COVID 19 UPDATE – SCHOOLS, EARLY YEARS & EDUCATION

Colleagues

Further to my previous email.

Please see below information received from Children’s Services:
“Given the announcement by the First Minister on 4th January 2021, I wanted to provide you with the most up to date information possible prior to the start of term tomorrow.  It has now been confirmed that schools and centres will remain closed for the majority of pupils until 1st February. This will be reviewed by the Scottish Government in the middle of January. All of our schools and centres will remain open for children of key workers and for those children who social work and school teams determine as vulnerable and in need of a place in the school. This will necessitate that staff teams on a rota basis will work in school to support these children and at home to support remote learning.

The following points all reflect national advice and guidance:

  • Schools will open for staff to return on 6th January in order to plan for remote learning. We applied to the Scottish Government for an exceptional closure day on the 6th and this has been approved. There will be no children in school on that day. 
  • There is no necessity for all staff to be in school on Wednesday. If meetings to support planning can be delivered through virtual calls, then this is being planned for by HTs. However, it is important that all staff have the correct resources and materials to deliver remote learning and as such may need to attend in order to pick these up.
  • Children of keyworkers and those from vulnerable families will return to their own school or centre for childcare purposes from the 7th. An application process has been running since before Christmas and schools have now been advised of those attending. Please be assured that school staff are being classified as key workers.
  • Remote learning will commence for the majority of children from the 11th.
  • When not supporting keyworker and vulnerable children in school, it is assumed that staff will support remote learning from home.
  • Normal procedures regarding contact time within the context of working time agreements and in line with SNCT terms and conditions should be agreed locally to ensure realistic and reasonable expectations of staff when working remotely.
  • Head teachers will work with staff to agree a rota for those needed to be in school which best meets the needs of children and where possible the skills, knowledge and experience of staff.
  • Employees who were previously asked to shield by the Chief Medical Officer should now work from home during this period of remote learning.
  • Risk assessments will be reviewed in each establishment to ensure they remain appropriate in light of reduced numbers of children and staff in school and union reps involvement is welcome and encouraged as normal.
  • The same enhanced cleaning will continue in schools as previously.
  • Parents have been updated this afternoon (see link: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/schoolsupdate-0501) “

Thanks

Mark Ferguson

Branch Secretary