COVID-19 school trip refunds - Corporate Resources Committee

Alister Mackinnon

Members of today's postponed Corporate Resources Committee have supported recommendations contained in item 9 of today's report, regarding critical issues around COVID-19 school trip refunds.

Those members who would have been in attendance at today's meeting were contacted by the Chair of the Committee, Cllr Alister Mackinnon, due to the importance of a decision being made on this item.

Members noted the steps taken by Highland Council and its schools to manage the impact of school trip cancellations, and in turn minimise the costs.  This will be done by seeking to reschedule trips or receive refunds or insurance pay outs where appropriate.

Crucially, Members supported the recommendation that the Council should take steps to refund parents in these situations, where no other source of refund is available, and to avoid any financial loss or hardship on parents as a result.

Part of the recommendations involve the use of the Council's financial hardship fund, as the source of funding any refunds.

Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee, Cllr Alister MacKinnon, said: "Following consultation with the Executive Chief Officer Resources and Finance
 and members of Corporate Resources Committee,  I am pleased to say that, due to the exceptional circumstances, committee members have clearly stated their agreement with the recommendations ”.

"Cancellation of school trips has already been a disappointment to many and it was important that despite today's postponement that we did everything within our power to deal with this very important issue. We are now able to ensure that parents/carers are reimbursed as soon as possible and that no family is left out of pocket as a result of the cancellation of their school trip."

The re-scheduled Corporate Resources Committee meeting will take place on Thursday 20 August 2020 at 1pm or following the conclusion of the Easter Ross Area Committee (whichever is the later).

12 Aug 2020