Renfrewshire Council

Last updated: 12.00 on 3 April 2020

Schools and nurseries advice on Coronavirus

We continue to monitor the situation and are following national guidance from the Scottish Government.

On this page:

Schools and nurseries

Easter school and nursery holidays - childcare provision

Exams and home learning

Other support and information


Schools and nurseries still open

 

Who can still attend school and nursery?

The most recent advice issued by the Scottish Government is that schools and council-run nurseries should be closed other than for specified groups. These groups are as follows:

- children whose parents have been designated as key workers (see below for who this covers)

- the children and young people deemed most vulnerable or in need of support.

The families who we can accommodate have been contacted directly and made aware of the arrangements for their child.

We are following Scottish Government directives and trying to strike a balance between respecting the health advice designed to stop the spread of the virus, while still supporting those most in need and allowing the frontline staff providing lifeline services to do so.

Who is considered a key worker?

We are able to accommodate children of the following, in line with government guidance:

  • All NHS and social care and associated staff supporting COVID-19 response;
  • NHS and social care workers supporting life threatening emergency work and critical primary and community care provision;
  • Key staff working for energy suppliers;
  • All other NHS and social care workers and the wider public sector workers providing emergency and critical welfare services (Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, Residential care);

How do I know if I have a childcare place?

All essential workers should now be aware whether their child has a place or not, and which school or early-years establishment they should attend.

For those who we could not accommodate, we are sorry we can't do more to help during what we know is a challenging time for working parents but we have to prioritise to those who need it most, and do so in line with government advice. Our capacity to offer childcare to the families of key workers is limited by the number of available staff and by the need to ensure a safe level of social distancing for pupils.

If you have applied and haven't heard from us, please email Education and we will look into this. If your child got a place and you no longer require it or are unable to use it, please let us know via Education as we will be able to reallocate it to someone else who needs it. If you believe you meet the criteria and haven't applied you can still do so via this link.

Which schools and nurseries will be open and when?

From Monday 30 March, primary or secondary pupils who have a childcare place will be able to attend one of the following schools: West PS and St Mary's PS (Paisley), West Johnstone campus (Johnstone) and Trinity HS and St James PS (Renfrew). Riverbrae School will also support our children with complex needs.

Nursery pupils who have a place will from Monday 30 March be able to attend one of Hugh Smiley nursery (Paisley), West Johnstone campus or Moorpark nursery (Renfrew).

Parents should have been directly notified as to which school or nursery their child is to attend. Schools and nurseries will be open each day from 9am until 3pm Monday to Friday for the time being. All children attending schools and nurseries will receive a free school meal.

How is infection risk being managed?

The health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is of course of paramount importance and robust plans are in place to look after that. All the schools and nurseries which remain open and being thoroughly cleaned each day. Class sizes are reduced to a maximum of eight to allow social distancing and ensure pupil are not in close contact. All current handwashing and hygiene advice is being strictly applied.

What about pupil transport?

We are afraid we cannot offer school transport for the primary and nurseries which are open. Parents who have a place at a school or nursery will need to make their own transport arrangements for the time being. We had initially been able to offer transport to the secondary schools which remained open but as of Friday 27 March this will no longer be available.

Are private nurseries still open?

Private nurseries will decide for themselves if they will choose to stay open. The directive from the Scottish Government is that they should refocus their operations to looking after the children of critical workers and those families most in need of support. Please speak to your private provider for more information on what they are offering.

Is out of school care still on?

All out-of-school care run by the council or in a council building is now closed. Private providers who operate from a non-council building may still be open and parents should contact them directly to find out more information.

When might other schools and nurseries reopen?

Currently, there is not a date set for other schools and nurseries to re-open and parents and carers should not assume they will reopen before the summer holidays. Schools and nurseries will only be closed for as long as the scientific and clinical advice recommends. 

I'm a parent - where do I get more info?

This is an unprecedented situation and we had to reach to very fast-changing circumstances to put a very different service in place. We hope the level of detail on this page should answer most questions but if there is something not covered here please email Education and we will do what we can for you.


Easter school and nursery holidays - childcare provision

 

Our education and children's services teams are continuing to run childcare hubs, providing a vital service supporting those most in need and enabling key workers in Renfrewshire to carry out their lifeline work.

This continues during the Easter school holiday period which runs from Friday 3 April to Friday 17 April 2020 and includes Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Who is this service for?

The service is providing childcare to enable key workers with no available alternative childcare arrangements to carry out their vital work.

It is available to key workers who have already been assigned a place at a Renfrewshire hub and all parents have been contacted directly by the Hub headteacher to confirm arrangements.

If you are a key worker, but haven't been assigned a childcare place and feel you require this service, please complete the Childcare request form.

Where are the hubs?

Childcare hubs during the holiday period are at the same hub locations currently operating. These remain subject to uptake and parents will be notified directly of any changes to arrangements.

Each establishment is open each day from 9am until 3pm Monday to Friday and all children will receive a free school meal.

Primary and secondary school pupils

  • West Johnstone campus (Johnstone)
  • St Mary's Primary School (Paisley)
  • West Primary School (Paisley)
  • St James Primary School (Renfrew)
  • Trinity High School (Renfrew)

Children with Additional Support Needs

  • Riverbrae School (Linwood)

Nursery age (3-5)

  • Hugh Smiley nursery (Paisley)
  • West Johnstone campus (Johnstone)
  • Moorpark nursery (Renfrew)

Is teaching taking place during the holidays?

 

Teaching staff will not be providing educational support during the Easter holiday period. They have been brilliant in delivering fantastic online learning to support pupils and this will return following the holiday period.


Exams and home learning

 

What's happening with qualifications?

Read letter from Steven Quinn, Director of Children's Services, outlining the SQA Awards process during the Coronavirus outbreak (2 April 2020).

There will be no exams before the summer holidays, as confirmed by the Scottish Government. 

We know how important exams are for the future prospects of our pupils. The cancellation of exams is utterly unprecedented and we will do all we can to ensure the hard work of our pupils throughout the year is fairly rewarded and you get the grades you deserve. 

The Scottish Qualification Authority has announced that for this year, schools and colleges are not required to submit coursework for marking, in Higher and Advanced Higher courses. Full details can be found on their website. No pupils should come into school to complete their coursework.

Please sign up to MySQA, the SQA's online and text service, as a direct way to receive your results.

Can my children keep learning at home?

Many of our teachers are working from home and are keeping lessons going via online learning. Our schools have done an incredible job to pull together materials to let this happen.

We are using Glow to facilitate this as it allows pupils to work in a variety of ways, including with their peers and at their own pace. It is free to all pupils and can be accessed anywhere, any time and on any device.

Pupils are being given homework tasks assigned by their teacher and should work to complete these at home. Here's where to find the information - Glow - sign in

Your child was given their log in details at the beginning of the school year and in the last week. If you have problems logging in, please email your school directly.

Here is where to find support on how to use certain apps within Glow:

Pupils should follow the Acceptable Use Policy for using digital platforms at all times. For a reminder of this policy, please contact your school.

Anyone who does not have internet access should let the school know as soon as possible and alternative arrangements will be made for these pupils to receive a homework pack. If your school uses an alternative ICT solution such as Seesaw or Sumdog, please contact the school directly.

I'm a teacher - where do I get more info?

Head teachers are managing communications within their school communities so please speak to your line manager with any questions. There has been a phenomenal response from teachers and school staff and we are utterly indebted to those of you volunteering to ensure the education of our children and young people is still being delivered. You do an incredible job but that has never been the case more than now. Our heartfelt thanks go to every one of you.

How can I look after my child's wellbeing?

The weeks ahead are going to be unsettling for parents and children and we appreciate that could take a toll on everyone's wellbeing. There are a number of things you can do as parent to help keep your children happy and healthy. Our educational psychologists have provided some advice on how best to do this. 


Other support and information

 

Will free school meals/clothing grants still be provided?

Free school meals are being provided for the children in the groups who are attending school. The parents of children who qualify for a clothing grant will receive fortnightly payment direct to their bank account of £11.25 per child per week. These payments will continue over the Easter holidays and for as long as schools remain closed, even if over the summer. The parents of children in P1-3 who would normally receive a free school meal will only receive this payment if they are in receipt of a clothing grant.

If you do not currently get a clothing grant but think you might be eligible, you can get details of how to apply here.

Can childminders be used?

The Scottish Government has advised registered childminders to cease all provision apart from for key worker families and vulnerable children until further notice.

If carrying this out, childminders are strongly advised to limit the number of households for whom they provide childcare for to two, other than their own, to limit the risk of transmission.

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 if me or my child has health issues or needs additional support?

We recognise this a challenging time for many. The health and wellbeing of our local communities is our priority and we understand the concern these changes will cause.

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?

If you have the symptoms consistent with coronavirus, 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.

The following groups should reduce social contact and stay at home for 12 weeks: 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.

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.

School trips, events and parents evenings

All school trips, day and residential, have been cancelled, as have all school performances such as pantomimes, plays, choir recitals and concerts. Each school will contact those directly affected regarding refunds and any alternative activities which are available.

Any parents evenings scheduled before the Easter holidays are also cancelled. Schools are looking at alternative methods of updating you on your child's progress and they will contact you directly with these.