December 23 2020 update
Further to the First Minister’s update of 19th December, please find below and attached information from Vincent Docherty, Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Education/Chief Education Officer.
In addition to this, we will review the timing of our S4-6 Assessment Block planned for late January and advise pupils and parents/carers early next term of any changes to this.
I share your disappointment in not being able to welcome all our learners back to school at the beginning of next term. Please be assured that we will, as we have throughout this situation, do our very best for our pupils, both in terms of learning and in support for their wellbeing.
MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF VINCENT DOCHERTY, HEAD OF EDUCATION/CHIEF EDUCATION OFFICER
The following is the proposed plan for Aberdeenshire schools after the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday 19th December. It adheres exactly to the guidance provided by Scottish Government and will hopefully allow local decisions to be made in the most effective way for children and young people across our Council.
- Schools (including nursery provision where offered) will open to staff only on the 5th of January 2021. The expectation will be that all staff attend to prepare for the programme ahead.
- Children of keyworkers and vulnerable children will attend school on the 6th of January for school age learning and childcare during normal school operating hours. The keyworker definitions have been updated and are attached to this communication. As before, both parents would require to be category 1 or 2 workers (or one in a single parent household). Children within these categories who are currently isolating should not attend.
- Transport and catering for these groups will be in place from 6th of January. Parent/carers of pupils with Free School Meal entitlement have received a payment via BACS on Wednesday 23rd December 2020.
- On-line learning for all other children and young people will commence on Monday 11th of January. Schools are expected to have planned how this will be coordinated during the previous week.
- The delivery of on-line learning will continue until at least Monday the 18th of January 2021 when the situation will be reviewed. This means that other than vulnerable children and children of keyworkers, no pupil should physically attend their school.
- Central teams will be on hand to support schools with identified vulnerable children and others who may be at risk.
- A further communication will follow week commencing 29th of December with further advice.
Whilst this situation is unexpected and was announced after staff and pupils had started their Christmas break, we are confident that working together we will be able to put in place arrangements that allow effective learning for all of our children and young people. We continue to rely on your support to ensure that we do the right thing for your children under these very difficult circumstances.
We wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.
Thank you all for your continued support through this challenging time.
Vincent A Docherty
Head of Education