SCHOOLS across East Lothian are working towards reopening on August 11, as the new term starts eight days earlier than originally planned.

Teaching staff are expected to return to work next month, as classrooms are prepared for a new social distancing regime and preparations are also made for a new system which is likely to see pupils spend part of their week in classrooms and part learning from home.

East Lothian Council is also looking at ways to bring pupils who are transitioning from nursery to P1 and from primary to secondary school in to their new schools at the end of June, to help ease them in to the unfamiliar surroundings.

And the council is looking to issue parents of transitioning pupils extra advice about activities they can do at home which will also help prepare them for the change.

However, it said it was already providing some transitioning experiences to children through a range of “distanced creative and innovative” activities.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Our education service has already started to consider the implications and plan for the reopening of schools and early learning and childcare settings, as outlined by the First Minister.

“We will be reflecting on the announcement and the guidance coming from the National Education Recovery Group this week, to determine the plans for East Lothian.

“We appreciate that parents will be keen to receive details.

“This is a complex and changing situation and we are committed to sharing information with our school communities as soon as we can.”

School nurseries and early learning centres will also open in August.

It is expected the region’s six children’s hubs, which have been operating for families of key workers and children with additional support needs, will remain open during the summer but will begin to transfer the youngsters attending to their own schools as they open.

In a letter to parents and carers, Lesley Brown, the council’s chief education officer, said: “In the coming weeks, we will also consider those children who may benefit from further transition support.

“During June and over the summer, we will continue to provide emergency childcare provision for the children of key workers and we will be in contact with parents and carers about the arrangements for this in due course.”

Schools across East Lothian were due to start their August 2020 term on August 19; however, Scotland’s First Minister has given the earlier date of August 11 for a nationwide reopening and the local authority will follow the national guidelines.