ALL the 17 primary schools and both Beath and Lochgelly High schools will close at the end of the school day tomorrow.

This follows the announcement by the Scottish Government on Wednesday afternoon that all schools and early learning centres in Scotland will close from Friday as part of the strategy to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

The Fife Council education department will be putting into place their strategy today of how the authority will tackle this as soon as plans are finalised more information of what this will mean for continuing education in general, and for those sitting SQA exams in particular, will be announced.

Executive Director of Education, Carrie Lindsay said this morning: “This is not a decision that was taken lightly, and we understand the challenges this poses for many parents and carers but the well-being of all those in our communities is a priority.

“Our schools and learning centres have been planning for this for some time and we have been working closely with our headteachers to make sure that some form of learning can continue in these circumstances".

Ms Lindsay, the former headteacher at Cowdenbeath Primary School, added: “Schools have access to a wide range of online resources and children have been shown how to access these from home.

“We know that many families rely on our education facilities for more than learning. We are putting plans in place to try to keep this support available for our most vulnerable pupils, those sitting exams and children of those who work in front line services.

“We will have more details on the closure on Thursday and will be providing all of our parents and carers with more information then, along with guidance for our pupils due to sit SQA exams this year.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This has been one of the hardest decisions we have faced so far as we tackle the coronavirus.

"We also know more and more schools are approaching a point where they have lost too many staff to continue as normal. At this stage I cannot promise schools and nurseries will re-open after the Easter break.

“There will require to be a lot of local flexibility and we are working closely with local authorities to put those arrangements in place.

“Teachers, school staff and those in the nursery sector will have a vital role in the weeks ahead and we will work with you to minimise the impact on all our young peoples’ education, and in particular the most vulnerable groups.”