The SIC has worked to reduce the number of children attending school in person – after hundreds were initially approved for attendance.
A report to the SIC’s education and families committee heard today that 570 children had been approved for attendance as children of key workers amid the latest Covid-19 restrictions.
Robin Calder, executive manager for quality improvement, said the total number of eligible pupils, including those deemed vulnerable, stood at 844 – almost a quarter of the entire school list.
At some schools, almost half of pupils had been approved as eligible.
Mr Calder’s report said the numbers were almost double that of the previous lockdown.
However, he said work had been done to reduce the numbers actually attending since the resumption of the new term in January.
“That’s to comply with the Scottish government expectation to keep the numbers in school to an absolute minimum to comply with public health and the stay at home message,” he added.
Mr Calder’s report said that on a day-to-day basis, fewer than half of those children offered places attended school.
It highlighted messages from children’s services that attending school was for when there are no other options and “stressing that the safest place for almost all children at this time is to be at home”.
Most children had been learning remotely during the first lockdown, with schools only reopening to the most pupils in August.
The report found that the return had been successful with pupil attendance from August to December recorded at more than 95 per cent.
In December, however the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that all Scottish schools would be open only for children of key workers and vulnerable children, when schools returned after the Christmas break.
A further update on 19th December confirmed the full reopening of schools would be further delayed.
A phased return of schools in Scotland is expected to begin from 23rd February, although this has yet to be confirmed.