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Learning and Childcare Information

Learning and Childcare Information

Family Pandemic payments (Hardship Payments) and Free School Meal holiday payments

Created: 17/9/21

Information on Family Pandemic Payments (Hardship Payments) and Free School Meals holiday payments is available via our Financial Assistance page.

Management of Covid-19 Cases in Schools and ELCs

Created: 16/9/21

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has written a letter to parents and carers explaining how cases of Covid-19 in schools and childcare settings are being managed, and arrangements going forward.  You can read the letter here

Digital Mental Health Support

Created: 7/9/21

A new digital mental health service is now available for all 10 – 18 year olds in Clackmannanshire as part of the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Clacks transformation project.

A digital webinar to learn more about the range of digital mental health services available is being offered for parents/carers and those working with children and young people.

If you are unable to attend at this time, a link to a recorded version can be accessed by emailing psychological@clacks.gov.uk.

You can also refer to the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Clackmannanshire website for more information as well as our press release.

Update on school meals provision

Created: 20/8/21

The latest guidance from Scottish Government requires that schools continue to avoid large group gathering for up to 6 weeks from the start of the new school term. This means that classes cannot mix with each other and it is necessary to continue to have lunches eaten within primary school classrooms, so our packed lunch menu will continue until w/e 24 September.

We plan to return to our full hot plated menu from Monday 27th September, but this may be subject to change depending on future Coronavirus guidance from the Scottish Government. The menu for 2021/22 is available to view on our Schools' Menu Selector web page.

Both our packed lunch and hot plated menu meet the Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

SQA Exams Update

The Scottish Government has confirmed National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher exams will go ahead next year, as long as public health guidance permits.  Find out more on the SQA website.

SQA Appeals 

Information on closing dates for appeals to the SQA for 2021 results is available here 

Return to School & ELC Information

More information on arrangements for return to school is available on this webpage 

ELC information is also available here

School Bus Timetable 2021 - 2022

The latest school bus timetable for 2021 - 2022 is now available.

Secondary School Testing Before Start of Term

Created: 3/8/21

Following national advice from the Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues, which provides expert public health advice to schools, all staff and secondary pupils are encouraged to undertake an at-home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test before they return to school in August.  More information will be sent directly to all parents/carers, as part of the measures to help reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 outbreaks in schools.

Please test before returning to school: All school staff and secondary pupils are strongly encouraged to restart twice-weekly at-home LFD testing in the week prior to return. Ideally, please take your second weekly test either in the morning before you leave for your first day of school or the evening before.

Please record your results: It is really important that you record your results online, whether positive, negative or void. This helps public health experts understand what levels of Covid-19 are, and can inform policy on things like mitigations in schools.

Accessing test kits: Schools provided test kits to staff and pupils prior to the summer break, which can be used for these purposes. If any staff or pupils have not received test kits, they can access them in a range of different ways, including ordering online or at local pharmacies.

Updates to the testing programme in schools will be developed as part of the national discussions on Covid-19 restrictions.  The programme is expected to be reviewed between 4-6 weeks after return to school, and we will continue to keep parents/carers updated.

You can find out information on the ParentClub Scotland website.

If you have any further queries, please contact your school directly or email education@clacks.gov.uk

Primary Packed Lunch Menu

Created: 27/7/21

The Primary School packed lunch menu through to w/c 20th September is available via the link given.

Expansion of Free School Meals to Primary 4 Children

Created: 23/7/21

Free school meals will be offered to all P4 pupils from the start of term in August. They are joining all pupils from P1-3 in the scheme funded by the Scottish Government.

Parents of pupils who are eligible for free school meals on the basis of low income should continue to complete our online application form in order to receive the school clothing grant.

More information on free school meals and school clothing grants for the 2021/22 academic year can be found by following the links given.

The expansion of free school meals will include all P5 pupils from January 2022.

For more information, please email education@clacks.gov.uk.

Pandemic Support Payments for Families

Created: 8/7/21

The Scottish Government has agreed Pandemic Support Payments for eligible families.

Family Pandemic Payments

Two £100 payments will be made for each school aged child who receives Free School Meals.

First payment was made at the end of June.

Second payment will be made at the start of the winter school holiday in December 2021.

Free School Meals Payment

Families with children who receive Free School Meals will receive a payment of £23 per child every fortnight over the summer holidays.

This payment will be made by the end of July.

Low Income Pandemic Payment

Eligible families will receive a payment of £130 in October 2021.  This will be paid to families who are either:

  • in receipt of Council tax Reduction, or
  • are within agreed groups exempt from Council Tax Reduction or have no liability.

You can find out more about Free School Meals and apply on our web page.

If you have any queries, please email education@clacks.gov.uk.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Created: 8/7/21

The online application for the Education Maintenance Allowance is now available by following the link given.

School Term Dates

Created: 5/7/21

The 2021/22 school term dates are available by following the link given.

Summer of Wellbeing

Created: 21/6/21

Our Summer of Wellbeing programme has exciting free activities available for children, young people and families to try during the school holidays. Find out more on our Summer of Wellbeing page.

Additional Summer Activities

Created: 21/6/21

Our Summer Ski School programme at Firpark and CR Cats Canoe Club summer programme are additional summer activities which are available at a charge. Please refer to our Additional Summer Activities page for details.

Summer Reading Challenge - Wild World Heroes: 26th June - 18th August

Created: 18/6/21

This year's Summer Reading Challenge theme is Wild World Heroes. The Reading Agency has teamed up with WWF to encourage children across the country to engage in fun reading activity focused on environmental issues.

The popular challenge encourages reading for pleasure over the summer holidays, building reading skills and confidence and helping to prevent a dip in reading skills while children are out of school.

This year's theme - Wild World Heroes - will inspire children to explore ways of helping to save the planet. With ideas from WWF, the challenge focuses on taking action for nature and tackling real-world environmental issues, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss.

Children are encouraged to read 6 books during the summer and they will receive stickers and items to keep them interested. Upon completion Children are rewarded with a certificate and medal.

You can sign up for the challenge at any Library or CAP.

School Clothing Grant and Free School Meals 2021/22

Created: 9/6/21

Our School Clothing Grant and Free School Meals application form for 2021/22 is available by following the link.

Register for the Scottish milk and healthy snack scheme

Created: 8/6/21

The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme will replace the UK Nursery Milk Scheme (NMS) in Scotland with effect from 1 August 2021. It is open to all providers providing more than 2 hours a day to children from birth to not yet attending primary school. 

Eligible (regulated) pre-school day care settings, including childminders, wishing to participate in the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme must register with their local authority to become a member of the Scheme. For this policy there is no differentiation between ELC funded and unfunded settings.

Information on the scheme can be found via the Scottish Government website. 

Please contact education@clacks.gov.uk for further information. Initial registration closes on 18th June. 

Update on  NHS Scotland Contact Tracing

Created: 28/5/21

Anyone identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days and get tested, even if they have been vaccinated.

Enhanced contact tracing measures may also be put in place, where required, to help contain the virus and prevent onward spread within local communities across Scotland. This means that NHS Test and Protect contact tracers may also, in some circumstances,  request that contacts of close contacts self-isolate and take a test, to help prevent onward spread of the virus, even if they too have been vaccinated.  

Transform the Secondary Curriculum

Created: 27/5/21

As part of Clackmannanshire’s Be the Future Transformation Programme, our secondary schools have been leading on a project to ‘Transform the Secondary Curriculum'. They are engaging with a wide range of leading thinkers and partners to explore possibilities and to work towards achieving the overarching aim of the programme which is; to ensure that children and young people leave education skilled and well prepared for life, work and future learning.

This vlog outlines our aims and ambitions for a 2030 curriculum now.

In September/October 2021 there will be a range of community events to capture and gather and act upon their views and innovative suggestions.

Cathy Quinn (Chief Education Officer)

School Term Dates 2022/23

Created: 8/4/21

School term dates for 2022/23 are available by following the link given.

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.

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.

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.