Schools and early years

School return and childcare arrangements

The return of schools after Christmas and New Year will change following the First Minister’s most recent announcement and the Scottish Government guidance.  Below is a letter issued to parents outlining arrangements for the return of schools and childcare arrangements for key workers:

 

Arrangements for the return to school and establishments – January 2021

Further to my letter sent yesterday I can now confirm arrangements for the return to school. This letter sets out the current position, based on the most up to date information available to us as a Council.  

 

As you will be aware the First Minister made an announcement on Monday 4 January about the new restrictions to combat COVID 19.  This included the stay at home guidance which came into effect on 5 January 2021.

This purpose of this letter is to explain to you the arrangements that will be in place in Inverclyde Council Schools and Early Years establishments.

I had already written to you in December 2020 explaining the arrangements we would have in place for January 2021. These remain unchanged but now extend to the end of January 2021.

You will have received an application for childcare/in school learning from your establishment.  This provision is for children of key workers and those who are vulnerable.  We ask parents to work with us to ensure that they explore all other alternatives available to them and only send their child to the school or establishment if absolutely necessary.  Schools will be as flexible and as accommodating as possible but please remember that the reason we are limiting the numbers in schools and early years establishments is to curtail the virus. 

Circumstances do change and we ask that you maintain contact with your child’s school/early years establishment if this is the case for you. If you do not agree with the decision made by your child’s school/early years establishment and would like your application to be reconsidered then this will be possible.  

Your child’s school/early years establishment will contact you on 6 January letting you know if your application for childcare/in-school learning has been successful. This letter will also tell you how you can appeal the school or establishment’s decision.

Childcare will be offered on 7 and 8 January.  Remote and in school learning will start on 11 January. 

Your school will be in touch with you on 7 and 8 January 2021 to outline the arrangements for remote learning.  Remote learning takes place in a number of ways:   Engagement through Microsoft Teams, recorded content and activities set by your child’s teacher(s).   We expect all pupils to engage in learning, and their engagement will be monitored by your child’s school.   If you have issues with access to remote learning for any reason then please contact your child’s school directly. 

Those who are entitled to free school meals and a clothing grant will receive funding for the meals directly into bank accounts for the period where remote learning is in place. If this applies to you, we will let you know separately. For those who attend school and are entitled to transport, then transport will still be provided. 

The Education Directorate have a meeting with the chairs of Parent Councils on 11 January 2021.  This will give the Directorate a chance to consider any issues that are arising and to answer any questions.

This is certainly not the start to 2021 that anybody had hoped for and we absolutely appreciate the difficulties that the new guidance will cause for families.   Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to meet the needs of our young people and families whilst still ensuring that everyone is as safe as possible. 

 

Ruth Binks

Education, Communities & Organisational Development

Corporate Director