Coronavirus: Schools, children and families
Covid-19 cases in schools
We have taken many precautions in our schools to limit the areas pupils access and the people they have contact with. This limits the spread of the virus and means that, if a positive case of Covid-19 is identified in a school, Public Health teams can confidently identify who has been in contact with that person.
Parents/carers of children who have been in direct contact with a confirmed case will receive a letter from Public Health and/or a telephone call from 'Test & Protect' asking them to stay home for 10 days.
If your child is asked to stay home because they have been in contact with a confirmed case at school, other household members do not need to self-isolate providing all household members are well. Siblings can continue to attend school if they have not been identified as a close contact and no one in the household is unwell.
If you have not been contacted by Public Health then your child can continue to attend school providing they and the rest of the household are well.
See our for guidance on reporting sickness absence if your child becomes unwell during the current pandemic.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school. You should arrange for your child to be tested and all household members should stay at home during this time.
Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and further information on testing can be found on NHS Inform.
If the test is positive your child should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. All other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days.
Covid arrangements for the new term
Following the First Minister's announcement that nurseries and schools will stay shut for the majority of pupils until at least the start of February, Perth & Kinross Council is issuing details to families about the new arrangements.
Council schools and nurseries are only open for children of key workers and vulnerable children, including those with complex additional support needs.
If you use other providers of Early Learning and Childcare, you should contact your provider directly to clarify their arrangements. You can check the Level 4 regulations on childcare on this link: Parent Club Guide to Childcare Level 4.
- Childminders can stay open to all children and should operate in accordance with Level 4 guidance.
- Nurseries and all other childcare providers should open only to key worker and vulnerable children.
- Informal essential childcare can continue in accordance with Level 4 guidance,
From then, they will stay at home as remote learning is provided by their nursery or school until at least the middle of February under new lockdown restrictions.
The Scottish Government will review that position on 2 February 2021.
In-school learning for the children of essential workers who are categorised as category 1 or 2 key workers by the Scottish Government began on 11 January.
Your child may be able to attend their own school, or school-based nursery setting on the days that you are required to be at work if all of the following apply:
- both parents are key workers
- you are a lone parent and a key worker
2. Both parents, or a lone parent, are required to attend at your place of work (if an adult is working from home then your child should stay at home).
3. You have no one else available to look after your child. If there is a relative or friend who can reasonably provide childcare through an informal essential childcare arrangement, you should not send your child to school. Informal essential childcare arrangements are permitted within Level 4 restrictions.
Available staff will facilitate home learning and childcare activities for those who attend school or nursery as required during the school day. It should be noted that in-school learning for pupils will be the same as for those at home but supervised in school by an adult.
Those who were previously identified as essential workers by Perth & Kinross Council will also be eligible for childcare, if they meet all the necessary criteria, as will contact tracers involved with Test and Protect or those directly involved in the rollout of the Coronavirus vaccine. Further details are available in our updated guidance [151Kb]. The guidance also includes further information about the review process if a request for childcare is refused.
Perth & Kinross Council schools have worked with families to ensure that all children and young people who need support to access a digital device will receive the necessary support.
So far 950 new iPads, laptops and ProBooks have been delivered to schools for distribution to those who may be digitally disadvantaged.
Secondary schools will also be speaking to pupils directly about the implications for qualifications course work.
Children who are classed as clinically vulnerable should not attend school.
School meals will be provided and paid for in the normal way. Those who receive Free School Meals will continue to do so. Direct payments for those who qualify for Free School Meals will continue during the lockdown.
Transport will continue to be provided as normal for those who will attend school.
If your child becomes unwell
If your child becomes unwell at any time with:
- A new, continuous cough
- A fever
- A change in or loss of sense of smell or taste
The whole household should self-isolate and anyone else in the household with symptoms listed above should also be tested.
Further information on self-isolation and how to book at test can be found on the NHS Inform website.
Sources of advice and support
NHS Tayside's Test and Protect Team operates from 8am until 8pm 7 days per week. The contact number for the Tayside Contact Tracing Team is 01382 424061.
If you require further advice, please contact the National COVID-19 Helpline (0800 028 2816).
Scottish Government guidance
We are following key national guidance issued by the Scottish Government to help ensure a safe and effective return to school for children, young people and staff:
- Excellence and equity during the Covid-19 pandemic - A strategic framework for reopening schools, early learning and childcare provision in Scotland (21 May).
- Scientific evidence on schools and ELC settings (26 May) the basis for the Scottish Government's decisions about reopening schools.
- COVID-19: reopening schools guidance (28 May) non-statutory guidance for local authorities and schools in their planning for a safe phased reopening on 11 August.
- COVID-19: Physical distancing in education and childcare settings was published on 15 May.
- COVID-19: Support for continuity in learning (5 June), guidance by the Education Recovery Group for local authorities, early learning centres and schools. It is also relevant to partners e.g. community learning and development (CLD), youth workers, colleges, universities and adult learning. This focuses on the support required for learners, parents, carers and practitioners.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020 updated on 25 August with new guidance on use of face coverings by pupils and staff - see also the summary version of the full guidance.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: guidance on re-opening school age childcare services published on 30 July.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on organised activities for children published on 25 September.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools published on 30 October.
- Guidance on the phased re-opening of schools published 21 December.
Higher and Advanced Higher exams
Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced on Tuesday 8 December that next year's Higher and Advanced Higher examinations have been cancelled. Perth & Kinross Council remains committed to providing the best educational experience for all of our children and young people.
All of our school staff have worked extremely hard throughout the pandemic in very different and unusual circumstances and will continue to do so in the face of each new challenge.
Our teachers are well placed to assess the work of their pupils over the course of the school year and this will ensure all of our children and young people, some of whom may miss extended periods of class time because of Coronavirus, are graded fairly for their work.
Free School Meal direct payments
The Council has agreed that direct payments will continue to be provided from 7 January 2021 for those families entitled to free school meals who receive a qualifying benefit.
If you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit (listed below), your child currently receives free school meals, and you received a school clothing grant over the summer holiday period, you do not need for you to contact us - a payment will be made automatically to you. Education and Children's Services will contact parents directly where bank account details are not currently held. If you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit for free school meals but did not receive a school clothing grant, please contact us via email.
Qualifying benefits are:
- Income Support (IS)
- Income based Job Seeker's Allowance (IBJSA)
- Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105.
- Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC) and your income is less than £7,330
- If you are between 16 and 18 years old and receive any of these benefits in your own right, you can claim free school meals for yourself
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610
Winter payment for low income families
If you have a child at nursery or in P1-P3 and you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit for Free School Meals, you are entitled to receive a Winter Payment of £100 per child from the Scottish Government to support them through the winter months.
The deadline for applying for the Winter Payment has been extended from 23 December 2020 until 13 January 2021.
If you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit for free school meals but have not yet applied, please apply online at our Free School Meals page.
There will be no restrictions on how families choose to spend this additional payment. It is anticipated that common uses may include paying for food, fuel and other essentials. This payment can be disregarded for the purposes of benefits income.
Remote Learning Hub
The Council's Education and Children's Services has established a Remote Learning Hub. The site has been created for parents, pupils and staff to access key information and guidance whilst working and learning from home during school closures. Specific sections have been created to allow for ease of use and to ensure you can access the information that is most appropriate for you. The Remote Learning Hub will be updated regularly with the latest information and added to ensure the content and messages are current. We hope parents, pupils and staff will find the site, and the information it provides, to be useful.
Returning from a country that's on the quarantine list
If your child has returned from a country that is on the quarantine list, please do not send them to school until they have completed the 14 days quarantine period.
If you have queries about provision for your children, please view our or call 0345 30 111 00.