Will children and young people be expected to wear school uniform?
Whilst we are encouraging all of our children and young people to wear uniform, we recognise that this may not always be possible for a variety of reasons. Our schools will be flexible in their approach.
School clothing grants are available as normal.
What support will be available for children and young people with additional support needs to help their return to school in August?
Some children, including children with additional support needs, may require more support to return to school or Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings, or may have a high level of anxiety about returning to school. In these circumstances, the child's school or ELC setting will be in touch with parents/carers directly to discuss how best to support their return to school. If you have not been contacted and are concerned please speak with your school in the first instance.
How will children and young people with additional support needs be supported if they cannot manage to physical distance?
For some children with additional support needs, it is acknowledged that physical distancing from staff will not be possible, e.g. if they require intimate personal care or be unable to understand the need for physical distancing. Children and young people who are unable to physically distance should stay within the same group with consistent staff as much as possible. Guidance indicates that the role of children in transmission has been shown to be limited, both between children and from children to adults, therefore there is reduced risk from closer contact over short periods. However, if staff need to be in close contact for more than 15 minutes, then the use of face coverings or appropriate PPE should be considered. The risks of not being able to maintain physical distancing will be assessed and discussed with the child's parents and relevant staff members.
Will schools be able to provide medication to children that need it during the school day while observing physical distancing?
Medication will generally be administered as normal. Closer contact for small amounts of time (under 15 minutes) is considered low risk in respect of transmission of the virus. Schools will follow advice from NHS Lothian regarding some procedures that should not be undertaken in school.
Will children’s temperatures be taken before they enter school?
Guidance from the Scottish Government is that parents, carers and school settings do not need to take children's temperatures every morning.
Some children with additional support needs may not be able to be aware of experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19; for these children, it may, depending on individual circumstances, be desirable to offer temperature checks. This will be discussed with the child's parent/carer and these children will be supported to understand the benefits of temperature checks through social stories.
What additional support will be given to those children and young people transitioning to a new school?
Each school planned and supported transition activities virtually and face to face during June. However, for many young people requiring an enhanced transition this will not have sufficiently met their needs. Therefore, the first week of term will also be used to phase children and young people back to school, with the option of a longer period of transition able to be arranged through discussion with the school if needed.
Nursery to Primary 1 transition was a key focus for our schools and ELC settings, to ensure that children at this stage have access to information about their new school and its staff. This was completed in a variety of forms: for example, your child's new school may have produced a video to help your child become more familiar with their new school. A number of children may have had the opportunity to visit their new building and meet the teacher during June.
Although children will not have accessed ELC provision for a number of months, when they move into Primary 1, staff will be able to provide an environment and curriculum that suits and adapts to the needs of the children in their class. Transition arrangements have been put in place to ensure that class teachers have detailed information regarding each child's progress in learning so that they can continue a pathway suited to the child. It is also important to stress that activities that support building confidence and relationships will also be key to children successfully settling into Primary 1.
For P7 children and young people going into S1, schools used technology in a variety of ways to prepare them as part of their transition programme. All of our usual formal processes to ensure curricular, pastoral and attainment information is appropriately shared have been followed.
My child is worrying about going back to school – how can I help them?
Talking to your child about how they're feeling about going back to school or their ELC setting is really important. Many children will be excited about seeing their friends and teachers, so when you're talking to them about going back, let them know you can listen to any worries to help solve them but also make sure you emphasise these positive aspects so that they start to look forward to it.
However, it's understandable that your child may be worried about going back to school or ELC after spending so much time with you at home. This is normal, and the school or ELC setting will be expecting it. It helps for adults to give calm reassurance and not pass on any worries of their own.
If your child is feeling worried or if you have any concerns or wish to provide information about your child's experiences of lockdown, please discuss this with their teachers or ELC staff at their setting, who will wish to know of any particular concerns and be able to provide further advice and support.
What happens if my child or someone else in our household was shielding?
We expect that children and young people who are shielding will be able to return to school in August, unless given advice from a GP or healthcare provider not to and can follow the same guidance as the rest of Scotland. Parents/carers may wish to have a discussion with their child's healthcare team if they are unsure or have queries about returning to school because of their health condition. Further national guidance and advice is available in the Scottish Government guidelines https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding/.
If a child in class/teacher/school staff member falls ill with COVID-19, how will this be checked/confirmed and what will the next steps be?
We will have contingency plans in place to deal with any future positive cases of COVID-19 in school. The Test and Protect process will be followed and outbreak management will be led by the local Health Protection Team. In addition, schools will have arrangements in place to isolate potentially infected areas, and arrange for the appropriate level of cleaning, in line with Health Protection Scotland guidance.
If a child in class has parents showing symptoms will all children have to isolate?
The Scottish Government's guidance will be followed in schools, as well as current self-isolation rules. If a child has parents displaying symptoms, then they should quarantine for 14 days. There is no requirement for anyone else to quarantine, unless they have been contacted by the NHS as part of the Test and Protect Service, or if they themselves have symptoms of COVID-19.
Someone in our house has coronavirus symptoms – should my child come into school?
No. If you or anyone else in your household develops symptoms of coronavirus such as a high temperature or a new and continuous cough or a loss of/change in smell or taste, that person must stay at home for 7 days. In addition, everyone else in the household must stay at home for 14 days. You can find all the information about what you need to do on the NHS Inform website https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19.
What arrangements will be made for children and young people who were previously shielding or were clinically vulnerable because of an underlying health condition?
If your child was shielding or had been considered clinically vulnerable, and you have any concerns about their return to school, please seek advice from your GP or clinician. Please also contact their Head Teacher, Depute Head Teacher or Guidance Teacher to discuss the best plan to support their return. As part of each school's risk assessment, particular regard will be paid to those who previously fell within these categories. Any individual risk assessment and relevant control measures to support a pupil will be shared with their parent/carer.