It is the news that many weary parents have been hoping for - classes are to resume in Scotland following weeks of home schooling and remote learning. 

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a tentative plan to get pupils back at their desks in the coming weeks, as the number of people infected with Covid-19 falls. 

However, not all children will be making their way to the school gates at once, and it will be many weeks yet before classrooms are full again.

Children of key workers, and those classed as vulnerable, who have already been attending school will continue as normal.  

The Herald:

When will schools reopen?

When the school bell rings on 22 February, the plan is to have at least some pupils on the attendance roll.

However, the proposal has yet to be fully confirmed on - with a target date of 16 February for the final decision, which will depend on sufficient progress in tackling the virus having been made.  

Who will be going back first?

The Scottish Government has announced a"phased return" to schooling, with children going back depending on their age.

The first group  - and the only group whose start date is confirmed - will be primaries 1-3, who will return to school on 22 February

Will any other children return?

Senior pupils in S4-S6 who have practical assignments to complete will be allowed to return on a "part-time" basis, with no more than 8 per cent of the school roll attending "at any one time".

What about nurseries?

Nurseries will also open their doors on 22 February.

And school meals? 

All children who are eligible for free school meals will continue to receive them during this period.

The Herald:

Are there any risks to the plan?

The Scottish Government hopes to avoid any spikes in infections caused by the return to school by ramping up testing for the virus among those affected. 

People who work in schools, early learning and childcare settings attached to schools, and senior phase pupils, will be offered at-home testing two times a week.

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Two metre physical distancing for adults and pupils will be required in secondary schools in the period immediately after a return.

What is the Scottish Government saying? 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I appreciate only too well the burden being placed on many families as they navigate this COVID pandemic. I am also acutely aware of the need to maintain teaching and learning wherever possible. In doing so, the health and wellbeing of our children, young people and staff is paramount.

The Herald:

Deputy First Minister John Swinney

Mr Swinney added: “My priority has been to ensure a safe return for children and young people to school and nursery as quickly as possible. That is why the steps that have been announced today are guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and public health experts.

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"Children and young people will begin a gradual, phased return to classrooms supported by a testing regime and enhanced guidance. A sense of caution underpins the plans unveiled today, but this is essential as we work to return to full time teaching in schools.”