Home school plans revealed
Plans are being put in place for Perth and Kinross pupils to return to remote learning in January 2021.
The school holidays have been extended until January 11 for all pupils - with pupils being taught online until at least January 18.
All school staff will return as planned on January 7 along with vulnerable children and the children of essential workers.
The altered plans have been put in place following the first minister’s announcement on December 19. The majority of pupils are being asked to stay at home initially to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Perth and Kinross schools closed on Wednesday, December 23 for the festive period.
All staff will return on Thursday, January 7. Childcare will be provided on January 7 and 8 for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
Breakfast and out-of-school care clubs will operate for these children.
Home to school transport will also be provided.
All partner provider nurseries with two exceptions - will open on January 7. Fossoway and Perth College nurseries will open on January 11.
Perth and Kinross schools will contact parents directly to inform them if their child or children should attend school.
Lone parents who are essential workers or parents who are both essential workers can send their children to school from January 7. But if an informal childcare arrangement can be made then the council is asking parents to do that instead of sending children to school.
Children should be kept at home if a second parent/carer is not classed as an essential worker.
Perth and Kinross Council has published a full list of essential workers. This includes all school staff, frontline NHS staff and members of the emergency services.
Pupils will be taught remotely from January 11. Children attending school will be supervised as they do their digital learning.
School meals will be provided in school for those attending and paid for in the normal way from January 7.
Anyone not attending and entitled to free school meals will receive direct payments into their bank accounts on January 8 for the period of January 7-15.
Conservative councillor Caroline Shiers convenes Perth and Kinross Council’s lifelong learning committee.
She said: “We appreciate the new restrictions will mean a difficult start to the new year for many families but these are necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We can assure parents whose children do attend school that we will continue to maintain current hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in any school setting.
“Our teachers and other schools staff have plans in place for situations like this and will build on the experience gained during lockdown to ensure the education of our children and young people is disrupted as little as possible until schools re-open as normal.”
Perth and Kinross Council is pleading with parents not to send their children to school if they do not have to.
A spokesperson said: “Please do not send your children to school if you, or any other adult in your household is not classed as an essential worker or your child has not been identified as vulnerable. The only exception is where an adult in the household cannot provide supervision because of medical issues.
“Informal childcare is permitted under level four restrictions so if you are an essential worker and that option is open to you do not send your child to school.
“More information is available on the Parent Club website.”