Schools and early years centre across North Ayrshire will re-open to pupils, in a planned phased return from Wednesday 12 August, with all pupils being back in schools by Friday 14 August.

The decision follows the announcement from the Scottish Government last week confirming it was safe for schools to return.

Head Teachers will contact parents and carers this week with specific details about the return to individual schools and centres. Our staff are really looking forward to seeing the children again and resuming high quality learning and teaching in our schools and early years centres.

A council spokeswoman said: "As our schools and early years Centres return, we must remember that the virus has not gone away.

There will be increased hygiene measures across all our schools and Early Years Centres including hand sanitiser throughout the schools and increased hand washing.

Children will not need to physically distance, but teachers will try to limit interactions between groups where possible.

Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education, North Ayrshire Council, said: “Life is not going back to normal yet but we are really looking forward to welcoming all our young people back to school next week. Our aim is to help the children re-adjust to school life, support their wellbeing and have a clear focus on leaning.

“We fully understand we must not be complacent, the safety and wellbeing of our young people, teachers and staff is our main priority. Together we must continue to focus on keeping virus transmissions levels low. We ask parents and carers not to send their child to school if they have COVID-19 symptoms.”