THE leader of Scottish Borders Council says she has "every confidence" that schools have been made safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday (Tuesday) pupils returned to the classroom for the first time since March.

And Shona Haslam believes all of the necessary measures were introduced before reopening.

The member for Tweeddale East said: “This has been an extremely challenging time for us all and I know there is understandable anxiety in households across the Borders as our children and young people return to school this week.

“As a parent myself, I have experienced many of these within my own family.

"However, I have also seen just how hard staff teams from a range of services across the council have been working to make all our settings as safe as they can be, and have every confidence that this has been achieved.”

The local authority says part of the first few weeks of school will used to "help pupils with the transition back to the classroom".

Mrs Haslam added: “We are extremely grateful to all our parents and carers for their support and co-operation throughout the past five months, not least with the requirement for home learning.

"Part of the adjustment that will be required over these next weeks will be supporting pupils with the transition back to classroom based learning in general, while taking into account the challenges that the pandemic has brought us.

“Additional support will also be provided for those attending a school for the first time for P1 pupils and to help our new S1 pupils with their transition to secondary school.

“Going forward, every effort will be made to make the school day and week as effective as is possible for everyone, while accepting that in keeping everyone safe it will be different to previous arrangements.

"I would ask for your continued co-operation and support for our staff as we do our best to achieve this.”