Schools and Early Years Centres
The overall national objective at present is to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). For that reason, all schools and early years centres have been closed from Friday 20th March 2020.
Currently, there is not a date set for schools to re-open and parents and carers should not assume they will reopen before the summer holidays.
Schools and Early Years Centres will be closed for as long as the scientific and clinical advice recommends.
At the same time, there is a need for critical services to continue to operate.
Childcare provision for critical key workers
Critical childcare service for key workers is limited to children where all adults in the house are key workers. This includes:
- NHS: all staff including primary care; pharmacy and dentistry;
- Health and social care staff providing a direct service;
- Key emergency services staff, including those at Glasgow Prestwick Airport;
- Key staff working at National Air Traffic Service, Prestwick (NATS);
- Staff who work in prisons;
- South Ayrshire Council staff designated as critical service providers;
- Education/ care staff providing child care for other key workers.
We are asking that you keep the use of this service to an absolute minimum, in line with the advice to reduce social contact and minimise the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). While we appreciate the challenges faced by families, this service is not available for parents who are working from home, or where any member of the household is displaying symptoms. Please follow public health advice advice and act responsibly.
For any enquiries please email edservicesELC@south-ayrshire.gov.uk and leave your name, number and email address and someone will be in touch .
The definition of key workers may change as the spread of the virus progresses.
The situation is changing on a daily basis, and we will respond to changing circumstances.
Early Learning and Childcare 1140 Hours Expansion
The Scottish Government have announced that due to the current restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19), they have revoked the order requiring local authorities to provide 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare by 1st August 2020.
Although we have gone through the registration process for early years provision in August, we will now need to review our arrangements. Much of the building work has halted, which means buildings will not be complete for August. Recruitment for new staff is also unable to take place.
We appreciate that this is disappointing news for many parents and staff, but know that most people will understand that the focus at present is managing the impact of the current pandemic on services. We will provide an update as soon as we have taken time to consider the implications for South Ayrshire of the Scottish Government's announcement.
You will know by now that the 2020 exam diet has been cancelled. Inevitably, this means there will be some uncertainty for our young people who were preparing for exams.
Teachers, who know your children best as learners, will be doing everything possible to ensure they get their best possible qualification.
Part of the normal preparation for completing a course includes completing coursework, assignments and folios. Teachers will collate all the necessary evidence to support their professional judgement.
There is no need for your child to be in school to complete work. Teachers have worked with the majority of our pupils over a number of years and have a range of evidence to draw on and make a professional judgement. Everything they need is available to them in school at this stage.
Certification will be based on predicted attainment, coursework and assessment throughout the year. Certification will NOT be based solely on prelim performance.
Please do not to contact schools for information, as professional judgement and estimates are not yet complete. Equally, there is no process for appealing the professional judgement on estimates, but the SQA have indicated that their post-results service will be free of charge this year.
Are private-run nurseries closing?
Parents should contact their private-run nursery for more information.
Can I still send my child to a childminder?
As long as your child, and everyone living at home does not have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), and your childminder does not have these symptoms, then yes.
Please follow government and health advice as this may change over time.
Should my parents look after my children?
It depends on their age and their health. Anyone over 70 years old, pregnant women, or anyone under 70 with an underlying health condition, i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds, should reduce social contact and stay at home for 12 weeks.
If your parent falls under the above at risk categories, you should follow the advice given by the government and NHS.
What support is there for pupils entitled to free school meals?
While schools are closed, all pupils entitled to a free school meal and clothing grant will continue to have access to food at lunchtime.
Free school meals are being delivered to eligible children across South Ayrshire by our staff volunteers. From Thursday 9th April, we will be delivering food boxes on a weekly basis. The boxes will contain a range of items, including fresh food, which can be used to prepare a week's worth of lunches for eligible children.
Education maintenance allowance
Education Maintenance allowance (EMA) payments will continue for young people. Our staff are working at home and will ensure this continues.
Will I have to teach my child at home?
Parents and carers will support their child's learning.
Each school is making arrangements for online and paper-based learning, so children and young people can continue with their education during this period of School and Early Years Centres closures. Your school will inform you of their specific arrangements.
Parents will be kept informed through their school, and your school will advise you how they will keep in touch with you in due course.
How will my child receive coursework?
Each school is making arrangements for online and paper-based learning, so children and young people can continue with their education during this period of school and nursery closures. Your school will inform you of their specific arrangements.
I don't have internet access or Wi-Fi. How can my child receive course work?
Alternative provisions will be put in place to ensure children and young people who don't have internet access or wi-fi will still receive course work. This is likely to be through printed materials, such as worksheets, taken home by children and young people or delivered to their home.
What if you or your child has health issues or needs additional support?
We are working through the emerging guidance on supporting families who need it most. Please be assured that we will update you on what support is available as quickly as we can.
In the interim, if you face a situation where you become unwell and do not have alternative childcare arrangements, please speak with your school directly for advice and guidance.
What should I do if I or someone in my family contracts coronavirus (COVID-19)?
If you have symptoms consistent with coronavirus (COVID-19), namely a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature, however mild, stay at home for 7 days from the day your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS24 or your GP unless your symptoms do not get better, or your health condition changes significantly.
If you live with others, all other members of the household should stay at home for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day illness began in the first person. Detailed stay at home advice can be found at NHS Inform.
To reduce the spread of illness, follow the 'Catch it, Bin it, Kill it' advice, as well as washing your hands often with soap and water regularly, or use an alcohol based hand rub.