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Coronavirus Update

School update - message for parent/carer

I would like to thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, to support your child's learning.  Our schools and centres are grateful for all the support you have given during the period of remote learning.  We know how challenging this time has been.

The Scottish Government has decided that a limited number of children and young people will return to the classroom from Monday 22 February, and I am writing to inform you of the arrangements.

Early Learning and Childcare

Children in early learning and childcare (nursery) will resume attendance on Monday 22 February.  All parents/carers will be contacted by their nursery by Friday 19 February to inform them of detailed arrangements.

Primary

Pupils in P1-3 will return to school on Monday 22 February.  All other pupils will continue remote learning.  Where P4 - P7 pupils are in a composite class which includes P1 -P3 pupils, only the P1- P3 pupils will return to school.  Schools will contact all parents of P1-3 pupils by Friday 19 February to inform them of detailed arrangements.

The arrangements for remote learning for pupils who are in P4 - P7 will continue.

Secondary

A limited number of Senior Phase Pupils (S4-6) will come into school in order to complete practical tasks linked to national qualifications from Monday 22 February.  They will not return full time.  Each school will make its own individual plans using their local knowledge of pupils, their course choices and needs.  Schools will contact all parents/carers of Senior Phase Pupils by Friday 19 February to inform them of the arrangements for the completion of practical tasks, and when pupils should attend.  Senior Phase pupils must not attend school unless invited by their school. 

Arrangements for remote learning for pupils who are not in school may be affected by these new plans, and schools will contact parents/carers to inform them of the changes which are necessary.

A new requirement for physical distancing will be in place in all secondary schools, with pupils required to keep 2m physical distance between each other, as well as between themselves and staff. 

Face masks must continue to be worn by senior phase pupils. 

Pupils in the senior phase who will attend school will be able to take part in voluntary Covid (Lateral Flow) Testing, and details of this have already been sent to parents/carers.

ASN Schools and Units

Headteachers of ASN Schools have already contacted parents and carers on arrangements for individual children and young people for return from 11 January and these arrangements will continue.

Transport

Pupils who normally travel by school transport will continue to be able to do so.  If it is necessary to alter arrangements for any pupils, parents/carers will be informed by Friday 19 February.

A new requirement for physical distancing will be in place for all secondary aged pupils, with pupils required to keep 2m physical distance between each other, as well as between themselves and adults while using school buses.

Face coverings continue to be required for all children over age of 5 on school transport.

School Meals and Breakfast Clubs

Breakfast clubs will only be available for vulnerable children and children of keyworkers, as set out in Scottish Government guidance issued on 16 February.

Pupils in P1-3 attending school will receive their entitlement to free school meals.

School meals will be available for senior phase pupils if they are in school at lunchtime, and those entitled will receive free school meals. 

Direct payments to parents/carers of pupils entitled to free school meals will continue, except for those in P1-3.

Children of Keyworkers, and Vulnerable Children

Separate arrangements have been made for children of key workers and  vulnerable children  and these remain in place.  Children of key workers who have requested a place, and have received confirmation that a place is available, can continue to attend their school.  Parents/carers of vulnerable children who have been contacted by their school can also continue to attend their school or nursery.

A new requirement for physical distancing will be in place for all secondary age pupils, with pupils required to keep 2m physical distance between each other, as well as between themselves and staff.

Risk Assessment

All schools and early learning and childcare settings will complete a revised risk assessment before children and young people return on 22 February 2021, including the introduction of the new requirement for physical distancing for all secondary age pupils, with pupils required to keep 2m physical distance between each other, as well as between themselves and staff.

All existing steps to limit the spread of Coronavirus will remain in place, including hand washing, distancing and use of face coverings, and distancing by parents/carers when dropping off and picking up children.  All children and young people will be informed and updated on any changes to arrangements when they return to school.

Clinically Vulnerable Children and Young People

Children and young people at the highest clinical risk (individuals on the shielding list) have been advised by the Chief Medical Officer not to attend early learning and childcare or school.  They will continue to be supported in remote learning.

Yours sincerely
Dr Elaine Cook
Depute Chief Executive


Important for parents/carers of vulnerable pupils and children of key workers

The normal Attendance Policy and procedures still apply. If you have been allocated a place to attend school/nursery you must inform the school if your child will not attend, as you would normally. (for example, if you have an alternative arrangement, they are ill or have a medical appointment).

If your child does not attend on the days allocated to them a GroupCall message will be sent to you recording the non-attendance.


FAQs regarding Return to School

Why are schools/Early Learning and Childcare centres (ELCs) opening late and why is the first week home/online learning?

Will all schools/ELCs be open or will it be a number of hub schools only?

How do I apply for a Keyworker place for my child at school?

Who is classed a key worker?

I'm a key worker. Should I apply for a key worker place for my children if my partner is not a key worker, one of us is able to work from home or I can make essential informal childcare arrangements?

What days can apply for?

I've applied for a key worker place for my children - when will I hear back?

I applied for a key worker place for my child/children and was not successful. Can I appeal or question the decision?

Will normal absence arrangements apply?

Are school staff classed as key workers?

Are arrangements for ELCs the same as schools?

Will Beatlie, Pinewood, Ogilvie, Connolly and Cedarbank schools be open from Wednesday 6 January?

What are the arrangement for children identified as vulnerable?

What if I believe my child to be vulnerable and we haven't heard anything?

Does my child need to wear school uniform?

Can I drop off my child and collect my child around my working times?

Is school transport still operating?

Are breakfast clubs still running?

Will my child still be able to get a school meal?

What arrangements are in place for children eligible for free schools meals who are not in school?

What are the arrangements for home/online learning on the week of Monday 11 January?

Will schools/ELCS re-open as normal on Monday 18 January?

What are the plans for senior pupils who are due to take part in assessments?

Are private nurseries allowed to open?

Will West Lothian College be open?

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