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The £1 billion Covid recovery plans for our schools: All you need to know

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville set out the plans.

The Scottish Government has published its report on how it will help the education system recover following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 43-page document covers a number of issues such as boosting teacher numbers, introducing counselling in schools and an expansion of free childcare for younger children.

More than £1 billion has been committed to helping education recover over the course of the next parliament.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has paid tribute to “truly inspirational” teachers, educators and school staff.

She also said teachers and other school staff were “truly inspirational” as she thanked them for their efforts.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.

But what exactly will the Covid education recovery plan do for our children?

More teachers will recruited by the Scottish Government.

In the classroom: The promises

Around 3,500 teachers and 500 classroom assistants are expected to be recruited over the next five years.

Teachers will also get an hour and a half a week out of class to give them time to reflect on, plan and collaborate in the interests of good quality learning and teaching.

Every child in Scotland will get a device to get online, including a free
internet connection where required.

Free early learning and childcare places will be expanded to include one and two-year-olds.

At nursery: The pledges

Free early years education will be expanded to to all one- and two-year-olds, starting with children from low-income households.

The Government will create a childcare system of wraparound childcare providing care before and after school, all year round.

Officials will also work with councils to make sure all already-eligible two-year-olds are getting the childcare they are entitled to.

The report sets out how to help education recover following the pandemic.

Health and wellbeing

Counselling services will be available in schools  – as part of the government’s guarantee of access to mental health.

The Government has also pledged to make sure every child has access to quality play in their own community by refurbishing play parks in Scotland.

All primary school children will get free school breakfasts and lunches all year round.


There are students in existence now heading for their toughest years of exams – the qualifications that will take them into university, college or the workplace.

Thanks to Covid, some of them have never sat a “proper” diet of exams.

The government has promised online revision classes for those sitting exams in 2022, with targeted support for those most in need.

Headteachers will be able to refer those most impacted by Covid for the special lessons.

Higher and further education

The government said it is “on course” to offer over 80 additional counsellors in colleges and universities by next year.

Ministers will also develop a dedicated student mental health action plan.

Supporting education staff

A £750,000 government funding package is being introduced to back the workforce and will focus on the professional development of staff.

There will also be mentoring support for educators from minority ethnic backgrounds.

When will all this happen?

The Scottish Government’s official timescale for all these measures is five years.

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