Stirling Council’s Education, Children and Families' teams are continuing to deliver their services in a flexible new way during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the phased easing of lockdown restrictions.
Our focus continues to be on:
- The phased re-opening of schools. Read our latest update from our Education Service
- Providing free school meals
- Temporary childcare for essential workers
- Advice lines and other help and support resources for families
- Child protection advice during the current situation
- Supporting vulnerable children and young people
- Signposting families to national support services
On Tuesday (23 June), the Deputy First Minister announced to the Scottish Parliament that the Scottish Government is now aiming for the full return of children and young people to schools in August, subject to ongoing COVID-19 scientific and health advice.
While we are now working towards a return to full-time schooling, we have also 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.
Please click on the links below to view the letters shared with parents and carers in the Stirling Council area on the re-opening of our settings:
To read the Deputy First Minister's statement to the Scottish Parliament on the return to full-time schooling, please follow this link: https://www.gov.scot/news/return-to-full-time-schooling/
Stirling Council will continue to deliver free school meals to families during the summer break following additional funding from the Scottish Government.
To request access to the scheme, please fill in this online form.
From Monday, 29, June, there will be a weekly delivery of groceries to homes of children who are entitled to free school meals.
Each delivery will take place on a Monday and will contain a week’s work of groceries to produce packed lunches. The last delivery will be on 3 August.
Since lockdown began on 23 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council staff across a range of services have to date delivered more than 124,000 packed lunches to pupils entitled to free school meals.
The final delivery of this successful programme will be on Tuesday, 23 June, and a flyer will be included with details on the six-week summer programme.
Other key details:
- Families who opted out of the current scheme will be automatically reinstated for the summer deliveries unless they fill out a form to opt out.
- For children in P1 to P3, lunches will only be provided to those in receipt of the footwear and clothing grant.
- You can apply for the footwear and clothing grant online.
- If there is no one home when the delivery arrives, staff will be unable to leave the grocery pack.
- Each week, the groceries will be slightly different.
If you have not yet registered to receive this entitlement or if your circumstances have changed due to COVID-19 and your income has reduced, contact email@example.com to discuss your child’s entitlement. Please include your name, address and your child’s name and date of birth.
To report a problem with our free school meals provision, please complete this form. If you have already reported an issue that has not been dealt with yet, please complete the form and add the details into the comments section.
Stirling Council is continuing to deliver alternative care arrangements for essential workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
From 23 March, our hubs started operating, providing care for more than 300 children.
On 21 May, the Scottish Government announced that the hubs will continue to run over the summer.
Parents and carers who are categorised as essential workers and require childcare for this age-group can make a request via our website.
Please contact us via: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/contact-us/general-enquiries/
Schools are finding creative ways to support young people in their learning during this emergency situation. Where possible and where appropriate some schools are being supported to engage in online learning.
Our Glow platform has groups and resources for all age levels which children and young people can access with their Glow login. Each group has links to useful websites which can be accessed at home. The team is developing a site to share these links with parents.
The Council’s Youth Participation team is also organising a variety of fun activities and competitions on its social media channels:
- Twitter - https://twitter.com/stir_spyp
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/StirlingYouthParticipationTeam/
- Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/stirlingyouth/?hl=en
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.
Please see below for the statements and updates from the SQA since the start of the pandemic.
On 19 June, the SQA published a statement and guidance relating to the appeals process for this year's national qualifications. You can read this statement here: https://bit.ly/2Ygqm6o
On 3 June, the SQA provided a new update on the alternative certification model for this year's national qualifications. You can read the statement here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/94362.html
On 20 April, the SQA published an updated statement for young people, parents and carers on this year’s national qualifications.
This new update is available to view via the SQA website. Within the statement, further information can be found by clicking on the link for frequently asked questions.
On 2 April, the SQA published guidance for learners, parents and carers for this year’s qualifications:
On 26 March, the SQA and Colleges Scotland issued a joint update on Higher National Certificates (HNCs).
You can read the full statement here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93717.html
On 24 March, the SQA issued an update on national qualifications (NQs). This year schools and colleges will not be required to submit coursework for marking in Higher and Advanced Higher courses. All National 5 coursework, due to be uplifted in April and May, will not be submitted for marking.
Read the statement from the SQA here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93658.html
Following a statement issued on 22 March by the Scottish Government S4 to S6 pupils should not attend school to complete SQA coursework. Where coursework can be completed safely at home schools will support young people to do so.
All parents, families and children will be continue to be contacted by their school or nursery to confirm more details for the weeks ahead. Please look out for communication from your own school or nursery for further information.
Wellbeing Service for Young People aged 12 years and over
Feeling worried, frustrated or anxious about COVID-19? Feeling isolated or concerned about relationships? Looking to speak to someone about exams and education?
The Wellbeing Service is there for you to talk to someone confidentially about any of these things over the phone.
You can call the freephone number on 0800 015 3320 (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1.30pm to 4pm) or you can get further information here on the Wellbeing Service.
Advice Line for those seeking advice about a child or young person’s support needs
Stirling Council has set up a dedicated telephone advice line and email enquiry service for those seeking advice about children and young people’s support needs, learning and wellbeing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
You can contact the advice line by either:
- Telephone - 01786 404040, Option 5 (Monday to Friday from 10am to 12.30pm)
- Email Us
- Contact Form – which can be completed below – please ensure you leave your preferred contact details - i.e. telephone number or email address.
We will endeavour to respond to your query as soon as possible
We also have online information that can be accessed at Stirling Educational Psychology Blog.
This provides information, advice and practical guidance for parents/carers and for children and young people on a range of subjects. These include: looking after our wellbeing, talking to your child about the Coronavirus, activities for learning at home and useful links to websites that can provide additional information.
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 during the COVID-19 outbreak.
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.
With schools being closed, children will be spending more time online and websites such as www.net-aware.org.uk or www.thinkuknow.co.uk help people report abuse and offer information on how to minimise potential risks from others online.
Stirling Council has been progressing plans to continue supporting vulnerable children and young people following school closures on 20 March. Guidance for Children’s Service staff has been developed with a focus on the following groups of children:
- Those on the child protection register, those who are looked after (including kinship care) and, those on the edge of care.
- Children in receipt of Free School Meals.
- Children and young people who have complex additional support needs.
- Children and young people affected by poverty and deprivation.
A wide range of supports are currently being provided, including:
- School staff and social work colleagues making regular daily or weekly contact by telephone, email or social media, with vulnerable families, with some dropping off meals or learning packs.
- Delivery of free school meals is ongoing with a plan for support workers to deliver these to families.
- School staff are providing access to a variety of educational materials including learning packs and online learning
- Support services such as the Stirling Inclusion Support Service, ASN Outreach, Educational Psychology Service, the Parent and Family Support Team are making regular contact with parent/carers, children and young people, who have additional support needs and where concerns are present, regarding increased vulnerability.
- An online resource is available here for parent/carers and for children/young people providing advice, support and information covering topics such as health and wellbeing and learning activities at home.
- An advice line has been set up for those working with children and young people who have concerns about a child or young person’s wellbeing. You can access further information here
- A Wellbeing Service for young people aged 12 years and above has also been launched. It offers support for young people who might be feeling anxious or worried about the current situation, who might be feeling more isolated from their peers or who might have concerns about exams and their future. Further information can be found here
We are also continuing with existing good practice such as hosting a virtual Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting when concerns exist about a child or young person’s care or wellbeing. The parent/carer will be invited to join a virtual TAC discussion or will have provided consent for professionals to host TAC discussion.
Further bespoke supports can also be explored by the TAC to ensure that each approach is individualised to support a child or young person’s profile of needs.
If you require any further information, please contact us via: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/contact-us/general-enquiries/
Stirling Council is trialling a new free online ordering service to ensure young people are ‘period protected’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With school collection points temporarily closed due to the current crisis, the local authority has teamed up Scottish social enterprise, Hey Girls, so pupils and young people can continue to access free sanitary products.
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.
Young people in Stirling can order the products via the Young Scot website, with a range of products available across four care packs.
Funded by the Scottish Government, the trial was originally open until 25 May but orders can still be submitted.
Thanks to all those who have submitted orders so far - round one of deliveries are now being arranged and delivered to homes.
Please note that products may take up to six weeks to arrive once ordered. We will work to keep this time as short as possible but we also want you to plan ahead. If you don’t receive your order after six weeks please email: SPandYP@stirling.gov.uk
For more details and to make an order, visit: https://www.young.scot/get-informed/stirling/period-protected-during-covid-19
For information on applying for childcare in Stirling Council nurseries and funded providers in the private, voluntary and independent sector, including childminders, please follow this link: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/learning-education/early-learning-childcare/applying-for-childcare/
Parent Club is a website that provides up-to-date guidance from the Scottish Government on your child’s health and education during the COVID-19 pandemic:
If you a young person and are looking for more info about coronavirus (COVID-19), the Young Scot website has all this, along with details if you are looking for support or help: https://young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus
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 resources
To view the Scottish Government’s plans for the phased re-opening of schools, please follow this link:
To view the Scottish Government's news story and framework for the re-opening of schools and nurseries, please follow this link: https://www.gov.scot/news/schools-to-re-open-in-august/
The main Scottish Government COVID-19 webpage can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Last updated: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:21 AM