All pupils in Renfrewshire will make a full time return to school after the Easter holidays as new post lockdown rules come into force.

A time line for the return of all students was revealed yesterday as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said all primary school children will be able to return to classrooms on March 15.

From the same date, all secondary school students will also be offered some face-to-face learning.

The pace of the roll out in local secondary schools will be left to Renfrewshire Council to decide, with senior students undergoing assessment for national qualifications to be prioritised.

But, speaking in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, Ms Sturgeon said that all children, as a minimum, should be offered some in-school learning before the Easter break.

Warning the proposed timeline is dependent on the virus remaining under control, she said: “The phased approach to school return can be frustrating, I know. But it is necessary and it is firmly based on the expert advice that we have received.

“It is the best, and also the most sustainable and enduring, way to get as many children back to school as possible, as safely as possible.”

The school timeline comes one day after the Scottish Government confirmed it will be much harder for areas to drop down a level when the tiered approach to restrictions returns next month.

The government hopes to return to their levels system on April 26.

But new rules mean Renfrewshire will need to dramatically slash its infection rate to be awarded the Level 2 status that allows pubs to serve alcohol and people to travel outwith their local authority area.

Cases will need to drop to below 50 per 100,000 in the area before it will be considered for level two, much lower than the previous rate of 150 per 100,000.

Renfrewshire currently has an infection rate of 132 per 100,000 of population.

If unchanged in the coming weeks it would see Renfrewshire enter level 3 restrictions.

The Scottish Government said the new stricter approach took account of the new, more infectious variant of Covid-19 and followed updated guidance from the World Health Organisation.