Covid-19 School Update

Schools & Early Years Update

Updated 19 January 2021

Stay at home regulations came into effect on Tuesday 5 January 2021. Today (Tuesday 19 January), the Scottish Government announced that those restrictions will remain in place until mid-February with arrangements being reviewed on Tuesday 2 February.

Therefore our schools and early years centres will continue to open for in-person learning for children of key workers and vulnerable children only. Remote learning has been in place for all other children and young people since Monday 11 January and will continue. 

East Dunbartonshire pupils are scheduled to be on holiday from Monday 8 February - Wednesday 10 February (inclusive). Following the next review by the Scottish Government at the start of February we will update this page.

Key Worker Provision 

Children should only attend while their parents are at work and need childcare. Places will be allocated if parents meet the following criteria:

  • Both parents (or 'the parent' in the case of a single parent) are/is in the key worker category as defined in the Scottish Government Guidance; AND
  • Are required to attend their place of work i.e. are not working from home; AND
  • Have no other childcare options.

Informal childcare is now permitted unlike during the previous lockdown. The following advice from the Parent Club may be useful to parents: https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/your-guide-childcare

An Application Form has been provided and schools will allocate places. Your child’s school or early years centre will confirm with you if a place has been allocated. You should complete the attached form and email it to the school or early years office. The email addresses can be found from these pages:

Secondary Schools
Primary Schools
Early Years

Early Years 

Children of key workers and those children who are identified as vulnerable will attend the centres. Children will attend for their usual sessions and the normal payment fees will apply. No other children should attend. Refunds for any fees will be made. Children of key workers, who attend a funded provider, can apply for a place at a local authority centre if their provider has decided to close. 

Vulnerable children

In line with guidance from Scottish Government, the Head Teachers of our special schools have worked in consultation with the Education Service and Social Work Service to put in place bespoke support for children and families. This may include some in-school support as well as support from other agencies.

Remote Learning

Significant progress has been made with the provision of digital learning since the last lockdown. Online learning will form part of a package of remote learning provided by schools. This will be appropriate for the age and stage of the child. This will be provided using Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom. Seesaw is now being provided in all primary schools across the Council and this will provide a platform for feedback on children’s learning for parents and teachers. There are a number of online resources and all secondary schools will have access to the West Online School (West OSC) which has a range of recorded video clips. Teachers will be working to put a programme in place and to share information with parents and children.


We understand how difficult this is for families and will do all we can to support parents and children through this time until they are all back in school full time again. 

Payments for Free School Meals (published 7 January 2021)

Given the Scottish Government's announcement that only the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be attending school during January 2021, a further two week payment (£40 per child) for Free School Meals will be paid to those that are eligible. This is to cover weeks beginning 18 January and 25 January and is in addition to payments made before Christmas to cover school days up to Friday 15 January. Payments will be made by BACS bank transfer and we will confirm the dates as soon as possible.

Eligible families should have received their hardship payment and the payment for free school meals for the festive holiday period by Monday 21 December 2020.

Please read these Frequently Asked Questions for further details on payment, eligibility and what to do if you did not receive an expected payment by 21 December.

Hardship Payment for Low Income Families & Christmas Free School Lunch Payments Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q Will I continue to receive payment for the provision of Free School Meals whilst schools remain closed?

Payments for the provision of lunches will continue in alignment to the Government guidance on school closures.

Q When and how will these payments be made?

Payments will be made for the period 18/01/2021 to 29/01/2021 by Friday 15 January 2021. This will be a payment of £40 per eligible child.

Q I have not yet claimed for the Hardship Payment, can I still do this?

In line with issued guidance, the payment of the Christmas Hardship Grant for those who were in receipt of the relevant benefits at 30 November 2020 was to be paid prior to the Christmas period.

For those who had not applied by 30 November 2020, payments were to be made in the second week of January 2021. Applications received after Friday 15 January 2021 will not qualify for the Christmas Hardship payment.

Q What if my bank account information has changed?

If your Bank Account information has changed since your online application for Free School meals, please contact the Customer Service Team as soon as possible who will be able to advise. The Customer Services Team can be contacted on 0300 1234510.

Q Can you confirm the eligibility criteria for the Hardship Grant?

Eligibility for Free School Meals based on low income, is as set out below:

i. A child is eligible to receive Free School Meals, where the household is in receipt of:

  • Universal Credit (where monthly earned income is not more than £610);
  • Income Support;
  • income-based Job Seeker's Allowance;
  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance;
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

ii. A child is also eligible to receive Free School Meals, where the household is in receipt of:

  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and household income is less than £16,105;
  • both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and have an income of up to £7,330.

iii. A child might still get a free lunch in school if their household experience financial hardship. This could be because:

  • Their immigration status means they cannot get help from the Government;
  • They're still waiting on their first Universal Credit notice.

Q I qualify for Early Years Free Meals but I have not received a payment. How can I get one?

For those that have been awarded Early Years Free Meals for 2020/21, we are issuing payments from the information we currently have on file. Applications made before 30 November 2020 were paid before Christmas.

For those who applied after 30 November 2020, payment will be made no later than the second week in January 2021.

If you did not receive your payment by 22 December 2020 please phone 0300 1234510 with your name, your child/ren’s name/s and the school they attend, and when you received your award. We will investigate and get back to you.

Q I think I am eligible for the School Clothing Grant/Free School Meals/Early Years Free Meals, but have not previously applied. Can I apply now?

If you are eligible for either a School Clothing Grant or Free School Meals/Free Early Years Meals (not including the universal provision for P1-P3 or the universal provision in our pilot 1140 Early Years Centres) but have not yet applied for the 2020/21 school session, you can apply now through our application process, which is now available online .

https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/schools-and-learning/school-m...

You must include the evidence to support your claim when you submit the online form. Once your eligibility has been verified, you will be issued with a payment in accordance with the published guidelines.

Q I do not currently get a School Clothing Grant or Free School Meals/free Early Years Meals, but my circumstances have changed as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). I think I am now entitled, and would therefore be entitled to this support. What should I do?

You should check the universal credit eligibility and see if you are entitled to any Benefits if your circumstances have changed and apply for these in the usual way.

Once you have any new benefits you are entitled to confirmed, you can make an application for a School Clothing Grant or Free School Meals/Free Early Years Meals. The application process for these awards are now available online and you should upload your evidence of eligibility when you submit your application form.

You can also seek a referral to the Food Bank if you have no other means of providing food for your family. The new OPAL Helpline 0141 438 2347 established in East Dunbartonshire may be able to help you with this.

You may also be able to apply for a Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grant if your circumstances have left you in a difficult position. 

Q My children are in P1 to P3 and normally get a school lunch in line with the Scottish Government policy for free school meals for P1-P3. Why are we not being allocated a payment?

The provision of universal free school lunches for P1 to P3 is a different commitment to the provision of free school meals as a result of the financial impact COVID-19 is having on parents/carers. The Scottish Government guidance is clear that providing school meals or vouchers during this period does not apply to the universal provision of lunches for all P1-3.

Key Worker Provision (Published 23 December 2020)

This update includes the guidance provided by Scottish Government on key worker categories for the return to school and early years in January, and the application form.

The Scottish Government has provided these categories:

  • Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID-19 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.
  • All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (for example: fire, police, prisons, social workers), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.
  • All workers (private, public or third sector) 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 not be severely compromised).

Places will be allocated if parents meet the following criteria:

  • Both parents (or one in the case of a single parent) are in the key worker category as defined below; AND
  • Are required to attend their place of work i.e are not working from home; AND
  • Have no other childcare options/

Informal childcare is now permitted unlike during the previous lockdown.  The following advice from the Parent Club may be useful to parents.

https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/your-guide-childcare

Parents should complete the attached form and email it to the school or early years office

The email addresses can be found from these pages:
Secondary Schools

Primary Schools

Early Years
 


Your child’s school or early years centre will confirm if a place has been allocated.  However due to the exceptionally short timescale, this will not be until the school or centre reopens. Children who were shielded should not attend unless there has been confirmation from their clinician.

 Arrangement for each sector:

Vulnerable Children

Schools and early years centres will contact parents to inform them if their child has been allocated a place.  This includes all children at Merkland and Campsie View Schools.

School transport will be provided as usual.  Children who were shielded should not attend unless there has been confirmation from their clinician.

Early Years

Extended Early Years Centre will open on Tuesday 5 January for staff only. Arrangements will be put in place for children of key workers and those children who are identified as vulnerable to return on Wednesday 6 January.  These children will continue to attend week beginning 11 January.  Children will attend for their usual sessions and the normal payment fees will apply.  All other children should not attend during that week.  Refunds for any fees will be made.

Term time early years centres (Craighead and Meadowburn Gaelic ) will open in line with the school opening dates.  Children of key workers and those identified as vulnerable will return on Thursday 7 January.

Funded Providers
If your child attends a funded provider, you should contact the provider directly.  If they are not able to offer a place and you meet the definition of a key worker, then contact

elc1140@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

Scottish Government have stated that from Monday 18 January onwards, it is expected that schools/ early years centres will open to all staff and pupils for in-person teaching and learning as normal, and operating within the existing guidance on reducing risks in schools and strategic framework protection levels.   However this has not been confirmed and will be dependent on the decision by Scottish Government.

Primary Schools

Schools will now open on Wednesday 6 January for staff only; arrangements will be put in place in line with the Scottish Government Guidance:

  • Children of key workers and children identified as vulnerable will be able to attend school for childcare and wellbeing on Thursday 7 January and Friday 8 January.  All other children will be on an extended holiday.
  • From 11 January, the programme in school will move to learning and teaching with remote learning provided for those not in school. 
  • Schools will operate the usual hours and so parents should make the usual childcare arrangements out with school hours.

The remote learning programme will be communicated by each school and will include online learning.  Schools will use Teams or Google Classroom. 

Scottish Government have stated that from Monday 18 January onwards, it is expected that schools/ early years centres will open to all staff and pupils for in-person teaching and learning as normal, and operating within the existing guidance on reducing risks in schools and strategic framework protection levels.   However this has not been confirmed and will be dependent on the decision by Scottish Government.

Secondary Schools

Schools will now open on Wednesday 6 January for staff only.  Arrangements will be put in place in line with the Scottish Government Guidance:

  • Children of key workers and children identified as vulnerable will be able to attend school for childcare and wellbeing on Thursday 7 January and Friday 8 January.  All other children will be on an extended holiday.
  • From Monday 11 January, the programme in school will move to learning and teaching with remote learning provided for those not in school.
  • Schools will operate the usual hours and so parents should make the usual arrangements out with school hours.

The remote learning programme will be communicated by each school and will include online learning.  Schools will use Teams or Google Classroom.    There will be communication from the school in relation to the Senior Phase and the changes to the assessment arrangements.  All secondary schools will have access to the West Partnership Online resource and further guidance will be provided by the central team on how this can be accessed.

Scottish Government have stated that from Monday 18 January onwards, it is expected that schools/ early years centres will open to all staff and pupils for in-person teaching and learning as normal, and operating within the existing guidance on reducing risks in schools and strategic framework protection levels.   However this has not been confirmed and will be dependent on the decision by Scottish Government.

Update on Schools/Early Years Reopening Arrangements in January (Published 22 December 2020)

The Scottish Government has published more guidance on the arrangements for reopening of schools and early years centres in January:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-school-re-opening-arrangements-for-january-2021/

In line with this guidance, the Council has received approval from the Scottish Government for one day’s exceptional closure. This will allow staff to prepare for the safe opening of schools and the return of vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

Extended Early Years Centres will now open on Tuesday 5 January for staff only 

  • Arrangements will be put in place for children of key workers and those children who are identified as vulnerable to return on Wednesday 6 January. These children will continue to attend week beginning 11 January.

Schools will now open on Wednesday 6 January for staff only 

  • Children of key workers and children identified as vulnerable will be able to attend school for childcare and wellbeing on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 January.
  • All other children will be on an extended holiday until Monday 11 January.
  • From Monday 11 January, the programme will move to remote learning and teaching for those not in school.

Children of Key Workers

  • Arrangements for key worker provision, including details of how to apply, will be provided on Wednesday 23 December. This will include the criteria being used to allocate places.  

Vulnerable Children

  • Vulnerable children will be identified by schools and early years centres. This will include all children who attend Campsie View and Merkland Schools.

Further information will be available on Wednesday 23 December 2020.

Announcement on Schools and Early Years Centres (Published 20 December 2020)

Following the Scottish Government announcement on Saturday 19 December regarding arrangements for schools returning after the Christmas holidays, with teachers and school/early years staff returning as scheduled on Tuesday 5 January for extended years Early Years Centres and Wednesday 6 January for schools, and only the children of key workers and vulnerable children attending, further detail from Scottish Government is still evolving, and once provided to councils, will inform our approach locally.

Schools will still be open as scheduled on Monday 21 December and extended year Early Years Centres will remain open as scheduled until Thursday 24 December.  We understand you will have many questions in relation to school transport, ASN and key worker arrangements and further details and arrangements for East Dunbartonshire will be finalised as soon as we have the further guidance.

Thank you for your understanding and we will publish all details online, with Groupcall texts and social media posts to advise, as soon as further updates are available.

Payments for Free School Meals in January (Published 20 December 2020)

Given Scottish Government's announcement that only the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be attending school until 18 January, a further two week payment (£40 per child) for Free School Meals will be paid to those that are eligible.

For those that have already received their hardship payment and the payment for free school meals for the holiday period, a further payment of £40 per child will now be made.

For those that are yet to receive their payment (in line with previously published information) this additional payment of £40 per child will be added to the £140 per child that they are due to receive(£100 hardship payment and £40 for two weeks free school meal payment for the holidays.  The full payment of £180 per child will be made in line with the previously published timescales.  

Hardship Payment and Christmas Holiday Free School Meal payments (Published 15 December 2020)

The Council will make the Winter Hardship payments (£100 per child) and Christmas Holiday Free School Meal payments (£20/week per child) to all eligible low income households due to reach bank accounts by Monday 21 December.  There will be one payment per household, a total of £140 for one child, £280 for two children, £420 for three children etc. and payments will be by BACS bank transfer.

Please read these Frequently Asked Questions for further details on payment, eligibility and what to do if you have not received a payment by 21 December.

Devices for Pupils Programme (Published 8 December 2020)

East Dunbartonshire Council is providing over 1900 digital devices and almost 300 mobile Wi-Fi appliances to pupils across the area to help children and young people with home learning.
Home learning continues to play a significant part in young people’s education during the pandemic, when pupils may be required to self-isolate at home for periods of time. 
To ensure that no-one is disadvantaged because they cannot access online learning opportunities, eligible pupils are receiving the devices they need to help their studies.  
The digital devices are distributed through our schools to children and young people who meet the eligibility criteria.

Isolation period and free school meals (Published 3 November 2020)

These FAQs provide details of the payments being made for those eligible for free school meals who are required to isolate as a result of a positive Covid-19 test or as a result of being identified as a close contact and requiring to isolate.

Q Will my child still be entitled to receive Free School Meals during a period of isolation?
A Yes, those children who have qualified for Free School Meals through the School Clothing Grant/Free School Meal application, will continue to receive entitlement.
Q How do the Council know that my child is absent through Isolation?
A Each School report to a Central Support Team on isolating children, this central record is utilised to identify those children who qualify for Free School Meals. 
Q Will I be contacted to confirm you are aware my child is absent through isolation?
A The Central Support Team will contact Qualifying parents by telephone to confirm information held and confirm payment details. EDC will ask you to confirm your sort code and the last four digits of the Bank Account that you provided through the School Clothing Grant/Free School Meal application process.
Q What if my bank account information has changed?
A When the Central Support team contact you to confirm payment information, they will ask you to contact the council on 0800 111 4000 to supply your new bank account details.
Q How will free school meals be provided during isolation?
A EDC will pay £4 per day per child, this will be paid for each school day that your child is absent from school through isolation.
Q How will this payment be made?
A The online application process for receipt of Free School Meals/Clothing Grant provided Parent/Guardian Bank Account information.  This information will be utilised to make payments during the period of isolation. This will be confirmed via contact with the Central Support Team
Q When will I receive the payment?
A The Council aim to have the payment with you within 48 hours of the Central Support team receiving confirmation of Bank Account information

Self-isolation guidance - Council letter to parents (Published 30 October 2020)

This letter was issued to parents/carers to provide additional guidance on self-isolation requirements to keep schools safe.

Council letter to parents/carers with self isolation guidance

Public Health Q&A for parents/carers and pupils (Published 4 September 2020)

NHSGGC and Glasgow City Council have issued a YouTube video of a question and answer session with NHSGGC Director for Public Health, Linda de Caestecker.  

The video contains useful information on the symptoms of coronavirus, when to self-isolate, when to get tested and how to seek further advice. 

There is also detailed guidance for parents on:
·    when should a child be asked to go home 
·    whether or not a child who has cold symptoms can still come to school
·    what happens when a teacher tests positive
·    if a school can ask to see a negative test result before allowing a child back to school?

The video is available on Glasgow City Council YouTube channel.
 

Pupil Absences from Schools - Council letter to parents/carers (Published 31 August 2020)

NHS Public Health have sent a letter to parents/carers through our schools to provide the latest guidance on testing for children on Thursday 27 August.  A further letter was issued by the Council from the Chief Education Officer on Friday 28 August in relation to pupil absences from schools.  Both letters are published here:

NHS Letter to parents/carers with Covid-19 Testing Guidance 

Council Letter to parents/carers on pupil absences from schools.

 

Covid-19 Testing Guidance - NHS letter to parents (Published 28 August 2020)

NHS Public Health have sent a letter to parents/carers through our schools to provide the latest guidance on testing for children. 

Letter to parents/carers with Covid-19 Testing Guidance
 

Cleaning Arrangements in Schools (Published 12 August 2020)

From August 2020,  there will be a new and enhanced cleaning regime within our schools and early years centres in response to Covid- 19. Read this leaflet to find out more about what we are doing to help keep everyone in our educational establishments safe.
 

 

Back to School Update (Published 22 June 2020)

Information is being provided to parents/carers today in relation to the reopening of schools in August.  That information includes:

  • A letter from Chief Education Officer Jacqui MacDonald, highlighting the principles in our planning for schools reopening and confirming the particular arrangements for their sector.
  • A letter from their Head Teacher with the specific arrangements for their school.
  • A leaflet with details of keeping safe on return to school and practical information in relation to school uniform, school bags, stationery and lunch boxes.

The East Dunbartonshire Local Phased Delivery Plan was the starting point for our individual School Recovery Plans.

You can read our Local Phased Delivery Plan here

You can read our back to school information leaflet here.

We have developed some consistent signage to ensure that there is clear messaging throughout our schools and that this is consistent across East Dunbartonshire.

 

        Keep your school safe