All posts by Hilary Buchanan

School Return Update – Lesley Brown

Dear parents & carers,

You may be aware that the Depute First Minister has,  this afternoon, made a statement in the Scottish Parliament about all children and young people returning to school in August. He has indicated that the Scottish Government’s planning assumption is now to have all pupils returning to schools in August if it safe to do so. He has also indicated that this will be conditional and based on the scientific and health advice. He has confirmed that the plans we were putting in place for blended learning will be a contingency and will be essential preparation in case they are needed.

We are now urgently considering the implications of this announcement on our plans for August. It is clear that final decisions on this full return will not be confirmed until during the summer holidays. We are awaiting further specific guidance and will be in touch with you again as soon as we can.   We continue to work on the assumption that staff will return to school on the 10th August and pupils will return on the 12th August.

We appreciate that this is a fast changing situation and you will be keen to know what this means for your child / children.  We are committed to sharing information with you as soon as we can, including during the summer holidays.

Kind regards,

Lesley

 Lesley R. Brown  | Chief Operating Officer (Education) – Education & Children’s Services|

 

Phased reopening of schools communication

Dear Parent / Carer,

Following the announcement by the First Minister yesterday about the phased reopening of schools, we know that you will have lots of questions about when and how our children and young people will return to schools across East Lothian.

In her statement, the First Minister reported that teachers and other staff will return to schools during June to prepare classrooms for the new term and a different model of learning. It was announced that schools will reopen from 11 August, however, to allow appropriate physical distancing, children would return to a blended model of part-time in-school and part-time at-home learning. I would highlight that 11 August is earlier than our planned date of 19 August for pupils to return to school after the summer holidays.

In East Lothian, our Education Service is considering the implications of this announcement and has already started to plan for the reopening of schools and early learning and childcare settings in August as outlined by the First Minister.  We are reflecting on the yesterday’s announcement and are awaiting guidance from the National Education Recovery Group next week which will help us determine and confirm more specific details of the arrangements which will be shared with you as soon as we can.

It was also announced that, where possible, there would be transition support for children going into primary 1 or moving from primary 7 to secondary school. In East Lothian, our schools already provide a range of transition opportunities and these have continued during the lockdown period with many schools providing distance creative and innovative transition activities. In the coming weeks, we will also consider those children who may benefit from further transition support.

During June and over the summer, we will continue to provide emergency childcare provision for the children of key workers and we will be in contact with parents and carers about the arrangements for this in due course.

I would like to thank all parents, carers, children and young people for their patience and understanding as we work through a very complex situation. I know this has been a difficult and uncertain time and we are committed to sharing further information with you as soon as we can.

Kind regards,

 Lesley

 Lesley R. Brown  | Chief Operating Officer (Education) – Education & Children’s Services|