New term arrangements for Schools and ELC settings

Hayfield House sign

All schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings in Scotland, including Shetland, will now be closed until Monday 1 February 2021, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children

There will be a national review of this position on Monday 18 January.

In short, the period of remote learning for children and young people has been extended to 1 February.

Shetland remains in Level Three of the Strategic Framework five level protection system to manage the spread of coronavirus but the central message from the First Minister yesterday was to stay at home unless for essential purposes and to work from home where possible.

Children's Services wrote to parents, carers and staff at the end of last term, after national announcements were made on 19 December. 

Children's Services will provide further information to parents, carers and staff confirming the updated arrangements announced yesterday. This will provide reassurance and support about the forthcoming period of remote learning for children and young people. 

All key worker applications that were made for children to attend school and Early Learning and Childcare settings to the 15 January have been reviewed, and parents and carers have been notified of the outcome.  The vast majority of key worker applications have resulted in places being approved, following locally established criteria for determining eligibility, which is in line with national guidance in this area.  Children's Services will be in touch again with parents and carers who are key workers to clarify the period of school closure from 18 to 29 January.

Parents and carers of children who have been identified as benefitting from being in school for additional support have also received letters from Children's Services, prior to the Festive break.

Councillor George Smith, Chair of the Education and Families Committee:

"A huge amount of work has gone into preparing for the start of the new term and the enforced period of remote learning, and schools are ready to support all their children and young people and parents at this challenging time.  The health and safety of all staff that are working in schools and nursery settings, supporting children of key workers and vulnerable children, will continue to be paramount to our planning. 

“I cannot thank school staff enough for all that they have done throughout the pandemic and all that they will continue to do in these very challenging times.  I am also delighted about how the key worker process has been managed by staff in Children's Services and the support being offered to vulnerable children."

Published: 5th January 2021