Like during the first national lockdown, some children and young people can still attend school or nursery when this is absolutely necessary. However, if your child can be cared for safely at home and have their learning supported sufficiently well at home, they should not attend school or nursery.
Each local authority is making their own arrangements based on the needs of people in their area. To find out what arrangements your local authority is making, see our section on ‘What is happening with schools and nurseries in my area?’ on our coronavirus home page.
Your child may be entitled to attend school or nursery, either full or part-time if:
1) You are a ‘key worker’, such as NHS and social care staff, and there is no-one available at home to take care of your child while you are working.
2) Your local authority thinks your child needs access to school or nursery to help them stay safe and well (sometimes referred to as being a 'vulnerable child'). For example:
- If your child has complex additional support needs and requires a high level of support that you cannot provide at home
- If your child is 'looked after' by the local authority
- If the local authority has other concerns about your child's safety or wellbeing (like if they are currently on the child protection register).
Local authorities must decide which children in their area may need to attend school or nursery. They should work together with those who know your child best, including you, the school or nursery, and others like health care professionals when making their decision.
If your child needs to attend school or nursery, they should only do so for the minimum amount of time necessary. For example, if you are a key worker and you cannot arrange childcare for 2 days each week, your child should attend school or nursery only on those 2 days.
Even if you are a key worker, or your child could be considered vulnerable, if your child is extremely clinically vulnerable to coronavirus and has been advised to follow shielding advice, they should not attend school or nursery. Your local authority should try to find other ways to offer your child support.
Not all children with additional support needs are considered vulnerable and able to attend school or nursery. If your child can be cared for safely at home and have their learning supported sufficiently well at home, they should not attend school.
If you feel your child is not able to be safely cared for at home or sufficiently supported with their learning at home, you can contact your local authority to discuss this with them. The local authority should talk to you and the people who work most closely with your child and family to work out whether your child should attend school or nursery some of the time, and/or whether the local authority can offer other supports for your child and the family.
If your child does attend nursery or school during this time, measures will be in place to keep everyone as safe as possible based on Scottish Government guidance. See our coronavirus page on ‘How will my child’s school or nursery keep them safe?’