Skip to main content | Skip to section menu | Access keys.

Clackmannanshire Council Online

Learning and Childcare Information

Learning and Childcare Information

The Council is continuing to provide essential childcare for the children of key workers and we are now planning for the return of children to schools and nurseries from August as per the Scottish Government’s route map for recovery from Covid-19.

Summer activities and support information

Now that the schools have closed for the summer, there are still lots of activities and support available for children, young people and families.

Our June update highlights some of the summer activities and gives contact information for any extra support or advice you may need.

Fun activities are also being promoted on social media and via this page. Keep checking back for information and ideas to have an enjoyable summer.

e: education@clacks.gov.uk

Letter to parents/carers re Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) - 24 June 2020

You may be aware that there was an announcement yesterday (Tuesday 23 June) by Deputy First Minister John Swinney about a return to education in August.

The guidance for the re-opening of early learning and childcare remains as it is for now. This means that we will be planning for your child to start or return to ELC as outlined in the letter you will receive from your child’s ELC.  Should this change, we will contact you beforehand.

Once Scottish Government are able to ease public health measures in early learning and childcare, particularly small group working, more children and families will be able to benefit from an expanded offer in the year ahead.  Be assured, we are committed to continue working towards the offer of 30 hours of free early learning and childcare for our eligible children in Clackmannanshire, known as 1140 hours.  We will do this when the SG guidance allows us to do so.

It is worth noting that the Government has made clear that it will keep the arrangement under review if the health situation relating to COVID 19 deteriorates.
  
I would just like to take the opportunity to thank the Heads and staff for all their hard work over the past few months in preparing for the re-opening of ELC establishments. They have worked tirelessly to put arrangements in place for children and I am extremely grateful for their continued flexibility and commitment to getting our children back in to education as soon as possible.

Please keep checking this page for the latest updates and information.

Lorraine Sanda
Chief Education Officer

Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge

In support of this year's Summer Reading Challenge, Library Services are running an eBooks Treasure Hunt activity for children. Based in the main parks in Tullibody, Alloa, Alva Tillicoultry and Menstrie, children are encouraged to find the 6 hidden books and answer the questions to enter a prize draw.

See our Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge page for more information.

Letter to Parents/Carers following Deputy First Minister's announcement - 23 June 

Dear Parent / Carer

You may be aware that there has been an announcement today (Tuesday 23 June) by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, that pupils would return to school full time from August.

We welcome this announcement and will now further adapt our school and authority plans following all relevant Scottish Government Guidance and Health and Safety Advice. 

This means that we will be planning for your child to return to school full time from 12 August.  Should this change, we will contact you before hand.

It is worth noting that the Government will keep the arrangement under review and contingency arrangements are in place for all schools should the health situation relating to COVID 19 deteriorate.   

As we officially come to the end of the school term, I would just like to take the opportunity to thank your Headteachers and staff for all their hard work over the past few months in preparing for the re-opening of schools.   They have worked tirelessly to put arrangements in place for children before the end of term and I am extremely grateful for their continued flexibility and commitment to getting our children back in to education as soon as possible.

In relation to Early Learning and Childcare, a separate letter will issue to parents with information.

Thank you 

Lorraine Sanda 
Chief Education Officer 

Letter to Parents/Carers regarding re-opening of schools - 19 June

Dear Parent/Carer

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your patience and support over the last few weeks and months. For the majority of you, being at home and supporting your children to continue their learning at home, alongside your own work and wellbeing, is a significant challenge in what are extremely difficult times.

However, we do know that this has helped to reduce the spread of the virus and is helping to save lives. While it’s a very unsettling time for us all, rest assured that we are doing everything we can to make sure that when we reopen schools and education facilities in August, it is safe to do so and is in line with Scottish Government advice and guidance. 

As ever the health and safety of our children, young people and all staff remains our main priority.  Over the last few weeks we have been working on detailed phasing plans for reopening schools which has been done in partnership with staff, parent councils and youth groups.  However, I must stress that these plans will have to be adapted as and when Scottish Government guidance changes.

As you can imagine, this has been a very challenging task. Every education facility in Clackmannanshire has been risk assessed by the Council’s Health and Safety Team to ensure that it is a COVID secure facility as per Scottish Government guidance.

Each building is unique and presents its own challenge. Some buildings are new while others are older with smaller learning spaces.  Because of this we have had to adapt individual plans to accommodate the 2m physical distancing arrangement in all schools. 

Transportation has also been an issue. To ensure physical distancing, capacity on buses has reduced to meet current guidelines which mean fewer children will be able to travel by bus. We hope that active travel options such as walking and cycling to school can be expanded.

You will be contacted by your child/ren’s school or nursery at the latest by Wednesday 24th June with arrangements for your child/ren. However I must make you aware that attending school and nursery for your child/ren in August will not be as it was before.  Following  Scottish Government guidelines and advice,  children and young people will be in school for less time than before, at least initially.  For Clackmannanshire Education, this is going to be  50% of the week.   Early Years and Senior Phase may vary and your nursery or school will provide further details.

Precautions we will be taking include:           

  • Limiting class sizes to adhere with current Scottish Government distancing guidelines
  • Children in the Early Years will work together in small groups
  • Staggering break times, and pick-up and drop-off times
  • Increased cleaning and awareness of handwashing
  • Keeping pupils and staff with coronavirus symptoms at home

While we appreciate that reduced face to face contact with teaching staff will be a cause for concern, we are already working on plans to increase this as soon as the Scottish Government guidance allows.  The safety of your children will remain at the forefront of any changes to these plans.

In the meantime, our home/online learning will be a key support to pupils when they return to school. Our Flipped Learning has been developed over the last year to help engage young people who are unable to manage full-time education. This model has been researched and planned with a wide range of partners across our Education Service. The current circumstances have provided us with an opportunity to enhance this.

We aim to:  

  • Work with key strategic partners to enhance the in-school learning experience as much as possible, in particular partnerships with MCR Pathways, Columba 1400, Duke of Edinburgh, Forth Valley College and local employers.
  • Maximise the use of our many Outdoor Learning spaces, particularly for early years and primary children, which are rich sources of learning.
  • Establish a blended learning approach in each of our primary schools which is a combination of classroom based learning and home based learning coordinated by the school.
  • Provide wellbeing support for children and young people to re-integrate back into school and make progress in their learning.

We appreciate that this is a lot of information to take on board and we know that you will have many questions. We are working with the Parent Council Chairs to produce a Q&A document which we hope will answer any concerns you may have about the decisions we have had to take. This will be available on 24th June and the Education Service will be available throughout the summer to answer parents’ questions and concerns.

Again, I would like to thank you for your understanding as we work together to navigate through this difficult time. I am continuing to monitor the situation which is changing very quickly and I will continue to keep you updated about the latest developments.

Thank you

Lorraine Sanda
Chief Education Officer

Nursery allocations 

It is our intention to confirm places for nursery children for session 2020/21 during week beginning 22nd June 2020. 

We are working closely with our health and safety colleagues to ensure that the re-opening of our nursery buildings fully meets Scottish Government guidance. We would like to extend our thanks for your ongoing patience during this very challenging time.

Any queries should be emailed to education@clacks.gov.uk.

Hub arrangements - 15 June

As per normal school term dates, all Hubs, including nursery, will close at 1pm on Thursday 25 June and will remain closed until the opening of the Summer Hub on Monday 6 July at 9am.

In order to continue offering an emergency, critical childcare service for key workers over the the summer we can confirm that we will be operating two childcare Hubs. These Hubs will be located at Alloa Academy for primary/secondary (S1-S3) aged pupils and Tulach ELC for children aged 0-5.

Both of these Hubs will operate from Monday 6 July - Friday 31 July between the hours of 9am - 3pm.

Applications for summer emergency childcare are now closed.

Confirmation of all Summer Hub applications will be emailed by Friday 19 June.

Council's Phasing Plan ensures safe re-opening of schools

Planning and preparation to ensure the safe return of children and young people to Clackmannanshire schools and Early Years Centres is well underway.

The Council’s Education Service is working on a Phasing Plan which will see some pupils return to schools on 12 August. However this will be a phased return and not all pupils will return on the same day.  

You can read more about the council's Phasing Plan by following the link to our press release.

As a result of COVID-19 and Scottish Government Guidance, the school term dates for the rest of 2020/21 are under review and an update will be posted shortly.

Reporting to Parents - process for Nursery and Primary Schools Session 2019/2020

Normally at this time of year, Teachers and Early Years Educators are busy writing end of term reports.  Given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, all educators have had to change and adapt normal practice.  They are currently working hard to provide on-going learning, support and communication with their children and families.

Our main priority at this time is to ensure children and families' health and wellbeing is supported. We will put the following reporting procedure in place for this session only.

Every parent/carer can request an additional 10 to 15 minute phone call with either their child’s class teacher or with a member of the senior management team.   This is optional as some parents and carers may decide that this is not necessary as they are happy with the level of communication already taking place.

For those parents and carers who request an additional call, the purpose of the call will be to speak to you about:

  • How your child is coping with the changes to their routine and life
  • How your he / she is engaging with their learning at home
  • Identify any support you need from your school/nursery

It is important to note that teachers will not be able to answer questions on plans in place for when schools return.  You will be kept fully informed, through this website, on our plans which will be guided by Scottish Government.

The phone calls will begin week beginning 25th May 2020. Your school/nursery will arrange appointments directly with you.

Thank you for your continued support.

Education Maintenance Allowance (16-19 yr olds)

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

Transitions

Information about children who are due to start Nursery, P1, S1 or are leaving school is available on our Transitions page. Please follow the link given.

Free School Meals

Please refer to our free school meals distribution web page by following the link given.

Free Period Products

Free period products that would normally be available in schools are available for collection at the entrance to the three schools that are being used as Hubs – Alloa, Alva and Lornshill Academies.

SQA Examinations

Updated 3/6/20

The SQA now have more information on their website about the certification model they have developed following the cancellation of the 2020 exam diet.

The new model will be based on three broad principles, whilst adapting to the current challenges:

  • Fairness to all learners;
  • Safe and secure certification of SQA qualifications, while following the latest public health advice; and
  • Maintaining the integrity and credibility of the SQA qualifications system, ensuring that standards are maintained over time, in the interests of learners.

Estimated grades will form the core element of this year's certification and schools submitted estimated grades to the SQA by Friday 29 May.

Learners will receive their results no later than Tuesday 4 August. A free appeals service will be available this year, to allow schools and colleges to have a route to question any result.

The SQA also recommends that learners sign-up to MySQA to receive their results by text and/or email. Any learner who has previously signed up to receive their results through MySQA will continue to do so, and the SQA are asking those learners to review their profile to make sure their contact details are up to date.

The SQA guidance will be regularly updated on their website.

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.

Related Publications & Documents