Back to school

Highland Horizons - Back to school

The Scottish Government updated their Covid-19 guidance on reducing the risks in schools. This guidance includes some positive changes as children and young people can now engage in all drama, music, physical education, and dance activity in schools.

COVID-19 safety mitigations will continue to remain in place.

Face coverings should be worn in the following circumstances unless you are exempt:

  • In primary schools, face coverings should be worn by adults where physical distancing with other adults, children, and young people cannot be maintained and when moving around the building or indoor communal spaces.
  • In secondary schools, face coverings should be worn at all times for all staff and pupils.
  • In line with the updated guidance for public transport, individuals aged 12 and over when travelling on dedicated school transport.

Physical distancing of at least 1m between adults, and between adults and pupils, will remain in place for the time being. Children and young people do not need to social distance from one another; however, it is encouraged between secondary school pupils where possible.

Pupils who were previously asked to shield are expected to return to school unless they have been advised by medical practitioners that they are unfit to do so.

Importantly, if you have symptoms of the virus, you should not attend school and should book a PCR test. There are new rules on self-isolation for close contacts of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 which can be found on our website.

For the latest information, guidance and advice:

COVID-19 testing in schools

The Highland Council and schools will continue to offer at-home testing using lateral flow devices to:

  • All primary, secondary and special school staff;
  • All ELC and childcare staff based in our schools; and
  • All senior phase pupils attending school.

Letters to parents and staff have been distributed to schools on testing. 

More information on Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing can be found on Parent Club Scotland's website.

 

New School Menus

The new look Spring/Summer 2021 Secondary School’s menu reflects changes in the school food regulations set by the Scottish Government.  This means increased availability of fresh fruit & vegetables and an increased fibre content within our menus. There is also a decrease in the sugar content in food & drinks and a considerable reduction in red meat provision particularly red processed meats. Items such as bacon, sausages, beef burgers and ham will  be offered less frequently and the range of drinks on offer contain no sugar. The new school food regulations in secondary schools is summarised here.

The new menu can be found here.

 

Welfare help

For advice and support if you need any welfare help and to apply for a Covid-19 Self-Isolation Support Grant, please contact the Welfare Support Team on 0800 090 1004.

Find out more information about this grant.

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it's important to have the right information. Getting news from unreliable sources can make you feel more upset and anxious, which is unhelpful when it comes to mental wellbeing. Visit nhsinform.scot/coronavirus for the most up-to-date and reliable information.

We have also partnered with Tree of Knowledge to provide mental health and wellbeing support to all pupils and staff across all 200 schools in Highland, through remote learning and beyond. All primary and secondary schools in Highlands have access to Treehouse; a groundbreaking online learning platform, for use at home or in classrooms, which addresses the challenges of the pandemic and develops positive mental health. 

Further updates

Thank you very much for your support and patience. Please do not hesitate to make contact with your own school for further clarification.

See our resources page for further support and information.