Some Renfrewshire pupils will be returning to school next week, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Earlier this month, the First Minister revealed the Scottish Government’s back-to-school plan, which included a phased return from February 22.

Making a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon made it clear that the plan will go ahead.

The news follows a “significant and sustained” fall in the number of cases in Scotland, suggesting that “lockdown has been working”.

Despite this news, she confirmed that lockdown will, however, continue until at least the beginning of March, but may be extended.

Under the back-to-school plans, pre-school nurseries will open and all children under school age in early learning and childcare will be able to return next week.

Pupils in primary 1 to primary 3 will also be able to return to full-time learning from Monday.

Education Minister John Swinney previously said nursery children and P1 to P3 had been prioritised because they find it “more challenging to engage in remote learning”.

A limited number of senior phase secondary pupils who need access to school for essential practical work will be allowed back to school on a part-time basis.

A limited increase in the provision for vulnerable children – specifically
those with the most significant additional support needs - where
schools believe this is essential is also being enabled.

Nicola Sturgeon hopes to outline a second phase of school return in two weeks’ time, but there is unlikely to be any further return until March 15.

The Scottish Government hopes to publish a detailed plan on how and when Scotland might emerge from lockdown at this time next week.

Scotland has recorded 49 deaths from coronavirus and 773 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Scottish Government figures show.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 6,764.

The latest statistics show 193,148 people have tested positive in Scotland, up from 192,375 the previous day.

The daily test positivity rate is 6%, down from 7%.

There are 1,383 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 45 in 24 hours, and 100 patients are in intensive care, down two.

1,288,004 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination in Scotland and 17,137 have received their second dose.