Who can still attend school and nursery?
The advice issued by the Scottish Government is that schools and council-run nurseries should close other than for specified groups. These groups are as follows:
– all pupils in S4-6 who still have coursework to complete
– children whose parents have been designated as essential workers
– the children and young people deemed most vulnerable or in need of support. The parents or carers of these individuals will be contacted directly by their school or nursery.
We are following Scottish Government directives and trying to strike a balance between respecting the health advice designed to stop the spread of the virus, while still supporting those most in need, allowing the frontline staff providing lifeline services to do so, and allowing older pupils the best possible chance of getting the qualifications they hoped for.
Which schools will be open and when?
All 11 Renfrewshire secondary schools will be open for S4-6 pupils to complete coursework. High schools will also be open to provide childcare for eligible pupils in S1 to 3 and older primary school pupils.
The following locations will be open to provide childcare for the children of essential workers who we can accommodate:
- West Primary in Paisley (primary and nursery)
- West Johnstone campus (primary and nursery)
- St James’ Primary in Renfrew (primary and nursery)
- Hugh Smiley Nursery in Paisley (nursery only)
- Riverbrae School in Linwood (respite care only)
School staff will be in on Monday 26 March and pupils will be able to attend from Tuesday 27 March. Schools will be open from 9am until 3pm for the time being. We are looking at the possibility of having them open until later in the day but cannot offer that at this stage. All children attending schools from next week will receive a free school meal.
I’m an essential worker and I haven’t applied
We have already written to all parents and carers to identify who could be eligible to invite them to apply for a place. You can still apply in the link below.
We have already had a huge number of requests and hope people appreciate capacity is limited we will have to prioritise, in line with Government advice. We cannot accommodate everyone as that will defeat the purpose of closing. We know some parents will be disappointed but we need to concentrate on the families who need it most.
We will be working over weekend and will be in touch to let you know if your child has a place as soon as possible. We are having to turn around a huge amount of work in a short space of time and we appreciate your patience while we do this.
How will children learn at home?
Many of our teachers will be working from home and will be keeping lessons going via online learning. Our schools have done an incredible job to pull together materials to let this happen.
We will be using Glow to facilitate this as it allows pupils to work in a variety of ways, including with their peers and at their own pace. It is free to all pupils and can be accessed anywhere, any time and on any device.
Pupils will be given homework tasks assigned by their teacher and should work to complete these at home. Here’s where to find the information.
Your child was given their log in details at the beginning of the school year and in the last week. If you have problems logging in, please email your school directly.
Here is where to find support on how to use certain apps within Glow:
Pupils should follow the Acceptable Use Policy for using digital platforms at all times. For a reminder of this policy, please contact your school.
Anyone who does not have internet access should let the school know as soon as possible and alternative arrangements will be made for these pupils to receive a homework pack. If your school uses an alternative ICT solution such as Seesaw or Sumdog, please contact them directly.
More questions on childcare and support
Will free school meals/clothing grants still be provided?
Free school meals will be provided for the children in the groups who are attending school for coursework (S4 – S6) or childcare.
Parents of children who qualify for a clothing grant will receive fortnightly payment direct to their bank account of £11.25 per child per week. These payments will continue over the Easter holidays and for as long as schools remain closed, even if over the summer.
Are private nurseries still open?
Private nurseries will decide for themselves if they will choose to stay open. The directive from the Scottish Government is that they should refocus their operations to looking after the children of critical workers and those families most in need of support. Please speak to your private provider for more information on what they are offering.
Is out of school care still on?
All out-of-school care run by the council or in a council building is now closed. Private providers who operate from a non-council building may still be open and parents should contact them directly to find out more information.
Mental health and wellbeing
There has been a lot of coverage in the media and social media about the Coronavirus and it is easy to feel everyone to feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.
Our Education Psychology team have pulled together some advice on how to help children cope with the current situation, and we’ve included a link to Young Scot’s advice for young people.
Where can I get more information?
Parents will be kept informed through their school and your child’s school will advise you on how they will keep in touch with you in due course. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered in this email, visit our FAQs on our school information webpage.
For the latest updates and information from us, follow our Twitter account @RenCouncil and visit our website.
For the latest health advice, visit the NHS inform website.
Advice and information for our staff
Our staff can visit our staff information section of website to find out the latest information and advice.