These last few months have often been challenging, particularly for parents and carers. Now that schools and nurseries have returned the Scottish Government have written to provide some advice where a child or young person in your care presents with symptoms of the common cold or similar bugs during this pandemic.
As you’ll be aware, the Scottish Government has announced that, from 31 August 2020, face coverings should be worn by young people attending secondary schools when they are moving around the school in corridors and confined communal areas (such as toilets, social areas, PE changing rooms) where physical distancing is particularly difficult to maintain.
Full details are available in a letter from Lesley Brown (Head of Education and Children's Services)
With our buildings now reopen we need to work together to keep everybody safe, nurtured and learning. This letter contains information outlining the procedures that we will follow when responding to suspected cases of Covid-19 in our school. It also includes information on what you should do to help safeguard your family and the school community.
The guidance below is from the NHS Lothian website and outlines what precautions you should take if your child or young person feels unwell, with suspected Covid-19. Please keep this document somewhere safe so that it is easily accessible, should you need to refer to it.
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are:
- A new, continuous cough
- A fever/high temperature
- A change or loss in taste and or/ smell.
Knox Academy is pleased to invite applications for the following vacancies:
Closing Date: Sunday 6 September 2020
- Business Support Assistant - Permanent - Term-Time - Part-Time
- Senior Business Support Assistant - Permanent - Part-Time
- School Welfare Assistant - Permanent - Term-Time - Full-Time
All current and previous vacancies can be viewed within our Recruitment section of our website.
Did you borrow a ChromeBook over the School Closure period? If you haven't already returned these prior to the summer break, please do so as a matter of urgency.
We will shortly be carrying out a full-school audit of our ChromeBooks.
Are you aged between 16 and 19 and considering remaining in education? If so, you may be entitled to an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
An EMA is a weekly payment of £30 paid directly to eligible young people who are continuing in post-compulsory education (i.e. beyond the age of 16) or have left school and are taking part in an Activity Agreement.
Further details are available on the East Lothian Council Website.
Applications are processed on a 'first come, first served' basis. While payments may be delayed until later in the school year, approved applications will be backdated to the start of the term if they are received by 30 September 2020 (for those eligible for the full year award) or by 28 February 2021 (for those eligible from January 2021).
East Lothian Council have produced the following video:
"Help us keep our school and wider community safe by creating space around our schools. Walking, cycling or scooting for some or all of your journey will keep cars from our school gates, leaving space for physical distancing, improving road safety and reducing emissions. Play your part."
East Lothian Council is writing to all families who use home to school transport to outline the new travel arrangements and their responsibilities for keeping themselves and fellow passengers safe.
The text below is taken directly from the East Lothian Council website.
The implications of physical distancing has impacted on capacity across the school transport network. While contracted transport is viewed as an extension of the school estate, requiring little distancing, this does not apply on public services. The council provides around 1,200 pupils with bus passes for travel on these routes. Guidance also states that pupils attending separate schools should travel separately on contracted routes, and transport arrangements have been put in place to allow this to happen. This affects some routes where primary and secondary pupils previously shared transport – separate buses will now be provided for primary and secondary schools. This applies even if the children are from the same family group.
The council has worked closely with transport providers to apply Scottish Government and Transport Scotland guidance on safe provision and find appropriate solutions. The priority is to provide a service that is safe for pupils, drivers and escorts.
26 new buses have been commissioned across contractor and public service routes to allow pupils to continue to travel safely to school. The cost to the council is around £1.7m.
Guidelines are also being shared with families along with their passes on their responsibilities to ensure safety.
- Families should provide their pupil with hand sanitiser, which must be used prior to boarding the bus
- Face coverings will also be mandatory on all home to school transport – contracted or public service – to avoid any confusion (see 'Background' below)
- Failing to adhere to these guidelines could lead to a pupil being refused entry to the bus
- Seating plans will also be introduced on buses
Timetables have been brought forward to allow pupils to be transported and families will be informed of the new timing arrangements when they receive their passes.
These measures have been introduced in response to the current Covid-19 public health emergency and will be subject to review in line with any further Scottish Government guidelines.
Cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services, Councillor Shamin Akhtar, said: “I know this will be a relief for many parents who rely on our home to school transport services but who were also concerned about what this would look like in the current health emergency. Our officers have worked hard with transport partners to enable us to provide a service to families. We are in the process of sending out bus passes and timetables and would ask that all families pay particular attention to their responsibilities for keeping their own children, drivers and other passengers safe. This will be essential to the operation of the service.”
East Lothian Council will adopt face coverings as required on all school transport to provide consistent message across the transport and stop any confusion. The exemption rules for face coverings are the same as public transport and an exemption card can be found here.
Section 42 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 states that an authority should provide assistance with transport for children who require to walk more than two miles for school pupils under eight, or three miles for those aged eight and over.
East Lothian Council’s policy is to provide transport for pupils who have a walking distance of two or more miles.
The council currently provides home to school transport for 2450 pupils across East Lothian in three categories: contracted transport, public service transport routes, and additional Special Needs transport.
We are so looking forward to welcoming our young people back to school next week. This letter will provide you with lots of information about our return. Please can you discuss this with your young person so they know the arrangements for their return – and in particular the day they are in next week and where they should report to on arrival.
Thank you and enjoy the weekend – which looks as though it is going to be lovely weather.
I hope you have had a lovely summer break. Further to the letter sent by our Chief Operating Officer, Lesley Brown on Friday 31 July 2020, I am pleased to be able to write to you today to advise you on the plans for re-opening Knox Academy.
Over the summer, extensive planning has taken place to ensure we have a safe and supportive return to school. The First Minister outlined in her statement to Parliament on Thursday 30 July 2020, that there is flexibility to phase pupils back to school. It has been agreed that all East Lothian Secondary Schools will have a phased return to school, over the course of the 12, 13 and 14 August 2020. All pupils will be back in school full time from Monday 17 August 2020.
All pupils will receive their SQA examination results on Tuesday 4 August 2020, either by post, or through MySQA.
Miss Cook (Head Teacher) has written a letter to clarify the process in place for querying an examination result and ways in which the SQA will accept what this year is called a ‘post-certification review’, or an ‘appeal’.
I hope this clarifies the situation for all pupils and parents/carers. If you would like to contact the school about any aspect of SQA results or the appeals process please email firstname.lastname@example.org and if a conversation would be helpful then someone will phone you back.