School closures - Frequently Asked Questions

We have prepared a range of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in response to the First Minister extending the closure of our schools until the middle of February at the earliest and emphasising the safest place for children is at home.

Speech bubble update

Updated: 20 January 2020

    Q - When will my child return to school?

    The First Minister has extended closure of our schools until the mid-February.

    There will be no in-school teaching taking place in schools and nurseries until further notice.

    Online learning is being provided across our schools for our pupils. Critical childcare is being provided for children of kay workers.

    Q - How do I know if I'm a key worker?

    Categories of key workers are defined by Scottish Government, the three categories of key workers are:

    • Category 1 - Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response, and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already); staff providing childcare/learning for other category 1 staff.
    • Category 2 - All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (for example: fire, police, prisons, social workers), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.
    • Category 3 - All workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised).

    Both parents / single parents must be key workers to qualify for childcare.

    Q - As parents, we need to go back to work so how can we have our children at home?

    Employers have been asked nationally to consider flexible working patterns that enable parents to care for their children at home.

    The advice remains that, where possible, children should be cared for at home when not in school.

    Q -  How will remote learning work?

    Schools will be offering remote learning to all school pupils from 11 January. Class teachers will be responsible for delivering remote learning to all pupils. Class teachers will not be in schools delivering learning.

    Online learning with be accessed through Glow, Microsoft Teams, Satchel One or the online learning portal (a school blog, school website or school app) used by your child's school.

    If your child does not have access to a computer or tablet, and the internet, please contact your school to discuss options for how we can best provide help and resources to support your child's learning.

    In some cases schools can provide printed materials to support remote learning - once again please contact your school regarding your need.

    Q - How am I expected to support my child's learning?

    Please remember that we are not asking parents to become teachers. We are asking parents to do all you can to support your children access learning opportunities. There is no right way to do this - only the way that works for your family.

    Schools will share online links and resources to support learning at home and set work that children and young people would have engaged with in school.

    Routines are important however your learning day at home may look completely new as you manage work and learning from home.

    Help your children to keep in contact with their friends - having other people to talk to is just as important for your children as it is for you.

    Q - What support will I get to help my child learn at home?

    Any learning at home will be arranged and supported by your child's teachers.

    You won't be expected to 'home school' your child in the formal sense and teachers will be available to help and support your child with their learning at home.

    Q - How do we access Glow and Teams?

    If a pupil is trying to sign-in directly to the Teams app on desktop, mobile or tablet, please enter (such as as the Microsoft email address. You will then be redirected to the normal Glow login screen.

    Q - We don't have digital devices or good enough connection to access remote learning. What support is there?

    Please contact your school to discuss this in the first instance.

    Q - We don't have the right devices at home for digital learning, can we get help with this?

    Schools will be aware that not everybody is set up at home for digital learning and will be taking this into account when planning home learning.

    Q - What are the lunch arrangements for those in critical childcare?

    If your child is attending school for critical childcare then you are asked to provide your child with a packed lunch.

    Q - My child is entitled to free school meals - how does this work?

    If your child is entitled to free school meals we will make a payment to cover the period from 6-17 January 2021 (for each child entitled to free school meals) to help you with the cost of providing lunch for the duration of online learning and critical childcare.

    Payments for this period will be made by bank transfer by Friday 1 January.

    You can visit our Free School Meals page for further information.

    Q - My child is entitled to Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), will these payments still be made?

    EMA payments are expected to be made as normal. You can visit our EMA payments page for further information.

    Q - How will pupils be supported who are studying National 4, National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers?

    Your child's school will continue to provide information on their curriculum and study support arrangements. Any assessments which were scheduled will be re-arranged following the return to in-school learning.

    Your child's subject teacher will provide specific advice over assessment requirements; we know young people and parents may be anxious over the changes to the SQA requirements this year and we will continue to communicate with parents directly on these matters via your school.