Renfrewshire Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for schools and nurseries

Information about enhanced cleaning, pick-up and drop-off, school transport, home testing for staff and senior pupils, face coverings, hand washing, physical distancing, uniforms, school lunches, school meals, cash payments, out of school care, breakfast clubs and informal childcare, pupils with additional support needs (ASN), pupils and family members with health issues, school attendance, home schooling.

Our single biggest priority is to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff. 

All COVID-19 rules and restrictions have been lifted in Scotland, but the virus has not gone away. We have put a lot of measures in place to keep our pupils and staff safe and help minimise the risk of coronavirus.

The coronavirus situation and guidance are constantly evolving, so check these pages regularly for the most up-to-date information about:

Enhanced cleaning in school and nurseries

We have an enhanced cleaning regime across all schools and nurseries. Our staff clean all schools and nurseries either at the end of the day or first thing in the morning before children arrive. They wipe clean surfaces throughout the day, with materials provided to do this, in line with the national guidance.

Schools and nurseries are continuing to minimise the sharing of learning resources, such as books and equipment. Children and young people can bring their own resources, such as pencil cases, books, bag or personal device, to school for their own use only. Schools and nurseries will remind children and young people to keep their school bags on the floor and not on desks or worktops.

Pick-up and drop-off

We encourage schools and nurseries to manage pick-up and drop-off arrangements so that it minimises crowds gathering at the school gates. This may include staggering pick-ups and designated queuing systems or areas for parents to wait. The arrangements currently in place will continue unless you were advised that they will change by your child's school. 

As a parent or carer, you are asked to follow the national guidance. See the coronavirus (COVID-19) advice on staying safe and protecting others on the Scottish Government website.

If your child has additional support needs and you normally drop them off at the building, speak to the school or nursery, as arrangements will be put in place to support your child.

We encourage pupils, parents, carers and staff to use active ways to travel to school wherever it is possible and safe to do so. Walking and cycling, scooting and wheeling are strongly encouraged where possible. If you need to drive to school, we encourage you to park further away and then walk with your child to avoid congestion.

Restrictions on school visitors will remain in place.

School transport

School transport is regarded as an extension of the school property. The national guidance states there is no need for physical distancing between children and young people of any age. 

Pupils who travel to school on public transport should follow the national guidance. Face coverings are no longer required by law, but it is still advised to wear a face covering in indoor public places and on public transport to help protect others. See the coronavirus (COVID-19) advice on staying safe and protecting others on the Scottish Government website.

Our transport operators have a process for cleaning school buses each day. Frequently touched surfaces are cleaned after each journey.

Children and young people should wash their hands:

  • before boarding the bus in the morning
  • when they arrive at or leave school
  • when they arrive back home. 

You should remind your child of the importance of general safety on school transport, such as always wearing a seatbelt. They should also not consume food and drinks onboard.

Pupils who travel to school by dedicated school taxi should sit in the back seat if possible.

Home testing for staff and senior pupils

Secondary school pupils as well as staff in all our schools and nurseries are encouraged to take a lateral flow test at home twice a week. 

Find out more about coronavirus (COVID-19) testing on the NHS Inform website.

If you or someone in your household has symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), you should follow the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for individuals with possible coronavirus infection.

Face coverings

High school pupils and staff are no longer required to wear face coverings in classrooms or at school.

Teachers and pupils who wish to continue to wear a face covering in the classroom should be fully supported in doing so.

You can read more information about coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance on the Scottish Government website. 

Hand washing

Make sure your child washes their hands before they leave for school each morning, and again when they arrive back home. When pupils come into school, they will wash their hands before they settle into their classroom or learning space. 

Schools and nurseries also encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. 

Pupils are also advised to:

  • wash their hands before and after eating
  • wash their hands when going to the toilet
  • use an elbow or tissue to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and dispose of any tissues immediately.

Hand sanitiser will be available in secondary schools, where not all classrooms have sinks. However, pupils can also bring their own hand sanitiser if they want to. 

Physical distancing large gatherings and specific classes

There are currently no COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland.

Drama, music, physical education (PE) and dance can all take place within schools, both indoors and outdoors, as long as good ventilation and enhanced hygiene measures remain in place. 

Schools already have arrangements in place for two metres physical distancing and most schools may continue with this level of physical distancing.

The Scottish Government will continue to review all coronavirus protection measures in schools and nurseries. 

Uniforms, school lunches, school meals and cash payments 

You should wash and clean your child's uniform and other clothes needed for school, such as sportswear or science lab coats, as normal.

School meals will continue to be available. Visit our school meals section for the latest information. 

Cash handling will be kept to a minimum. Most of our schools use ParentPay, a secure online payment system for school meals, trips, events and activities.

If your child's school is not using ParentPay yet, the school will send you a weekly invoice each Friday for any meals ordered. This is a temporary payment method until ParentPay is available at that school. 

Out of school care, breakfast clubs and informal childcare

Out-of-school care can operate in line with national guidance. You should contact your own out-of-school care provider for details. 

There are no current restrictions on informal childcare or childcare provided by family members.

Pupils with additional support needs (ASN) 

Safety measures are in place to protect pupils and staff wherever staff need to be in close proximity with pupils with additional support needs. Staff will regularly wash their hands before and after contact. We carefully considered the necessary cleaning regimes for specialist equipment and additional spaces, such as sensory rooms, to make sure they are safe to use. 

Pupils and family members with health issues

If your child or someone in your family has a health issue and you are concerned about your child attending school, please speak to your child's school as soon as possible. We will work with you and help you feel less anxious about sending your child to school.

School attendance

We expect you to send your child to nursery or school as normal, and we need to monitor and report non-attendance to the relevant authorities.   

If you are anxious about your child being at school during the coronavirus pandemic or if you have an issue with attendance, we will support you.

If you have a health concern about your child or yourself, we advise that you speak to your doctor for advice and then to your school to see what could be done to support you. 

Home schooling

As a parents or carer, you have a legal duty to make sure your child gets an education. This can be done in school or through home education.  

If you want to educate your child at home, you will need the council's permission to withdraw your child from school. Find out more about home education.

However, if you are considering home schooling because of a medical concern, please speak to your doctor first for their advice. We will consider if there is anything that we can do to support you, but we can only do this based on professional medical advice.