SCOTLAND’S Education Secretary has stressed that the public “should be confident” that schools will re-open as planned from August 11.

John Swinney has also moved to reassure teachers, parents and pupils that surveillance testing for Covid-19 in schools will provide “an extra level of assurance” to being able to safely re-open schools.

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet will make a decision tomorrow as to whether to press ahead with re-opening schools full-time on August 11, but parents and schools will not be notified of the decision until Nicola Sturgeon addresses MSPs in Holyrood on Thursday.

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Mr Swinney said: “As we consider the re-opening of schools, it is vital that, along with our partners, we address the wider impacts of the virus on the health, wellbeing and educational attainment of children and young people to whom we have listened carefully about their aspirations about their return to schooling.”

The wellbeing of children is “critical” to the decision to reopen schools, Mr Swinney said, adding that parents should be reassured that local authorities and schools are developing plans to ensure the safety of children.

The Education Secretary promised parents and teachers there will be “extensive” surveillance testing “across a broad range of schools in Scotland to make sure we can pick up any intelligence about the spread of the virus”.

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He said: "I know how important it is for parents to feel reassured that schools will be safe for their children, as well as places to learn and flourish.

“It is an extra level of assurance we are putting into the system to enable us to reassure parents and staff and pupils about the safety of being in the education system."

The Scottish Government’s education recovery group has meanwhile agreed guidance that "can enable schools to reopen safely on a full-time basis from August 11", Mr Swinney added.

This guidance will be published on Thursday, after Ms Sturgeon’s statement.