Planning is going ahead already to reopen schools throughout the Western isles on Tuesday August 11, says Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Director of Education and Children's Services Mr Bernard Chisholm.

Writing on Twitter last night (Thursday May 21) following the publication of the "route map" out of the coronavirus emergency pandemic lockdown, Mr Chisholm says:

"We are reviewing Scottish Government guidance and will then provide all staff and parents with information on how we intend to implement the guidance in Comhairle Early years, primary and secondary provision.

"Our approach will be to develop a local plan for the phasing of young people back to school with the intention that as many young people can spend as much time in school as possible while at the same time being able to observe social distancing and other appropriate safety measures.

"Staff will be able to return to school some time in June to help us prepare for pupils returning, planning transition arrangements and providing education for some targeted groups of young people.

"More detailed information will be provided early next week and regularly updated."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament yesterday that staff would begin work next month to prepare classrooms for the next term - and "a different model of learning". This would involve part-time study in school combined with some learning at home.

Ms Sturgeon also said transition support would be given, where possible, to children going into Primary 1 or moving from primary to secondary schools.

The Scottish government has published a strategic framework document explaining the factors which contributed to its plan for the reopening of schools.