To support the Government’s decision making on reopening schools, ahead of the Deputy First Minister’s statement to the Scottish Parliament on the 23rd of June 2020, Public Health Scotland and the Directors of Public Health in Scotland, developed a joint statement on the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring that children and young people can return to childcare and education. Working with them and their local public health teams, we are committed to prioritising support for the public health measures required to do this. Reopening schools and other settings will include action to support infection control measures and to address the broader impacts on health and wellbeing of children and young people, their parents, and education staff.

Education provides a fundamental mechanism for addressing inequality, poverty and to improve health and wellbeing. Whole system action to return and maintain children in early learning and in childcare and education is vital; as is supporting those providing it, whether in schools, youth work or other settings. Without the benefits of both formal and informal education, we cannot achieve our goals of improving the health and wellbeing of the Scottish population and reducing health inequalities.

We will continue to work alongside the childcare, education, and youth work sector in Scotland to return our children and young people to formal and informal education as quickly and safely as possible.

Download the joint statement in full (PDF)

Download the full paper on schools reopening during COVID-19 (PDF)

Last updated: 06 October 2022