Back to school

School buildings were closed by the Scottish Government on 23 March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We want to thank parents and carers for their continued support with delivering the home learning programmes that their children have been set by their teachers during this period.

On Tuesday (23 June), the Deputy First Minister announced to the Scottish Parliament that the Scottish Government is now aiming for the full return of children and young people to schools in August, subject to ongoing COVID-19 scientific and health advice. Read the announcement on gov.scot.

We are preparing for a full return to school of all pupils in August, provided the circumstances as set out by the Scottish Government are achieved. We are in the process of reviewing our planning and the detail of this will be made known to parents and children as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please see the below information:

Free school meals

On Tuesday 16 June, the First Minister announced eligible school pupils were to receive free school meals during the summer break to help tackle food poverty. In Highland, P1-3 pupils entitled to school clothing grants and P4-S6 pupils who are eligible for free school meals have been receiving £15 per pupil, per week, which is paid fortnightly using a voucher system.

Review eligibility, enquire, or apply for this service

Digital Learning in Highland

The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning.

Our Education Improvement Team has been leading the way in the development of our digital learning platform. Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy. During lockdown, seeing the closure of our schools since March, pupils were able to transition to learn remotely from home.

A daily programme of professional learning for all staff was put in place and there has been an increasing engagement with G-Suite for Education as a platform. G-Suite is a free collection of productivity tools offered by technology company Google and includes Google Docs, Gmail, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Hangouts and many more.

You can view the success of our utilisation of these tools in the table below which shows our engagement figures from the week before lockdown to the week beginning 18 April: 

Statistics showing engagement of google education platforms in lockdown

Source: Google

Our approach to digital learning, highlighting the success and innovation of our digital leaning strategy and our ‘Learning During Lockdown’ video were recently featured in the June/July 2020 issue of Public Sector Executive Magazine (P64-66).

Resources

For Parents and Carers

Health and education during the COVID-19 pandemic:  

Parent Club provides up-to-date guidance from Scottish Government on children’s health and education during the COVID-19 pandemic

Young Scot website can provide support If you are a young person and are looking for more information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) represents Parent Councils across Scotland and supports parents and carers to get involved in their child’s education. 

Parentzone is a website from Education Scotland, provides resources to help parents and carers to support their children through their educational journey and advice to parents around transitions

Education Scotland produce weekly newsletters for parents and carers

Health and Wellbeing

Highland Council resources to support Health and Wellbeing: 

External resources to support Health and Wellbeing:

Guidance for senior students

Scottish Government resources

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