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Schools and nurseries

Schools and nurseries

Last updated: 29/05/2020

 

Phased return to schools

Following the update provided by the Scottish Government on 21 May, we now have a plan in place for a phased return to schools for some pupils prior to the summer holiday period.

The Hub schools currently in operation will stop at 3pm on Friday 5 June, and all the pupils who have been attending the Hubs will return to attending their normal primary/secondary school from Monday 8 June.  Schools may contact other children to encourage them to take up the places which have been on offer since schools closed on 20 March.

From Monday 15 June, small numbers of pupils will return to school on a rota basis, to support key transition groups as follows:

  • Nursery children in pre-school year
  • Current P7s

School admissions and placing requests for academic year commencing August 2020

New regulations were placed before the Scottish Parliament on 22 April 2020 to amend the procedure for processing placing requests.

Most notably, the Regulations make amendments to the time limits relating to:

  • the date for parents/carers to receive a response to a placing request has been extended from 30 April to 31 May;
  • the time for an appeal hearing against those decisions to be heard has been extended from 28 days to 3 months;
  • the notification of the decision of the appeal committee has been extended from 14 days to 28 days.

In addition, given the requirement for social distancing, the Regulations make amendments to allow for placing request appeals to be heard by electronic means of video conferencing/voice conferencing.

We are continuing to work hard to process school placing requests and will endeavour to provide a response to placing request applications in advance of the extended deadline of 31 May. 

Arrangements for placing request appeal hearings (where requested) to be held by video/telephone conferencing are also being progressed and these will be held as soon as is practically possible.  Further details, if appropriate, will be provided in the placing request outcome letter which you will receive.

Support for families

Schools have closed to the majority of pupils, but in line with Scottish Government guidance we are continuing to provide learning for a limited number of pupils in identified key groups.

The 3 categories are:

Category 1 - Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already); staff providing childcare / learning for other category 1 staff.

Category 2 - All other Health and Care workers and wider public sector workers providing emergency / critical welfare services (e.g. Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, etc), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland would be caused.

Category 3 - All workers without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to Covid-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would be severely compromised).

We're also in touch directly with families eligible for free school meals to ensure they continue to be provided with this vital resource.

We're aware of pupils who are affected by a variety of needs and would benefit from continued attendance in school at this time. There will be provision available for these pupils. All the families impacted by this will be contacted directly to make the necessary arrangements.

It's important that pupils only attend at school when they have been told to do so.

SQA qualifications

The latest information on SQA qualifications is available on the SQA website.

We recognise that this is an uncertain time for our learners who have worked hard throughout the year and understand that all our young people will be worried about what the cancellation of SQA exams will mean for them.

We will get guidance from the SQA after the Spring break period in relation to submitting estimates, but please be reassured that teachers, who know your children best as learners, are working hard to bring together and carefully review all the evidence that has been gathered throughout the course.

The date for providing estimates to the SQA has now been extended to 29 May 2020.

This will give our teachers time to access the evidence and have discussions before submitting estimated grades.

This work is a key priority for all our schools and young people and as such we would like to provide reassurance that our schools will do their best to ensure that the hard work of all our young people is rightly and fairly recognised.

pdf icon Read more about SQA qualifications 2020 [268kb]

Nursery fees

With nurseries and family centres now closed for the majority of children, the issuing of invoices and the collection of direct debits for any hours above the statutory entitlement (i.e. wraparound) will be suspended until further notice.  

For all chargeable contracts, each individual account will be recalculated, based on the hours received up to Friday 20 March 2020 and the accounts issued to date, to determine whether a refund will be due or a final bill issued. This will take account of the statutory entitlement of each child and what has already been accessed this year. Families will be contacted about this in due course once we have further clarity on the length of school closures and are able to complete this process.

We are also working with our online payment supplier, ParentPay, to process refunds for any ad-hoc hours purchased but not accessed for the period since Friday 20 March.

With many families using childcare vouchers, parents and carers should consider the impact of the closures on their use of these going forward. 

If you have any specific enquiries relating to your nursery charges, please contact us at earlylearningandchildcare@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk.