The application process for places for critical in-school learning and childcare from 18 January until the end of the month has reopened.

While school buildings are closed for the majority of pupils, our schools will continue to support their families with remote learning.

Following the First Minister's announcement on Monday 4 January 2021, schools will be closed to most children other than children of key workers and the most vulnerable until 29 January 2021. Remote learning for all other pupils will begin on Monday 11 January. Schools will confirm arrangements with their families by Friday 8th January.

Priority will be given to places for keyworker critical childcare to households where both parents/carers are category 1 or category 2 key workers, or single parent households where that person is a key worker and no informal childcare arrangements exists. The category definitions have been defined by Scottish Government and are available from their website. The Scottish Government has asked all parents to only apply for a place if there are no alternatives as the overarching intention is for as many people to stay at home as possible.

Applications were invited before the Christmas break and over 650 spaces have already been allocated. Families who already have a confirmed space do not need to reapply. A further 130 places have been allocated to vulnerable children, with numbers expected to increase. 

In line with Scottish Government updated guidance issued on 6th January,  the number of people in school buildings must be kept to a minimum to prevent community transmission of the new variant of Covid-19. The majority of learners and staff will remain at home until 29 January 2021 accessing learning remotely. 

Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services Councillor Shamin Akhtar said: “I know this is extremely tough for many families and comes after many months of restrictions, changes and sacrifices. However this current situation is a real and severe risk to public health.

“We must make sure they are limiting numbers in buildings to those who most need them especially the most vulnerable children in our communities. Our staff are working hard to process all of the applications and confirm spaces in line with the clear Scottish Government guidance on key worker definitions.

“While school buildings are closed for the majority of pupils, our schools will continue to support their families with remote learning.”

Applications are invited online until 29 January 2021.

Published: Wednesday, 6th January 2021