Category Archives: Latest News

Glow and Google Classroom Support

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Correspondence from Midlothian Council

Dear Parents and Carers

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday, we wanted to update you on our plans for your children and young people returning to education after the Christmas break.
The First Minister has extended the break until 11 January. From that date, most children and young people will learn from home until 18 January.
New Scottish Government guidance issued last night allows local authorities to request an exceptional closure for the first day of return after the festive break, to allow planning to take place for the safe return of vulnerable children and children of key workers. Midlothian Council has applied for this for 6 January. If this is granted, on 7 and 8 January, schools will provide critical childcare only for key workers and for our most vulnerable children and young people. If this is not granted, then critical childcare will also be provided on 6 January. We will confirm as soon as possible.
We have created a survey for you to fill out to apply for a space if you are a Category 1 or 2 key worker. There is a link in the survey which will give you further details about the categories.
https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/mlc-jan21keyworker/

Applications need to be completed by 31 December to allow us to plan. Schools and ELC settings will be closed until 6 January at which time all staff will return. You will be contacted by your child’s school on 6 January if your child is to attend on 7 January. Please do not assume you have a space until you have heard from the school.
During this time, school transport will run as normal and there will crossing patrols in place for those who have been asked to attend, or who have a critical childcare space. Children and young people who attend school and ELC on these dates will be provided with a school lunch.
There will be further information provided to families of children and young people who are currently in Saltersgate School and our special provisions.
Schools will be providing home learning from 11-18 January. This learning experience will be different, however will still be based on children’s current learning targets. For
ELC, home learning activities will be provided. Schools have been planning for the possibility of home learning experiences for some time, and are well-prepared. Further details about this will be sent out to you by your child’s school by 8 January.
Information about Free School Meals during this period can be found here:
https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/info/855/school_meals/117/free_school_meals_and_clothi ng_grants/3
We also continue to be guided by the most recent Scottish Government guidance as follows: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducingthe-risksin-schools/ The main changes that we would like to highlight to you as we move from Level 3 to Level 4 are as follows: • The level 4 advice is that children on the shielding list should not attend in person. However, there will be further consideration of how individualised risk assessments can be used to maximise school attendance, and remove barriers to access to regulated childcare services, for children who continue to shield during Level 4 restrictions. It is expected that these should be informed by the secondary care (hospital) clinical team caring for the child or young person.

• Due to our being in level 4, face coverings should continue to be worn by pupils and staff in the senior phase (S4-6) in classrooms, subject to the existing exemptions.

• Face coverings should be worn by all visitors to schools/ELCs and also outside at pick-up and drop-off times whenever on school/ELC premises, even outside.

• Our staff continue have to wear face coverings in communal areas such as corridors, etc

• Our staff also have to wear face coverings in schools when in close contact with your children and other staff.
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with becoming ill with COVID-19. Do: • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available • wash your hands as soon as you get home • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

Please visit the NHS Inform website for all the latest advice and updates about coronavirus in Scotland: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-andpoisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

We appreciate the levels of concern and anxiety as COVID-19 continues to affect our schools and communities, and we would like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to support our children, young people and staff at this time.

We would like to thank you for your continued support as we put our plans into action from this very recent announcement. We will keep you updated with any further information via our usual channels of communication.
We hope you have a very enjoyable Christmas break.
Yours sincerely

Fiona Robertson
Executive Director, Children, Young People and Partnerships

 A Parent Club COVID-19 internet microsite, which contains advice on working from home whilst caring for children, advice on helping children with remote and blended learning as well as links to advice and support resources for parents of children with additional support needs.
 Education Scotland’s Parentzone Scotland website includes advice for parents, families and practitioners on supporting children and young people’s learning during COVID-19.
 The National Parent Forum Nutshell guide on blended learning, published in August 2020. This joins further Nutshells on Supporting Learning at Home during “lockdown” and on online safety.
 Education Scotland’s Scotland Learns initiative provides newsletters and online resources for teachers and for parents/carers.

Update to Law

Smacking Ban

 

The law on all forms of physical punishment of children in Scotland changed on 7 November 2020. From this date all forms of physical punishment of children became against the law in Scotland. Scotland is the first part of the UK to ban the smacking of children.

 

This change in the law is about making things better for children in Scotland.

 

For more information visit the Scottish Government website

 

How to apply for Free School meals

New Applications

If your financial circumstances have changed, you can apply for free school meals and a clothing grant if you receive:

  • Universal Credit (where your monthly earned income is not more than £610)
  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Your child is also entitled to free school lunches and a clothing grant if you receive:

  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your annual income is less than £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit, and your annual income is less than £6,900

How to apply

To apply, download and complete the application form below then email it with any supporting documents to fsmawards@midlothian.gov.uk. There is a single application form for both benefits. You need only apply once per year. Supporting evidence will be needed at the time of applying. We cannot process applications until we receive this.

Please follow this advice to reduce the risks of sending personal information by email:

  • Do not use a shared device to send your email.
  • Do not use an unsecured or public WiFi network to send your email.
  • Before sending, double check the email address you are sending to is fsmawards@midlothian.gov.uk 
  • After sending, delete your personal documents from your sent email.

Advice for mobile/tablet device users

Please use either Microsoft Wordor Adobe Acrobat Reader(both free to download from your app store) to open up the form which should allow you to complete and save the application ready to email. Email the completed form and any supporting documents to fsmawards@midlothian.gov.uk 

What happens next?

We aim to process all applications within 28 days, although this may vary in busy periods.  Free school meals will be awarded immediately, and clothing grants will normally be awarded within 28 days from receipt of application. Regular payments will be made up to 31 March 2021.