The decision to move pupils to remote learning from January has been welcomed by local teaching unions following an “anxious” term for school staff.
Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, had been pushing for schools to close before the Christmas holidays.
However the decision to move to online learning for at least a week from January 11 will help to keep teachers and pupils safe, it has been claimed.
David Baxter, branch secretary of EIS Dundee, said a “fire breaker” lockdown was needed due to the number of staff and pupils having to self-isolate in December.
He said: “The Scottish Government has made the decision, admittedly quite late, but our view is that they have made the right choice.
“Locally we are well equipped to make this change to remote learning and we are actively engaging with Dundee City Council to put a plan in place.”
Schools are working to finalise remote learning plans for after the holidays and education chiefs have said parents and pupils will be informed of the materials available before the end of term on Wednesday.
Mr Baxter continued: “Except for the fact that it was announced on a Saturday night, we are supportive of the move.
“The EIS position has been that given the increase that we thought would happen at the Christmas period, we felt a fire breaker move would be needed.
“That would also entail a change to the working practices in schools and that has happened.”
A longer festive break which would have seen schools closed from December 18 to January 11 had previously been ruled out by the Scottish Government.
In Fife, union representatives declared a dispute with Fife Council last week, citing health and safety concerns.
The decision to close schools at the beginning of January has been welcomed by the branch’s publicity officer David Farmer.
However he said the EIS are still pursuing “serious discussions” with the local authority in the hope of reaching a resolution before the end of the year.
He said: “One of the things we hoped to achieve was the use of online platforms when children return in January and it looks as if that is going to happen, although the exact detail of that is unclear at the moment.
“Teachers have been turning up for work since August and it has been a very anxious time.
“We are not advocating for schools to be closed but our feeling, and the feeling among our members, is that there is still a lot more to be done in terms of health and safety in our schools for both staff and kids.
“It’s better if kids are in school learning but remote learning provides children with the opportunity to continue their learning.”
He said remote learning also minimises the risk of the virus to pupils and school staff.