has confirmed that from 15 March all children in P4-P7 will return to school for full time face to face learning. 

All senior phase learners from S1-S6 will return to school for face-to-face learning on a part-time basis. However pupils in S4-S6 who are taking National Qualifications will have priority for in-school learning. Your individual school will be in touch with you regarding arrangements for your child/young person. 

Schools and ELC establishments have arrangements in place to ensure the safety of all. These arrangements may include designated entrance and exit points, playground areas and staggered starts. Your child’s school/ELC will communicate these arrangements to you.

My child is in S4-S6.  How will their qualifications be affected?

In acknowledgement of Covid-19 related disruption to young people’s education this academic year, examinations for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses in 2021 have been cancelled.

The National Qualifications 2021 Group is considering the impact that the current arrangements are having on schools delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses under the alternative certification model. This has included delaying the submission date for provisional results to 18 June, and the group are considering what further contingencies may be needed.

Will Lateral Flow Testing be available for my child/ren before they return to school?

Schools will, as they return on a phased basis from 15 March, make available twice weekly at home testing using lateral flow devices at the earliest opportunity, to:

  • all primary, secondary and special school staff attending work
  • all ELC and childcare staff attending work
  • all senior phase learners attending school

Asymptomatic testing is an additional measure and will not replace other mitigations such as 2m distancing, face coverings and hand washing.

Your school will provide more details about Lateral Flow Testing.

How is the test done?

Staff and senior phase learners will take test kits home and, twice weekly, following clear instructions for use, perform the tests on themselves or with the support of a parent or guardian. They will then register positive, negative and void results on a web-based portal, with the results shared with NHS Test and Protect. 

If you have any questions about this please contact your child’s school.

Is testing mandatory?

Testing is voluntary and nobody should be required to undergo testing without consent, or excluded from school or work if they do not wish to test.

However we would encourage school staff and senior phase learners to participate, to contribute to the wellbeing of their school communities.

My child is clinically vulnerable. Should they return to school?

Children and young people at the highest clinical risk (individuals on the shielding list) have been advised by the Chief Medical Officer not to attend school, college or regulated childcare services such as nurseries in person in level 4 areas or during lockdown.

Does/do my child/ren need to wear a face covering at school?

Face coverings should now (unless exemptions apply) be worn in secondary schools, by adults and all pupils aged 12 years and above. Face masks will be worn in classrooms, communal areas and when moving about the school.

The current face covering guidance on the Scottish Government website recommends:

  • that face coverings are made of cloth or other textiles and should be two, and preferably three, layers thick and fit snugly while allowing you to breathe easily,
  • that schools follow and endorse best practice on how to wash, store, wear and dispose of face coverings.

Please see our Face Coverings web page for more detail.

My child/ren normally get the bus to school. Do my children need to wear a face covering on school transport?

In line with Scottish Government guidance, face coverings should now (unless exemptions apply) be worn on dedicated school transport by all children aged five and over, bringing it into line with guidance for public transport.

Further information is available on our school transport FAQs web page.

My child has difficulty wearing a face covering, what should I do?

We understand that some children and young people may have physical or emotional concerns around wearing a mask. Parents and carers should discuss this with their individual school.

My child is at primary school and I’d like them to wear a face covering. Is that OK?

All staff and children and young people can wear face coverings where they wish to do so.

Do I need to wear a face covering when collecting my children?

Face coverings should be worn by parents and other visitors to all school sites (whether entering the building or otherwise), including parents at drop-off and pick-up. The 2m distance rule should also be observed at all times.

My child has been coughing in school and has been sent home but I don’t think there is anything wrong with him/her. Does he/she have to be tested?

Our advice is for a test to be requested if your child/ren experience continual cough or other symptoms associated with Coronavirus symptoms or if anyone else in the household is awaiting a Coronavirus test result. We can request a test for a child with parental consent. If parents do not want their child to be tested, then all adults and children in that household would be required to self isolate for 10 days.

More information

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