SCOTLAND’S schools will be able to re-open on a full-time basis in 12 days’ time, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed. 

The decision that paves the way for schools to welcome children back from August 11, was taken by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet yesterday before being announced by the First Minister to Holyrood this afternoon. 

All pupils are expected to be back full-time by August 18 at the latest.

Updated guidance, approved by the Scottish Government’s education recovery group, will be published later this afternoon – which will lay out how schools can re-open safely. 

Schools were closed in Scotland from March 20 as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the UK – leading to this year’s exams diet being cancelled for the first time in their history. 

The decision to confirm schools can re-open on a full-time basis from August 11 has been anticipated for some time and the indicative date was given to councils and parents in June after the Scottish Government was forced to scrap its controversial blended learning plans following a backlash. 

Ms Sturgeon has also announced an extra £30 million for councils to recruit new teachers after local authorities warned that the previous £50 million of earmarked funding would not go far enough. 

The total funding will allow up to 1,400 new teachers to be recruited to help schools re-open full time. 

An extra £30 million will be added to previously-announced £20 million of funding from the Scottish Government to help local authorities prepare for the return of lessons including to support cleaning, school transport and other practical issues. 

Ms Sturgeon said that some schools may have a phased return to schools but the Scottish Government expects "all pupils to be at school full-time from August 18 at the latest".

Social distancing should be maintained between staff members and pupils and between secondary school pupils "where possible", she added.

Ms Sturgeon said the "current low prevalence ofthe virus" means that it "gives us as good a basis as we could have hopef for gettign children back to school in August".