Message from Midlothian’s Executive Director for Education (Oct 2020)

I’m writing to thank parents, carers and pupils who are helping keep local people safe and ultimately saving lives by complying with national coronavirus restrictions. I am sure you will appreciate the significant effort of all of our staff working in schools to do the same. However, I also need to stress we must remain vigilant as local cases of coronavirus are rising. As is the case across other areas in Scotland, this is, in part, because of transmission within local gatherings.

We continue to work alongside NHS Public Health and Police Scotland to protect local people.  Please remember the restrictions in place on indoor gatherings in private homes. You should not meet anyone from outside your household inside your home or their home. This ban includes extended family members although you are permitted to provide care or support to a vulnerable person in their home and there are exemptions for childcare and tradespeople doing essential work. The rules on indoor gatherings apply to you and your family, including your young people over the age of 12, so we ask you to help them understand the rules and set an example for them too.

Where there are breaches of the legislation, Police Scotland will engage, explain the legislation and encourage compliance and will use enforcement action as a last resort.

We know that the overwhelming majority of people of all ages are following the rules and realise not meeting friends and family is hard, particularly on young people. However, to reduce the number of transmissions of the virus  and keep schools open, all of us, young and old, need to do our bit by complying with the rules.

Thank you again for you and your family’s continued support.

Fiona Robertson

Executive Director Children, Young People and Partnerships

Midlothian Council Response to Depute First Minister’s statement (23 June)

You may be aware that John Swinney, the Depute First Minister has, this afternoon, made a statement in the Scottish Parliament about all children and young people returning to school on 12 August. The Depute First Minister indicated that the Scottish Government’s planning assumption is now to have all pupils returning to schools 12 August, if it is safe to do so. He has also indicated that this will be conditional and dependent upon scientific and health advice. Clearly, our schools are delighted at the prospect of welcoming all of our pupils back to school in August with the knowledge that it is safe to do so.
Midlothian Council’s local delivery plans to deliver a blended learning model will remain in place as a contingency and essential preparation in case they are needed. We would like to assure you that all Midlothian schools have a robust blended learning plan ready to be implemented should that be the requirement.
We are now urgently considering the implications of this announcement on our plans for August. It is clear that final decisions on a full return will not be confirmed until during the summer holidays. We are awaiting further specific guidance and will be in touch with you again as soon as we can.   We continue to work on the assumption that staff will return to school on the 10 August 2020 and pupils will return on the 12 August 2020.
We appreciate that this is a fast changing situation and you will be keen to know what this means for your child/children. As this change has to be achieved safely, it inevitably remains conditional and dependent upon ongoing scientific and health advice, therefore we are committed to continuing to share information with you as soon as we can, including during the summer holidays.

Midlothian Council Active Travel Team Update

 

‘The Midlothian Council School Active Travel Team would like to thank allthe parents, pupils and staff who took the time to complete their recent survey concerning social distancing on routes to school.

Although we are unable to reply to individual concerns and suggestions, please be assured that all of your comments will be assessed.  We will then look at the main areas of concern and what can be done to help during this current crisis period.  Please note, all measures will be temporary and we are limited to what is achievable but we hope that the measures we do manage to put in place help give reassurance on the route to school.  Let’s keep up our great walking and cycling figures in Midlothian with all its associated benefits!’