Several north-east schools may join forces to cut the number of buildings required to open during the latest lockdown.
Schools are closed to most pupils until February, with the bulk operating through online and remote learning.
However, like during the lockdown last March, the children of key workers and other young people with additional support needs will still be allowed to attend.
A letter sent by Aberdeenshire Council to parents today outlined that these classes will be provided by individual schools, but warned that service could be amalgamated.
Laurence Findlay, the council’s director of education and children’s services, said: “We need to ensure sufficient staff availability for each establishment as well as sufficient staff to support home learning.
“The difference this time around compared to the lockdown last March is that provision will be in local schools, whereas last time it was only available in 17 hub schools.
“However, this is the current position and will be subject to review.
“For example, some of our schools will have very few key worker children on the school roll and as such we may amalgamate provision where possible rather than opening every single school building.”
Who qualifies as a key worker?
The Scottish Government has identified who qualifies as a key worker and what category they fall into on their website.
Category 1 workers are defined as health and care staff directly supporting the Covid response, as well as others providing critical primary and community care.
Category 2 workers are all other health and care staff, and wider public sector workers providing emergency and critical welfare services. For instance, firefighters, police officers and social workers.
Schools had been due to go back on January 18, before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement on Monday that the country would re-enter a full national lockdown in the latest attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
It has resulted in the towns and cities of the north and north-east of Scotland becoming virtually deserted once again.