Back to school for West Lothian pupils as classrooms take step towards normality

Schools throughout West Lothian welcomed children back to the classroom today after seven weeks of summer holidays.

And the good news was that most covid restrictions have been lifted for their return – although some measures remain in place.

Over 27,000 number of pupils in West Lothian will return to school this week, along with thousands of school-based staff.

Class bubbles have been scrapped to the delight of parents and blanket self-isolation of whole classes following a positive covid test will no longer be routine.

However In secondary schools, all teachers and senior pupils must wear a face covering or mask while indoors for the first six weeks and there must also be physical distancing of at least one metre (3ft) between all staff, as well as staff and pupils.

And all school staff and secondary school pupils were asked to take a lateral flow test one or two days before they return.

But it was still an exciting day for nearly 4,300 youngsters in West Lothian today as they started their exciting new journey either as a primary 1 pupil or a new S1 pupil.

P1 pupils from Greenrigg PS

Nearly 2,100 new P1 pupils began school, including an incredible 35 sets of twins and over 2,200 S1 pupils started secondary school.

David Dodds, Executive councillor for Education, said: “I’m a former teacher myself and I know it’s an exciting and busy time for pupils, parents and school staff, but I certainly wish everyone the very best upon their return.

“Last year was one most of us want to move on from, and it was certainly an extremely challenging time for our school communities. This, hopefully, is the beginning of a much brighter school year.

“The first day of term is always an exciting milestone for children starting primary and young people entering secondary school.

“I hope all children and young people had a great first day and enjoyed being at school.”

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