Oakshaw green bins

Residents are being urged to recycle more than ever while the current government guidance is to remain at home wherever possible.

Bin collections in Renfrewshire are continuing to run as normal at this time (26 March), but the area’s recycling centres are currently closed.

Oakshaw green bins

With an expectation more waste will be created during this time, the council have offered a list of handy tips to help people reduce, reuse and recycle.

  • Wash and squash your cans, plastic bottles, tubs and trays – a good rinse is all you need to do.
  • Reuse any containers you can. They’re perfect for freezing any batch cooking.
  • Break down cardboard boxes to save space.
  • If you run out of food waste bags, use old newspaper or put it in directly until you can get more.
  • Visit lovefoodhatewaste.com for advice on how to avoid wasting food, using up those ingredients that are stuck in your cupboard and how to store it correctly.
  • The council website has a list of what should and should not go into each bin, do you know what goes where?

Residents are asked to ensure that parked cars do not obstruct collection vehicles to ensure that waste can be uplifted.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This is an unprecedented time with everyone advised to stay at home unless it is essential that they leave for food, medical issues or to work in a key role.

“Being at home, you are going to create more waste than normal so I would encourage you to take recycling more seriously than ever to ensure you have the space you need in your bins.

“Our waste collections are running as normal at this time, but we need your support to help our fantastic frontline workers do their job so please be patient and show understanding for the position they are in.

“Our teams have been given the appropriate advice and PPE to carry out their role in line with government guidance and I want to thank them for the outstanding service they are providing at this time.

“To all our staff, partners, Unison, RHSCP, health workers and volunteers, thank you on behalf of us all on the way you have risen to the challenge in these difficult times.

“Let’s keep working together and show the strength of community that I know we have here in Renfrewshire.”

For the latest advice and guidance on Coronavirus, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus or follow the council on Twitter via @RenCouncil.

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Issued on behalf of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee.

 

With the closure of schools and nurseries during the Covid-19 outbreak, a national child protection group is urging everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for children who may be at risk during this time.

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Child Protection Committees Scotland, a national grouping of child protection professionals, supports all efforts by the Scottish Government, local authorities and the third sector to keep children safe from harm during the enforced break in normal routine.

John Paterson, Independent Chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, recognises the impact a significant change in day-to-day life may have on vulnerable children.

“Schools and nurseries in Renfrewshire play a central role in contributing to the safety of all local children, especially those who may be at risk of abuse and neglect. When children are not at school we lose the ability to monitor their wellbeing on a daily basis, and we are making every effort possible to support those children and families who may need it during these demanding times.”

However, Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee stresses the need for the public to join efforts to protect potentially vulnerable children during the Coronavirus outbreak. John Paterson urges everyone to play a part to keep local children safe.

“The onus of care has now shifted from schools to local communities, and we’re asking everyone to keep their eyes and ears open. Local people always provide a significant protective factor for children and that’s even more important at a time when families may be under significant additional stress. If you’re at all worried about a child’s welfare, it’s much better to say something than do nothing.”

Renfrewshire Council urges everyone to take action if they’re concerned about a child or children. If you’re worried don’t hesitate to contact Social Work Services – 0300 300 1199 or call the police on 101.

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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.

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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.

Register interest

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.

Glow – sign in

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.

Mental wellbeing


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.

School information

For the latest updates and information from us, follow our Twitter account @RenCouncil and visit our website.

@RenCouncil

Coronavirus advice

For the latest health advice, visit the NHS inform website.

NHS inform


Advice and information for our staff

Our staff can visit our staff information section of website to find out the latest information and advice.

Staff information

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT-LOGO-2011

Published: 19 Mar 2020 

Exams will not go ahead, teaching, learning and support can continue with local flexibility.

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT-LOGO-2011

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has updated Parliament on the decision to close schools and confirmed that:

  • the exam diet will not go ahead this year. The Scottish Qualifications Authority will put in place a certification model using coursework, teacher assessment of estimated grades and prior attainment
  • local authorities are taking measures to protect vulnerable children who rely on schools for hot meals or a safe and supportive environment
  • children of key workers will have continuing access to learning or childcare

Mr Swinney said:

“My priorities are to ensure the health and wellbeing of our children, young people and staff, and to maintain teaching and learning wherever this is possible, guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and public health experts.

“Teaching, learning and support will continue – albeit in different ways for different groups of children. For the majority, this will be through distance learning and online learning, with different forms of on-going contact with teachers rather than in-school, face-to-face. Teachers and other staff who are well will continue to be working.

“For vulnerable children and those who have parents or carers employed as key workers, local authorities are developing approaches to support them. We will not cut adrift vulnerable young people who often rely on school life for hot meals or for a safe, nurturing and supportive environment.

“Parents are not expected to be a teacher or to recreate the school day – your school will be giving you some resources and suggestions as your first port of call.

“It is a measure of the gravity of the challenge we now face that the exams will not go ahead this year. With the support of the wider education system, a credible certification model can be put in place in the that can command confidence in the absence of the exam diet – to ensure that young people in our schools and colleges who through no fault of their own are unable to sit exams, are not disadvantaged.”

Background

The Deputy First Minister’s statement in full.

The SQA will develop a certification model to replace the exam diet. Pupils in S4-S6 with coursework for national qualifications to complete will be informed by their schools how to complete this.

Local authorities will put in place appropriate arrangements to support vulnerable children and those who have parents or carers employed as key workers – this may include exceptional provision to continue to attend school or local childcare that the local authority put in place. Those with complex additional support needs who are learning and living in residential special schools will continue to receive the care and support they require and any long-term health conditions will be taken into account.

Local authorities are also being encouraged to work with local childcare providers in the private and third sectors to ensure ongoing provision to enable key workers to remain in work. Funding will continue to allow contractual payments to private and third sector providers, including childminders, for statutory early learning and childcare hours to continue. This is worth £220 million to the childcare sector in 2020-21.

A £70 million food fund from the support package for communities announced yesterday will support access to food, including provision of free school meals. Pupil Equity Funding will be relaxed to allow headteachers and local authorities to support the most vulnerable childrens’ needs during this time.

Local authorities can deploy the 2020-21 uplift in funding for the 1140 hours expansion as flexibly as is needed to support families and childcare providers during this period.

Key workers are those who work in posts which ensure that essential services can be delivered, or those who cover tasks within the local community which support the vulnerable and aid community resilience. The exact definition will vary based on local needs.

The Student Awards Agency Scotland will endeavour to continue to fund students on time, and students will be updated throughout. The Further and Higher Education Minister is working closely with the Scottish Funding Council, college and university principals and unions.

A security staff manager at intu Braehead is in the running for a top national award. Stephen Stronach, 36, from Linwood, Renfrewshire is one of three students who have been shortlisted for the Chartered Management Institute Student of the Year Award. He has recently passed his Level 8 Award in Management and Leadership as a mature student after intu Braehead paid for a lecturer from West College Scotland to visit the centre to give lectures to a dozen security staff. Stephen, a security duty manager, who has worked at intu Braehead for 14 years explains: “I’ve never had any further education qualifications before and it’s been great learning the theory behind the things we do on a day-to-day basis. “I really appreciate the opportunity the company has given me and I’m sure having this qualification will help me develop my career.” Peter Beagley, intu Braehead centre director said: “Stephen has studied hard to get this management and leadership qualification and his dedication has been recognised by the fact he has been shortlisted for this CMI Student of the Year Award. It’s a fantastic achievement.” The Chartered Management Institute is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. The outright winner of the Student of the Year Award is due to be announced next week.

A security staff manager at intu Braehead is in the running for a top national award.

Stephen Stronach, 36, from Linwood, Renfrewshire is one of three students who have been shortlisted for the Chartered Management Institute Student of the Year Award.

A security staff manager at intu Braehead is in the running for a top national award.  Stephen Stronach, 36, from Linwood, Renfrewshire is one of three students who have been shortlisted for the Chartered Management Institute Student of the Year Award.  He has recently passed his Level 8 Award in Management and Leadership as a mature student after intu Braehead paid for a lecturer from West College Scotland to visit the centre to give lectures to a dozen security staff.  Stephen, a security duty manager, who has worked at intu Braehead for 14 years explains: “I’ve never had any further education qualifications before and it’s been great learning the theory behind the things we do on a day-to-day basis.  “I really appreciate the opportunity the company has given me and I’m sure having this qualification will help me develop my career.”  Peter Beagley, intu Braehead centre director said: “Stephen has studied hard to get this management and leadership qualification and his dedication has been recognised by the fact he has been shortlisted for this CMI Student of the Year Award. It’s a fantastic achievement.”  The Chartered Management Institute is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. The outright winner of the Student of the Year Award is due to be announced next week.

He has recently passed his Level 8 Award in Management and Leadership as a mature student after intu Braehead paid for a lecturer from West College Scotland to visit the centre to give lectures to a dozen security staff.

Stephen, a security duty manager, who has worked at intu Braehead for 14 years explains: “I’ve never had any further education qualifications before and it’s been great learning the theory behind the things we do on a day-to-day basis.

“I really appreciate the opportunity the company has given me and I’m sure having this qualification will help me develop my career.”

Peter Beagley, intu Braehead centre director said: “Stephen has studied hard to get this management and leadership qualification and his dedication has been recognised by the fact he has been shortlisted for this CMI Student of the Year Award. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

The Chartered Management Institute is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. The outright winner of the Student of the Year Award is due to be announced next week.

paisley pirates

(playoff quarter finals, first leg)

Pirates more than matched their hosts for the first fifty minutes of this quarter final tie, before dropping their guard in the final ten minutes to concede four goals and leave themselves with a hazardous second leg in two weeks’ time, when they will now have to beat the Comets by three goals on aggregate to progress to the playoff finals.

paisley pirates

After a scoreless opening spell, the game burst into life as the visitors went ahead just on the eight minute mark as Abercrombie shot past Shearer to break the deadlock, but they were ahead for only twenty seconds as Comets went straight to the other end and equalised through McBean. However, Finnish star Sami Harju restored Pirates’ lead within another ninety seconds, with assistance from Kenneth, and the score remained the same until the eighteenth minute, when Abercrombie netted his second to stretch the lead to 3-1, but within a minute Pokorny had pulled it back to a one goal game, to finish the scoring for the session.

After a quiet start to the middle period Pokorny bagged his second in 27 minutes to tie the scores, but within a minute Walker scored with an unassisted effort to restore Pirates’ advantage, and while both sides took penalties the extra man made no difference to the score, and the visitors went for the second break nursing a narrow 4-3 lead.

 With a one goal advantage, and a home second leg to follow, Pirates were looking good for a win in the tie, but after a scoreless opening 10 minutes in the session, the roof fell in on the visitors. Beattie equalised again for the visitors, and while Conor Spiers restored the lead inside a minute, the hosts responded with three strikes in four minutes through Robertson and a double by McBean, the latter completing his hat trick in the process, and while Pirates did go for another goal to narrow the gap, they were unable to do so, thus giving Comets what could prove to be a critical two goal cushion at 7-5 for the deciding leg on Saturday 28 March at 6.30pm at Braehead Arena.

Photo Booth London

paisley pirates

Less than a week after going to Tayside for a successful Scottish Cup semi final tie, Paisley Pirates are once more heading for the Dundee Ice Arena this Saturday, where they will again face the Dundee Comets, this time in a two legged tie which will determine which club will be one of four to progress to the end of season playoff finals, again in Dundee, in April.

paisley pirates

Pirates will be hoping for a similar outcome to their Scottish Cup semi final tie with the Comets, where a 10-6 aggregate win saw them progress to the final, which sees them anticipate a cup final appearance the following weekend, again in Dundee, against Murrayfield.

In the meantime, however, their eyes are firmly fixed on the matter in hand, which is to set up the second leg of the playoff match at Braehead Arena on Saturday 28 March (face off 6.30pm) for another aggregate win, in what will be their SIXTH match against the Comets during the current season. To date, Comets have beaten Pirates three times to one, but the latter scored an important two legged win in the Scottish Cup, and will be hoping for a similar outcome over the two legs, to give themselves a chance of retaining their playoff title for another year.

Face off in Dundee is at 6.30pm.

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates helped young fan Josh O’Neill have a very special birthday last weekend, when they were asked to help make his 6th birthday one to remember.

His dad Michael wrote to the club saying that his young son, a P1 pupil at St Charles’ School in the town, was a huge Pirates’ fan, who dreamed of one day scoring a goal at Braehead-and his favourites responded in style to make his wish come true. Off Ice Operations Manager Jackie Turley takes up the story:

paisley pirates

“When we received Michael’s email, we had a wee bit of a problem, as our schedule means we don’t have another home game until 28 March, but we wanted to help Michael bring his son’s wish to life, so to speak, so we put our thinking caps on, and invited both of them down to our training session where we were preparing for our important Scottish Cup semi final tie against Dundee Comets the following weekend. As a community club we’re always pleased to get the chance to give something back to the fans who support us, and this was a perfect opportunity.”

“We showed him round the dressing room, introduced him to his favourite mascot, Shivering Timbers, and then took him round to meet the players and set up a shoot out area from where he took shots against two of our goalies, Danny Morris and Callum Donaghy. He was a bit over-awed by it all but, encouraged by the players, he fired home half a dozen shots, and we’ll certainly want to speak to him again when he turns 16”, she joked. “After the shoot out, we gave him a birthday card signed by all the players, and presented him with a commemorative puck, a specially scaled down hockey stick, and a Paisley Pirates top with his favourite character, Shivering Timbers, our mascot, on it, so we hope we were able to give him something to make his birthday a bit special.”

Dad Michael said,” I can’t thank the club enough for the lengths they went to in order to give Josh a special day. He talked about nothing else leading up to the event and was thrilled to bits for what they did for him, even if it went way beyond what he and I were hoping for from the Pirates.”

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates face probably their most important weekend of the season so far as they prepare to travel to Tayside to face Dundee Comets in the second semi final of the Scottish Cup (second leg) on Sunday, with Murrayfield Racers awaiting the winners on Saturday, 21 March.

paisley-pirates

Pirates carry a healthy 7-2 lead from the first leg at Braehead in mid February but will be taking absolutely nothing for granted, as they anticipate a make or break deciding leg against a side which has already shown it can come back from a substantial deficit, having recovered twice from a three goal minus in their league game at Braehead Arena in the league game to record an 8-7 victory, and they beat Pirates 9-5 in the return league game in Tayside the following night.  

Comets were seven goals down in the cup tie at Braehead before two late counters gave them some hope that the tie is not completely over, so Pirates will require to be on their guard in the deciding leg, and ensure that they work hard at both ends of the ice in order to give their travelling fans a night to remember, and a cup final to look forward to, in what has sometimes been an up and down season. 

The deciding leg faces off at 6.30pm in the Dundee Ice Arena.

paisley pirates

Pirates finished their regular season campaign the same way that they had started it way back in September-with a thumping away win at Kilmarnock, scoring seventeen goals without reply in a one sided game

paisley-pirates

Pirates were ahead in under a minute as Thorp beat Anderson to get the show on the road, and from then on they beat a relentless procession to his goal. McLaughlin doubled the lead less than two minutes later before Thorp score his second with under seven minutes on the clock, and by the interval he had netted his hat trick with further goals from Abercrombie and Duncan taking the score to 6-0.

The pattern remained the same in the middle session as Abercrombie and Duncan both doubled their individual tallies to take the score to eight, but there was no letting up by the visitors took the total to a round dozen by the second buzzer as Duncan completed his treble, Henderson got his second, and Andreucci got on the score sheet.

Thunder may have thought Pirates had run out of gas, as the score remained unchanged at 12-0 until 47 minutes, but thereafter normal service was resumed Harju got in on the act, Kenneth joined in two minutes later, before Andreucci notched his second, Duncan grabbed his fourth, and Spiers scored the final marker to take the final score to seventeen. The action wasn’t over, though, as with barely a minute left no fewer then four players finished the game early after a fracas led to forty minutes in penalties being dished out to Paisley’s Duncan and Thunder’s Paul, Hose and McPhail, and round off a miserable night for the hosts who only managed five shots in the whole game, compared to their visitors’ 62.