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Learning and Childcare Information

Learning and Childcare Information

Phased return of pupils to schools

Created: 26/2/21

The First Minister has confirmed that, on the basis that progress in suppressing the virus and vaccinating key groups remains on track, the rest of the primary school years, P4 to P7, will return to the classroom from Monday 15th March.

There will also be a return of more senior phase secondary pupils who will return to the classroom for part of their learning. Further details to follow.

All establishments continue to implement and follow very robust control measures to minimise the risk of spread and protect the health of pupils and staff. 

We are grateful to parents and carers for their commitment to continuing to follow the wider coronavirus rules to ensure that the virus does not spread and to help keep families and communities safe.

If you have any further questions, please speak directly to your school staff. 

ABC Nursery Consultation

Created: 22/2/21

Before any final decision can be taken on a permanent school closure proposal, a formal consultation is required in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. In accordance with the legislation, we are seeking the views of all interested parties that would be affected by the permanent closure of ABC Nursery.

Please give us your views via our online consultation which closes on 26 April 2021.

A virtual public meeting is also being held to discuss this proposal on Tuesday 23 March, 7-8pm. If you wish to attend, please contact education@clacks.gov.uk by Tuesday 16th March for joining instructions.

We would urge anyone who would like to participate, but feel they would be limited by this approach, to contact us directly to discuss by emailing education@clacks.gov.uk.

Letter for parents

Created: 19/2/21

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has written an open letter to all parents and carers of primary and nursery age children (18 February 2021). Please follow the link for details.

Helping your child with S2/3 subject choices

Created: 19/2/21

Virtual event on Thursday 25 February, 6.30-7.15pm

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is offering parents and carers an online opportunity to find out more about how they can help their child make their S2/3 subject choices for the Senior Phase. For more information please follow this Eventbrite link or see our events diary.

Temporary Bus Timetables from Monday 22 February

Created: 18/2/21

Please follow the link to the temporary bus timetables in place from Monday 22 February.

Update on Phased Re-opening of Schools

Created: 17/2/21

The First Minister has confirmed that Early Years provision and children from P1-P3 will return to the classroom from Monday 22 February. 

There will also be a part-time return, on a very limited basis, for senior phase secondary pupils in S4, S5 and S6 to allow them to complete work for SQA qualifications. This will only be for a very limited number of pupils, with restricted numbers, and pupils will be contacted directly by their school if they are to attend in person.

Remote learning will continue for most children and young people apart from those who have key worker places. The First Minister has said that she hopes to make further announcements about the return to school for more children and young people in the coming weeks.

Schools have been following very robust control measures to protect the health of pupils and staff, and the government has also published updated measures for the return of pupils.  A Covid-19 asymptomatic testing programme for school/ELC staff and senior phase pupils is also being rolled out in Clackmannanshire.

We are grateful to parents and carers for their commitment to continuing to follow the wider coranvirus rules to ensure that the virus does not spread and to help keep families and communities safe.

If you have any further questions, please speak directly to your school staff. 

Counselling in Schools service

Created: 10/2/21

For information on our counselling in schools service, please follow the link.

Online Youth Activities

Created: 9/2/21

For details of various weekly online youth activities please follow the web page link.

Asymptomatic testing programme

Created: 08/02/21

The Covid-19 asymptomatic testing programme for school/ELC staff and senior phase pupils is being rolled out in Clackmannanshire as of today (8 February). 

The programme was announced by the Scottish Government on 2 February in order to support the return to schools and nurseries (see article below on phased reopening of schools)

All staff working in schools, and staff working in early learning and childcare settings attached to schools, will be offered at-home testing twice a week. All senior phase secondary school students will be offered this too. This offer will be extended to the wider childcare sector in the weeks following that.

The tests will be conducted with Lateral Flow Devices which do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result in around 30 minutes. Lateral flow tests are designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms, but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. By taking a test, staff and senior phase pupils will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people, and save lives. 

By detecting more asymptomatic cases, schools can avoid unnecessary staff shortages through staff or senior phase pupils unwittingly infecting others. Staff and pupils can contribute to the overall wellbeing of their school community by participating. 

Letters about the programme are being sent to staff and parents/carers. Some frequently asked questions about the programme are available.

Phased reopening of schools 

Created: 04/02/21

The First Minister announced this week that a phased reopening of schools to pupils could begin later this month if the prevalence rate of the virus continues a downward trend.

A final decision will be taken on 16 February, but if the phased return to school goes ahead, this would mean the fulltime return for all children to Early Learning and Childcare and children in P1 to P3 from the week beginning 22 February.

There would also be a part-time return, on a very limited basis, for senior phase secondary pupils which would allow them to complete work for SQA qualifications. However only 5% to 8% of a secondary school's pupil roll will be allowed to be in school at any one time for this purpose.

We are currently working on plans for how this will work for our senior phase pupils and will provide a further update when the First Minister makes her announcement on 16 February. 

Applying for an Early Learning Childcare place

Created: 29/1/21

Due to Covid restrictions, arrangements for applying for an early learning childcare place for 2021/22 will be different. Please refer to our web page by following the link.

The closing date for all pre-school and eligible 3 applications is Friday 12 March.

P1 Enrolment

Created: 20/1/21

Due to Covid restrictions, P1 enrolment will be different this year. Please follow the link for full details and schools' online enrolment forms, where these are available.

Remote Learning Guide

Created: 15/1/21

We have published a new guide for parents/carers and teaching staff on how children and young people will continue to receive high quality learning and teaching from home during the current lockdown.

Update to in-school provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children 

Created: 07/01/21

Following the First Minister’s statement on 4 January regarding further lockdown measures, we received updated supplementary guidance yesterday (6th January) from the Scottish Government for key workers and the parents or carers of vulnerable children applying for places at our schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) establishments.   

The new guidance is clear that the number of children taking up these places during this strict lockdown should be kept to the absolute minimum necessary. These measures are intended to prevent the spread of the new strain  of the virus within the community and as a result, we have put exceptional arrangements in place to ensure limited numbers of staff and children attend schools and ELCs.

The guidance from the Scottish Government is that children should remain at home during this period where possible. Therefore parents or carers who are applying for a space in either a school or ELC must meet the criteria below:

  • only key workers who are physically attending their workplace or who cannot fulfil their crucial functions when they are working remotely from home may qualify for places
  • where alternative options are available eg childcare, a non-key worker parent or carer who is able to work from home - these should be used instead of children attending in person.

The new guidance also makes it clear that children or young people who were previously on the shielding list should not attend school in person.

We appreciate that these changes to Scottish Government guidance will have an impact on some families. A  letter has been sent out to parents and carers today (7 January) explaining the new guidance and confirming the arrangements which had already been made for children to attend schools or ELCs this week (7th and 8th January) would still stand.

Schools will be in touch with families about future in-school learning provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children as well as arrangements for remote learning as soon as possible.

Change to beginning of term after holiday period

Created 22/12/20

The Scottish Government announced on Saturday (19th December) that schools will reopen for childcare purposes in the first week of term for the children of key workers and vulnerable children only.

A period of remote learning will then be introduced from 11th January until 29th  January 2021. You can read more on the Scottish Government’s website.

Stand alone Early Learning Centres will re-open for extended year children on 5th January and for term time children on 7th January (also for vulnerable children and children of key workers only)

Vulnerable children and children of key workers

Clackmannanshire’s schools and ELC classes will be open on 7th and 8th January for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. You can find the definition of key workers on the Scottish Government's website.

Over the course of 7th and 8th January, our schools and ELCs will issue forms to children of key workers to gather more information and will be able to confirm places for them for the following week. Transport will continue as normal.

Children from specialist provisions (Alva ASD – Primary & Secondary, Lochies, Alloa EASN, PSSS and CSSS) will be able to attend school from 7th January regardless of their parent / carer keyworker status. 

Parent/Carers of children who have shielding letters are advised to seek advice from the appropriate health professional before deciding whether their child should attend school.

From 11th January, our schools and ELCs will provide in school learning for the children of key workers who have confirmed places as well as vulnerable children or young people.

Remote learning will be in place for all other children and young people who will be at home. It is important to emphasise that remote learning may be a combination of digital and other learning activities. Remote learning will be led by school and ELC staff. Additional information will be provided directly from your child’s nursery or school.

A further payment will be made to families of children who are entitled to Free School Meals. 

You can find the latest Education updates on the Childcare and Learning pages on the Coronavirus section of our website.

Cancellation of SQA Highers & Advanced Highers  

10/12/20 

The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, announced on 8 December 2020 that the SQA Higher and Advanced Higher examination diet for 2021 has been cancelled. 

Mr Swinney told the Scottish Parliament that many young people had already lost "significant learning time" as a result of having to self-isolate in addition to the teaching time they lost before the summer holidays. The National 5 examination diet for 2021 was cancelled in October this year.

Mr Swinney went on to say that an Alternative Certification Model has been developed and that awards will be based on teacher judgement of evidence of learners' attainment, describing this as "safe, fair and a system that better recognises the reality of disruption to learning".  

More information can be found on the SQA website.

Contact tracing in education establishments

3/12/20

Over the past few months we have been working hard to ensure that our education establishments are as safe an environment as possible for our children and young people to learn in.

We are following the latest advice and guidance from the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland and are working in partnership with the NHS Forth Valley Test and Protect team to carry out contact tracing in our schools.

Over recent weeks, a number of pupils who have had to self-isolate as a result of contact tracing. We understand that this may seem concerning for many parents and carers but this is a precautionary measure taken in consultation with Public Health to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The number of children and young people who have tested positive for the virus is very low.

As of this week, Scottish Government data shows that only 0.49% of pupil population in Clackmannanshire and 1.01% of staff population have tested positive since the outbreak began. This data is issued regularly and we continue to monitor it closely. 

To ensure confidentiality for both pupils and staff is maintained, we do not give out information relating to the number of pupils or staff who have tested positive at individual schools or Early Learning and childcare establishments.

The symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • a high temperature or fever
  • a new or continuous cough
  • a loss of or change in sense of smell or taste.

A reminder again that if anyone in a household develops these symptoms, the symptomatic person should self-isolate and get a test as soon as possible. Everyone else in the household should also stay at home.

In the meantime we are working hard to ensure that our education establishments continue to remain open and only close in exceptional circumstances. We are continuing to support the virtual learning of children or young people who have been asked to self isolate through Google Classroom Flip Clacks.

At the end of October, schools received refreshed, detailed guidance on the steps they should take to operate safely. This includes:

  • Increased ventilation in classrooms,
  • Staff maintaining distance from pupils,
  • In secondary schools, almost everyone wearing masks (unless exempt due to a health condition) when moving around the school or in public areas of the school etc.

Our schools, Early Learning and childcare establishments have implemented this guidance following a comprehensive Risk Assessment of their premises. You can read this guidance on the Scottish Government website here - https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/

SQA Exam FAQs

Our SQA exam frequently asked questions have been updated. Please click on the link given.

Latest Education Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is available by following the link.

Primary School Packed Lunch Menu

The 3 weekly packed lunch menu cycle is available to refer to. For those not in receipt of free school meals and who wish to buy a packed lunch, the cost is £1.50 each, which we would ask to be paid via Parent Pay where possible.

Face coverings in schools

Information is available on the requirement for face coverings in schools.

Common cold and Covid-19 symptoms

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has written an open letter to parents and carers with advice on common cold and Covid-19 symptoms.

Outdoor learning in schools

For information on outdoor learning in schools please follow the link.

School transport

For questions and answers about school transport arrangements please follow the link.

School bus timetables are also available to view or download.

Education Maintenance Allowance (16-19 yr olds)

Applications for the EMA opened in June. For information on eligibility and online application form, please follow this link to our EMA page.

Online Learning

The Council has been developing a unique virtual learning platform – FLIPClacks provides learning opportunities for children, young people and families, including school specific areas. The online learning space will include live classroom activities as well as lots of creative resources for you and your children. 

Health and Wellbeing

There are a range of supports available for families, children and young people. The “Parent Hub” on FLIPClacks provides information on services and resources and has links to local organisations that are providing help and guidance. 

"Stay Connected with Clackmannanshire Education Service" is currently being developed and updates will be posted at FLIPClacks and on this website.

The Council has in place broader community support arrangements to help families in difficulty as a result of COVID-19.  This includes  welfare, finance and food as a result of COVID-19.