Advice and FAQs on COVID-19 handling
Updated Sunday 15th March 2020
This advice has been put together to assist schools and nurseries through this challenging period. It will inevitably become out of date as new advice appears or we are asked questions on situations we haven't thought of. We will try to keep you up to date without overwhelming you. The date at the top of the page will change when new information is added.
This information does not cover advice on school closures. This is because we are not anticipating schools closing at this stage. We will work with the trade unions to develop clear advice and guidance on school closures and issue this as soon as we are able or it is appropriate to do so.
Advice and resources for helping young people understand coronavirus
Young Scot has published useful advice and help for school staff and parents to help discuss the situation with their children and young people - visit for more information and advice.
All international trips scheduled to leave before the end of April 2020 should be cancelled/postponed. Schools should contact travel company/organisers to clarify their position on refunds, for example, it may be through ATOL given that this is advice from government.
Trips scheduled from 1st May to be reviewed. Further advice will be issued.
If the Council's insurance has to be contacted regarding a claim then the school should be doing this rather than individual parents and this email address should be used firstname.lastname@example.org
There is currently no updated government/public health advice on local trips or residentials. You should review your risk assessment taking into account the up to date NHS advice. Of course, some parents may feel that the risk is too great and don't want their child to go, that would always be their decision.
Further information can be found here
Visits to schools can go ahead with visitors following the Health Protection Scotland advice.
All Parents' evenings are cancelled.
Recent government advice given on public gatherings of more than 500 is to relieve pressure on emergency services and not about the number of people in one area.
You need to decide which events go ahead and which don't based on the most current advice at the time of the planned event. For example, you may decide that having the school show without an audience because people don't want to come out would not be helpful and the decision to postpone the best option.
Pupils staying at home, either on a precautionary basis or because they are unwell, should be recorded in the usual fashion in line with Management Circular 5A. For example:
The latter would only be used when there was a firm diagnosis following a test. Not because the pupil has been advised by a medical practitioner to stay at home for 7 days.
Where employees contact the school/nursery to report absence you should be clear if the employee is:
Schools should record employee absence as normal on their weekly absence return submitted to CBS. For Secondary schools, who input absence locally further advice will be issued next week.
As indicated on the recent "Corporate Announcement" these absences will not be included in any attendance monitoring procedures.
Please make sure soap dispensers and supplies of toilet rolls are kept maintained across the school/nursery. The advice on hand washing and the need for good hygiene to stop the spread of germs should continue to be reinforced.
The Care inspectorate have advised us with the following. We have asked for clarification on their definition of 'suspected'. I suggest that in the interim this does not include notifying them of staff who have taken the decision to 'self-isolate'.
The addition, which applies to all services, is as follows:
What do I do if there are not enough staff? (Remember that there may be fewer children)
As ever, our priority must be to keep our schools and nurseries open to provide a service to families. We also do not want to put staff at risk. If you feel that it is not safe to keep your establishment open then as is the case at the moment, please contact a member of the Directorate to discuss.
Can I close my school?
Not without following the usual procedures. Please ensure you are familiar with
Management Circular 10 (Emergency closure of schools and other educational establishments) [348kb]
What if a parent withdraws their child from their early years establishment - will they get their funded hours or a refund of my fees?
No, the usual rules apply if a child is absent. If the nursery closes because of our decision then again the normal rules apply (similar to snow days). If the closure became prolonged then we would provide further advice.
If schools/nurseries are closed following Public Health advice, where do staff go?
Staff should stay at home pending advice from Public Health. This would apply to short term closures, such as the recent one in South Lanarkshire. Fuller advice on school closures will be issued in due course.
Best website for council updates on COVID-19 - staff, parents and carers should be signposted to the COVID-19 GCC webpage. which will be updated with the most current information and developments - this can be cascaded via your normal school communication channels.
Potential letter home to parents from a primary headteacher
Example of contingency plan from a secondary school
B. SQA Issues
LINK-DHTs TO WORK WITH FACULTIES ON RELEVANT ASPECTS OF THE ABOVE
C. Teaching and Learning
D. Self-Evaluation and School Improvement Planning
E. Communication and Publicity
DHT to work with (school) DLOL in preparation of Communication and Publicity Strategy.