SCOTLAND should be “confident” that schools will be able to reopen on August 11 as planned, the deputy first minister has said.

Speaking at the Scottish Government Covid-19 briefing today, Education Secretary John Swinney said a decision would be announced on Thursday.

Swinney told the briefing: "As we consider the reopening of schools, it is vital that, along with our partners, we address the wider impacts of the virus on the health, wellbeing and educational attainment of children and young people to whom we have listened carefully about their aspirations about their return to schooling."

READ MORE: Scotland's schools: Four key updates for parents ahead of reopening

He added that the wellbeing of children is “critical” to the decision to reopen schools, and parents should be reassured that local authorities and schools are developing plans to ensure pupils’ safety.

He reiterated that £50 million has been made available to councils to recruit more teachers and staff, as well as £20m to support the practicalities of reopening schools.

The Scottish Government will not formally announce the August 11 return date until July 30.

Ministers have repeatedly stressed that reducing the coronavirus infection rate is crucial to the reopening of schools, with the First Minister suggesting no more lockdown changes will be made until pupils are back in the classroom.