Coronavirus (COVID-19)

View updates on coronavirus and council services

Schools and childcare - Coronavirus

Information for parents, carers and young people on return to school arrangements in Aberdeenshire's schools and early learning facilities:

If you are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, please visit our main COVID-19 page for information in BSL.

Phased return to school

Pre-school children, pupils in primaries 1, 2 and 3, and a limited number of senior phase students who need access to school for essential practical work returned on Monday, 22nd February 2021. 

All primary school pupils returned to school full-time, from Monday, 15th March 2021.

All secondary school pupils were given some time in school between 15th March 2021 and the Easter break, with a full return after the Easter break.

Find out more about phase 2 of schools return on the Scottish Government website.

Children of key workers

During adverse weather conditions please check for any school closures and school transport changes.

As highlighted in Depute First Minister, John Swinney's statement on January 13th, 2021: "For children of key workers who have no viable alternatives, schools are open on an exceptional basis.

“But to ensure we reduce the interactions around schools, and so contribute to suppression of the virus, we have to keep numbers of keyworker children to the absolute minimum required.”

As per national guidance, we are prioritising school places for those households where both parents are Category 1 or 2 key workers (or one parent in a single parent household). Please view Scottish Government guidance on key workers and Category 1 and 2 definitions. You can also view our essential services and key workers page for further information.

Children of key workers can attend school if both parents and/or carers are Category 1 and/or Category 2 key workers, or if you are a single parent who is a key worker. If you have other childcare support, including one parent and/or carer working from home, this must be used instead of an immediate return to school and therefore we ask that you do not complete this form.

Children and young people who are currently isolating should not attend.

The deadline for registration has now passed but you can email giving the name of the school and your request will be dealt with by your school.

If there are any concerns regarding the key worker category status of parents and/or carers the school will seek advice from officers, and you may be contacted for clarification.

If your child attends a funded-provider setting, please contact the setting directly for advice or contact

Contingency planning

Local Phasing Delivery Plans developed by local authorities offer a 'plan b'. View Aberdeenshire's Local Phasing Delivery Plan (pdf 1.2MB) which serves as a contingency for re-opening of schools. We continue to update our FAQs on school arrangements in Aberdeenshire (pdf 225KB) in line with the latest national guidance.

Free school meals

Low income households are continuing to receive financial support while children and young people are not in school. View more information about arrangements for school meals.

School transport

School transport arrangements across Aberdeenshire have been reviewed in line with the Scottish Government guidance on school transport and the latest national update on preparing for the start of term.

View the parental guidance for school transport, which has been put together locally to support children and young people. Due to the need for distancing with the driver there is a minor reduction in the number of pupils who can travel on most school transport vehicles. Your school will contact you directly before the start of term if you are affected by this otherwise you may presume that transport is available.

Family Information Service

The Family Information Service (FIS) offers parents access to information about childcare providers. You can also find nurseries and childminder details within childcare application booklet.

You may also find the following national websites offering support and guidance to parents and carers helpful:

Shine a Light on Lockdown

We have launched a special website for children, young people and families called 'Shine a Light on Lockdown' to keep a record of people’s memories and experiences of this exceptional time.

Although lockdown life has not been easy, there have been many good things that have come from it. With usual activities having been suspended, lots of children and young people have done different things, learnt new skills, and discovered things about themselves, their communities and the world that they might never have discovered. The website is also somewhere that innovative work done by schools will be showcased. Entries can be in many forms from songs, photos, short films, artwork or writing.

To submit an entry to the Shine a Light on Lockdown website complete the submission form (pdf 213KB) and email with your entry to

Visit the Shine a Light on Lockdown website. To see the full functionality, we recommend that you visit the website using the Google Chrome browser. If you tap and hold or right click the website link, you can copy it and paste to your Chrome browser.