Coronavirus: Schools, children and families
Phased return to schools
Children in P1-P3 and children in Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) returned to school on 22 February.
Some senior secondary school pupils also returned part-time to complete practical coursework.
Schools will continue to provide childcare for children from vulnerable families and the children of essential workers but other pupils are not expected to return to class until 15 March at the earliest.
Transport will continue to be provided as normal for those who will attend school. However, all secondary school pupils using school transport will be required to observe 2m physical distancing when travelling to and from school.
Most children will continue to learn at home until at least March. Take a look at our new video about remote learning to see how children and young people, parents and carers, and teaching staff have been working hard together in Perth and Kinross.
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.
Children who are classed as clinically vulnerable should not attend school.
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.
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:
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 22 February 2021 for those families entitled to free school meals who receive a qualifying benefit for children in P4 - S6 who have not returned to in-school learning full time. Free school meals for entitled nursery pupils and P1 - P3 pupils will be provided in school from 22 February 2021.
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
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. We have also created a quick guide [536Kb] to remote learning and the support available for parents and carers when helping their children with this.
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.