Since the national closure of all schools and nurseries on 20 March 2020, in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Stirling Council has adjusted quickly to deliver our education services in a more flexible way.
This remains a fast-moving and complex situation and we will continue to be guided by national guidance and be prepared for all eventualities.
Individual schools and nurseries will continue to share important updates with families, and we have also pulled together key information and resources below as a helpful guide.
We know that this is a challenging time for everyone and we appreciate the support and understanding we have received from the families at our schools.
Read a letter sent from nurseries to parents and carers on 12 May, 2021, about a delay in nursery admissions as we await updated Covid-19 guidance for nurseries from the Scottish Government for academic year 2021-2022.
Read a letter sent from schools to parents and carers on 9 March 2021, with more details for on the phased return to school on 15 March.
Read a letter sent from schools to parents and carers on 3 March, 2021, after the First Minister announced plans for more children to return to school on 15 March.
Read a letter sent from schools and nurseries to parents and carers on 3 February, 2021, following the Scottish Government's scheduled review of education arrangements.
Read a letter sent from schools and nurseries on 6 January, 2021, with an update to the national guidance for key workers applying for places in schools and nurseries.
Read a letter sent from schools to parents and carers on 22 December about the arrangements for January 2021.
Read a letter sent from nurseries to parents and carers on 22 December about the arrangements for January 2021.
Read our letter sent to parents and carers of Balfron High School on 17 December following the decision to move to remote learning at the school until the end of this term on Wednesday, 23 December 2020.
Read our letter to parents and carers on 30 October following the new Scottish Government guidance on face coverings and physical distancing. This supplemented existing guidance that took effect from Monday, 31 August 2020.
Read our news story confirming the reopening of schools on 31 July 2020.
Read our letter sent to parents and carers on 24 June 2020.
Read our letter sent to parents and carers on 9 June 2020.
Free School Meals (FSM)
Through funding from the Scottish Government, a payment of £88.80 (£2.40 per day, per child) will be paid to each P1-S6 pupil eligible for Free School Meals on the basis of low income eligibility criteria. This will cover the 37 days of the Summer holiday period (28 June 2021 to 17 August 2021)..
In total each child and young people of school age will receive a total payment of £188.80. This will be paid into the parent/guardian bank account used for the Easter payment unless you have advised us differently. The payment will be in your account on 30 June 2021.
All Primary 4 children will be entitled to free school meals from the start of the new school year (18 August). P1-3 pupils already receive free school meals and P4s will join them in becoming eligible for the provision this August.
For any enquires, please contact customer services on 01786 233210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on free school meals and clothing grants is available here.
Family Pandemic Payment
The Scottish Government has provided funding to tackle financial insecurity for children and young people from low income households. A one-off payment of £100 will be paid for children and young people of school age [P1–S6 education] who are in currently in receipt of Free School Meals on the basis of low income eligibility criteria.
Following the summer break, pupils will return to school for the start of the new academic year on Wednesday, 18 August, 2021.
To view school holiday dates for 2021-2022, please head here.
Stirling Council’s priority continues to be that our young people’s hard work and dedication is fairly recognised, and we will work with our schools and the SQA to ensure that this is the case.
There will be no external assessment of National 5 courses in the 2020-21 academic session – either by an exam or by coursework. On 8 December, the Scottish Government announced that Higher and Advanced Higher exams will not take place either.
The latest updates on the 2020-21 national qualifications, can be found on the SQA website.
For our new story on this year's results, which includes support and helpline numbers, please click here.
Please see below for recent key statements and updates from the SQA on the 2019/2020 academic year:
On 19 June, the SQA published a statement and guidance relating to the appeals process for this year's national qualifications:
On 3 June, the SQA provided a new update on the alternative certification model for this year's national qualifications:
At this challenging time for families, it is now more important than ever that everyone across Stirling keeps their eyes and ears open for children at risk of neglect and abuse.
At the start of the summer holidays, we launched a campaign to keep children safe, encouraging everyone in Stirling to look out for signs that a child may have experienced harm, neglect or abuse during the pandemic.
All communities can do their bit to protect children from harm. If you are worried at all about a child’s welfare, it is much better to say something than do nothing.
If you are worried about a child, you can contact us to report concerns.
During the day you can contact Stirling Council Social Work with concerns on 01786 471177.
Out of Hours (after 5pm and weekends) you can contact the team on 01786 470500.
If it is an emergency, contact the Police: 999 emergency number or 101.
More information is available on the Child Protection Scotland website.
A new online learning and information resource has been launched for families in the Stirling Council area.
Children, young people, parents/carers and staff will be able to access the website for learning, activities, support and more.
There are hub areas on the site for nursery, primary, secondary and youth, along with specialist sections for digital learning and Additional Support Needs (ASN).
With the ongoing pandemic, the new website is an additional resource for pupils having to self-isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The website - Stirling’s Platform for Education and Community Learning – is live and available to use.
Your child should not attend school if either they or anyone else in the household has symptoms of COVID-19. For more information and health advice, please visit the NHS Inform website.
Please read this letter to all parents and carers from National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, relating to Common Cold and COVID-19 symptoms.
See below for a Q&A on dedicated school transport (last updated 18 August 2021). This also includes guidance on the wearing of face coverings.
I would rather take my child to school during Covid 19, can I do this?
Yes, you do not need to take up the offer of transport. To ease congestion in and around schools children and their parents/carers are encouraged to travel to school on foot, bike or scooter if possible.
Can my child travel on other dedicated school transport?
No. Pupils must only travel on the transport that has been allocated to them to avoid any capacity issues.
Will there be social distancing on school transport?
Dedicated school transport should be regarded as an extension of the school estate and physical distancing measures between pupils are not required irrespective of age subject to mitigations in place.
Where public transport is required for school-aged children to attend school, the general advice and guidance from the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland should be followed including the use of face coverings where required, unless exemptions apply.
What is meant by mitigations?
Important mitigations include: hygiene, ventilation, enhanced cleaning regimes including regular and thorough cleaning of surfaces, face coverings and regular handwashing (see below).
What mitigations are in place on my child’s transport?
- Vulnerable passengers or those self-isolating due to contact with someone with symptoms should not to travel.
- Parents should ensure their children’s hands are washed using soap or hand sanitiser prior to boarding school transport.
- Enhanced cleaning of vehicles.
- Children and Young People aged 12 years or over are required to wear face coverings unless exempt. Children and Young People aged 5 to 11 are encouraged to wear a face covering (this is not mandatory).
- Vehicle will travel with windows open where possible or fans/air conditioning switched on drawing air from outside to assist with ventilation.
- Passengers asked to remain seated and not swap seats.
- The consumption and sharing of food and drink is not allowed.
- Children and young people should be encouraged to carry tissues on home to school transport.
- Passengers should travel with their bags on their knees.
Do I need to reserve a seat on school transport?
If your child is entitled to free home to school transport, there is no requirement to reserve a seat as they will be allocated transport in accordance with Schools, Learning & Education’s Home to School Transport Policy.
My child is showing symptoms, can they travel?
Children, young people and adults must not board dedicated school or public transport if they, or a member of their household, have symptoms of COVID-19. If a child or young person develops symptoms while at school they will be sent home. They must not travel on regular home-to-school transport. The school will contact the parent/carer who should make appropriate and safe arrangements to collect the child or young person. In this situation, the wearing of a face covering by the child or young person on the journey home is strongly advised.
What enhanced cleaning measures will be put in place?
Frequent thorough cleaning will be carried out paying particular attention to all hand contact surfaces areas such as doors, handrails, seatbelts etc.
Does my child need to wear a face covering?
Children and young people aged 12 years or over are required to wear face coverings unless exempt. Children and young people aged 5 to 11 are encouraged to wear a face covering (this is not mandatory). Please note that any face coverings left on the transport will be disposed of by the operator and not be retained as lost property.
Do drivers and adults travelling on dedicated school transport need to wear a face covering?
Drivers operating on all passenger transport services are required to wear a face covering unless exempt or where there is a partition between the person/employee and members of the public.
Any adults travelling by dedicated school transport should where possible maintain 1m physical distancing.
We recognise that the circumstances of many children with Additional Support Needs require adult carers to travel with the children, often in close proximity. In general, it is advised that these adults should be very alert to symptoms, and should wear face coverings as a general rule. However, this should be balanced with the wellbeing and needs of the child, recognising that face coverings may limit communication and could cause distress to some children. Any face coverings or PPE will be covered in individual pupil risk assessments.
Will my bus be at a different time?
In most cases transport will be at the usual times, please regularly check the council website for further information and any updates. Timetables for the large bus journeys can be found here.
My child travels on a taxi – what mitigations are in place?
As with dedicated school bus and coach services, physical distancing requirements are not necessary. Face coverings must be worn and where possible it is recommended that in private hire vehicles (which are typically saloon cars) children and young people travel on the back seat. If a child is travelling alone, it is recommended that they sit in the back-left hand seat of the car.
What additional measures will be in place for ASN Transport?
As a general rule transport arrangements are the same as mainstream, however individual assessments may be required to be carried out on a child-to-child basis.
My Child needs an escort what additional measures will be in place?
Escorts will have to sit 1m away from driver and pupils were possible (individual seating layouts may need to be reviewed), wearing of face coverings are mandatory for escorts.
General school transport Q&AI’ve applied for a privilege pass space – when will I hear about a space?
Please note that there are currently no Privilege Pass spaces available for St Modan’s High School for 2020/21, as all of the Stirling Council vehicles serving St Modan’s High School routes are full. If this situation changes during the course of the academic year, parents will be informed.
Privilege Pass applications for all other routes will be assessed against available spaces in the next few weeks and we aim to inform parents of whether or not a space has been granted.
Where do I find the timetable for the school bus?
These can be found on the Council website. For routes which are not listed, such as small bus and taxi journeys, please call the operator directly.
I’ve moved address in the last school year and not heard about transport, what do I do?
Please complete a school transport application form via this link and we will evaluate the request.
I’ve moved address in the last school year no longer need transport, what do I do?
Please e-mail email@example.com advising the pupil name and school they attend.
Q. Have bus passes been sent out?
Bus passes for those routes which require a pass have been sent by the Transport Co-ordination team.
Support and information
Parents and carers can find up-to-date national guidance, information and materials about the pandemic on the Parent Club website.
Young people can find out more information and guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Young Scot website.
It's ok not to feel yourself during the current crisis. For tips, advice and support to get through these challenging times, head to: https://clearyourhead.scot/
Key Scottish Government links
Individual nurseries shared a letter with parents/carers on 12 May about a delay in nursery admissions as we await updated Covid-19 guidance for nurseries from the Scottish Government for academic year 2021-2022.
We are hopeful that updated guidance will be available by the middle of June 2021.
As soon we have this information, we will be able to confirm which sessions we can offer your child. Please be reassured that all eligible children in Stirling will be able to access their full 1140 hours of funding for early learning and childcare, although this may not always be available in your first choice of nursery.
To read the letter, please head here.
Prior to children and young people returning to full-time schooling in August, the Council put in place, as required by the Scottish Government, contingency plans for a blended learning model, with pupils attending school and nursery on some days and learning at home on others, and remote learning.
On 19 December, the First Minister announced changes to how learning would be delivered in January 2021, with learning being delivered remotely for all pupils other than the children of key workers and vulnerable children. These arrangements remain in place.
On 2 February, the First Minister outlined plans for more children to return to schools and nurseries from Monday, February 22. This was confirmed by the Scottish Government on Tuesday, 16 February.
The return of almost all children and young people to full-time face-to-face education after the Easter Break was confirmed by the First Minister on 6 April, 2021.
This remains a fast-moving and complex situation and we will continue to be guided by national guidance and be prepared for all eventualities.
Individual schools and nurseries will continue to share important updates with families.
Stirling Council’s ambitious digital rollout has supported schools during periods of remote learning in the pandemic, with individual settings producing a tailored learning programme for pupils.
During these temporary arrangements, our focus, as always, will be on ensuring our children and young people continue to receive the highest quality of care and learning so they can reach their potential.
The latest development of the local authority’s ambitious digital drive means all children and young people in P5-S6 (7,233) have taken delivery of a Chromebook, while all Primary school and Secondary school teachers and ELC settings (1,350) have been provided with a laptop.
The Council’s significant investment in digital technology across its education settings is part of a long-term strategy to equip Stirling’s young people with the skills to thrive in an increasingly digital workplace and society.
It has accelerated since the national lockdown, supplemented with funding from the Scottish Government’s Digital Inclusion Grant, due to the focus on increasing levels of digital inclusion to support learning.
Major infrastructure work has also been undertaken in both primary and secondary schools to support the digital provision expansion.
Please see our latest news story for more information.
Stirling Council is offering 1140 hours of free early learning and childcare per year for eligible children from August 2020, subject to COVID-19 scientific and health advice.
The provision is available across all local authority nurseries, private and voluntary partner settings and partner childminders.
Please see our news story for more details.
Individual nurseries wrote to parents and carers on 12 May about a delay in admissions as we await updated Covid-19 guidance for nurseries from the Scottish Government for academic year 2021-2022.
Free sanitary products are available for young people who are attending school at collection points.
A free online ordering service is available for pupils who are remote learning.
A range of products are available across four care packs.
You can use the service if you are aged up to 25, and live, go to school or work/volunteer in the Stirling Council area. A Stirling post code must be provided for delivery.
To make an order, please visit the Young Scot website.
In line with national guidance, all secondary pupils are currently required to wear face coverings in classrooms, communal areas and when moving about the school. Parents should also wear face coverings when dropping off or picking up children from school. We will update this guidance if it changes.
More information on the wearing of face coverings in school and other FAQs about the return to school can be found on the Parent Club website.
You can download a letter that was shared by individual schools and nurseries with parents and carers that gives details on the process for dealing with potential COVID-19 cases in our settings.
On 31 August 2020, Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, issued a letter to parents and carers relating to Common Cold and COVID-19 Symptoms.
You can download the letter by clicking here.
Stirling Council ASN schools and provisions are open, as appropriate, for children who attend them.
We will provide an update on this once the latest Scottish guidance is published. The latest guidance on schools can be found here.
Stirling Council continues to comply with the latest Scottish Government guidance for schools and other settings and robust control measures are in place to protect the health of pupils and staff.
Risk assessments were in place as part of the work to prepare for a return to school. These included plans for cleaning, hand washing and physical distancing. These risk assessments are updated in line with the latest scientific advice and Scottish Government guidance.
Stirling Council recognises the value of a school dress code in enhancing the ethos and sense of belonging in a school, along with promoting safety and well-being.
Schools set their uniform policy in consultation with pupils, parents and staff. At this time, some schools may make minor adaptions to their school dress code. Individual schools will provide further information on this.
For information on the school clothing grant for the 2021/22 school year, please head here.
Stirling Council welcomed children and young people back to school and nursery on August 12, 2020, following a Scottish Government announcement on 30 July.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister confirmed that the latest scientific advice and evidence supported the safe return of pupils to school.
The Council had been working towards a return to full-time schooling after the 2020 summer break in line with ongoing Scottish Government guidance.
Individual schools shared arrangements for this return with parents, carers and young people.
Stirling Council nurseries also reopened to children on 12 August after new guidance was published by the Scottish Government confirming it was safe to do so.
As required by the Scottish Government, contingency plans for a blended learning model, with pupils attending school and nursery on some days and learning at home on others, remains in place.
Click on the links below to view the letters shared with parents and carers in the Stirling Council area over the summer and the news story confirming the re-opening of schools and nurseries from 12 August.
For details on the Scottish Government’s decision to fully reopen schools, including a link to the updated guidance, please head to the Scottish Government website.
Last updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:47 PM