SCHOOLS are back from August 11, Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday, in news that has divided our readers.

John Wilson, said that he would not be sending his children back to school if they were “packed in like sardines” and that it would only be safe if pupils were spread out.

Lynne Weir said: “Its a joke to put pupils all back together at the one time. The second wave is coming but hey ho, use our kids as guinea pigs.”

Blended learning - pupils being taught in and out of school was also a hot topic. Noreen Currie said that it was a “nightmare” and added: “Kids need full time education, especially teenagers. It is a very worrying situation, especially with cases on the increase, however the time has come that we must prioritise kids mental and emotional needs over the virus.

“If schools do need to shut again I’d rather the kids repeated a year, I am aware this will be difficult to manage, but then so is blended learning.”

On the other hand, some readers felt it was not the time to get children back into classrooms and thought doing so would encourage a second wave of the virus.

“I think initially ‘bubbles’ should go ahead, even if it’s only for the first few weeks to see how things go with Covid cases,” wrote Suzie Anderson. “It would also allow teaching staff to try to assess the children in smaller groups to see where they are all at in terms of learning stage. They may well need to be regrouped as I’m certain many will have struggled to keep up with home-schooling and some may not have managed to do any work at all.”

Davie Montgomerie said: “I have three kids, two at primary and one in high school and I’m feeling very anxious to be honest. I’ve kept them safe under my care and now I’m being asked to trust others. I’m not that gullible. Even with the strictest of rules and the best will in the world, it’s going to be a nightmare for teachers and a massive worry for parents.”

Kerryann Smith, worried about the possibilty of a second spike, suggested that schools should have been reopened before anything else and pubs and international travel should have been held off until much later.

More of our readers suggested staggered approaches to return, which Nicola Sturgeon said was expected at some local authorities.

One reader quipped: “I think even my kids be glad to get back.”

Margaret Gibson said she was extremely worried about schools going back. She said she had a “medically complex” child and was not satisfied they would be safe if her daughter went back to the classroom.

Leah Smith said: “I am worried but my children want to get back to some normality and when I told them they were so happy. My kids are old enough now to understand keeping themselves safe and following the guidance. We need to learn to adapt and live with this virus. I am sure the government would close schools if the kids and teachers were at any risk again.”

But one reader had plans that would deflate any child looking forward to a return to normality. Gary Jones said: “They should be in 9-5 to catch up on the weeks gone past. Saturdays too. Every second Sunday as well.”